DSP Trade Desk adds native ad support, with Sharethrough as first integrated SSP under IAB standard
The announcement means that programmatic implementation of native ads has taken another step forward.
In February of last year, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its OpenRTB 2.3 standard for native ads, those high-performing ads that resemble the surrounding publisher content.
Bit by bit, the standard has allowed programmatic ad platforms to include native ads. Previously, such ads were often one-off customizations designed to look like the style of a specific site or app, so they were difficult to handle at scale. Now, standardized metadata breaks the native ads into components that are served into each publisher’s format (See visualization above).
Today, brand- and agency-focused demand side platform (DSP) The Trade Desk is announcing its support for the OpenRTB 2.3 standard, while publisher-oriented supply side platform Sharethrough is announcing that it is Trade Desk’s first integrated partner under the standard for in-feed native ads on its publishers’ sites and apps. The announcements were made at the IAB Programmatic Marketplace conference, now taking place in New York City.
This means that programmatic delivery of native ads is taking another step toward becoming a common part of the ad tech ecosystem. Here’s an example of a native ad for Airbnb on a People magazine web page:
But Sharethrough Vice President of Product Management Curt Larson told me that “the adoption cycle [of the native ad protocol] has been slower than I would have thought.” His company announced its platform support for the IAB standard last April, and it bills itself as the largest native advertising SSP.
While Sharethrough has previously integrated with smaller DSPs, he said, The Trade Desk is one of the biggest desktop/mobile DSPs.
He noted that, of several other large DSPs, Turn and MediaMath do not yet support native ads, while AppNexus is in beta to do so. Larson pointed out that on a publisher platform like Sharethrough, a technical integration needs to match up with the native ads that Trade Desk will be sending.
A key reason for the delay in adoption is that ad tech platforms have been focused in recent months on accommodating the higher priority of video-based ads, he said. Larson added that the ball is now rolling on implementing the native ad protocol, such that he “would be shocked if we didn’t exit this year” with widespread ad tech support for programmatic native ads.