Frontline Marketing

Closing Pandora’s Box: IAB Tech Lab To Standardize Mobile Ad Verification

Code on computer screen

By | October 5, 2017 |

Working with brands like Google, Pandora, Nielsen and comScore, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced the limited release of its effort to reduce the bloat of mobile ad verification services.

The IAB Open Measurement Working Group describes the problem on its website, asserting that because different advertisers depend on different verification service providers for their mobile ads, app publishers are forced to integrate multiple code libraries (SDKs) in their products.

This, according to the IAB, is a problem for everybody:

  • Ensuring compatibility between different SDKs slows down app development and updates, making app publishers less productive and user experience worse.
  • Multiple sources of data can create disputes between partners over revenue.
  • Ad buyers and sellers are limited in their choices based on their verification SDK choices.
  • Fragmentation in collection causes difficulties in gathering reliable data at scale.
  • Specific verification SDK requirements can delay business deals by weeks or months while developers integrate new software.

All of these complications create an environment where everyone suffers—users from less stable, more bloated apps, developers from hours of busy work keeping up to date with every third-party verification SDK and advertisers from system incompatibilities and inconsistent data.

The IAB’s tech lab hopes to solve these problems in one fell swoop with its Open Measurement SDK, a standardized measurement and verification tool it hopes will be integrated into every mobile app. So far the SDK provides only viewability data, but as Pandora announced in a blog post, the group is working to add more measurement capabilities in the future.

Only time will tell if this standardization ends up closer to Nielsen’s efforts than Esperanto, but the size and stature of the brands behind the project lends it promise. Version 1.0 of the SDK is slated to release this year.