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MetaX sets up Ads.txt Plus as an application on its blockchain-based adChain
The solution distributes publishers’ anti-fraud file and makes it searchable by buyers.
Step by step, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ads.txt initiative is being utilized by publishers.
The idea is that this text file, when made available on a publisher’s website, tells advertisers which exchanges or other sellers have the right to represent that publisher’s ad inventory. Faked inventory has been a big part of ad fraud, where unscrupulous sellers fraudulently represent that they can sell, for instance, ad space on The New York Times’s website.
Aside from adoption, one problem with ads.txt is that some publishers are not keeping them totally up to date by removing outdated sellers and adding new ones. Also, demand-side platforms (DSPs) have used web crawlers to go out and find the publishers’ ads.txt files, which can add time to this millisecond-wary industry and can miss updates in the intervals between sweeps.
To address these issues, ad blockchain firm MetaX has released what it calls Ads.txt Plus.
It allows publishers to install their ads.txt files into the blockchain instance of MetaX’s adChain, which was launched in June and uses the technology’s ability to act as a distributed ledger as a way to record data about ad transactions, identities and events. Publishers’ ad.txt files will now become another kind of application in the adChain blockchain-based ecosystem.
CRO Alanna Gombert — until recently SVP of IAB and general manager of its Tech Lab –– told me that a publisher can import its ads.txt file into adChain and use a browser-based interface to modify its list of sellers. Advertisers can also use the interface to manually look up sellers for each publisher, or they can develop ways for DSPs to automatically search the files. Here’s a sample screen of the browser interface:
She noted that currently, there is no manual or automated directory for ads.txt files, except via web crawlers.
Ads.txt Plus is currently in beta testing with three unnamed publishers, Gombert said, and will be released next month.