Ins and Outs of Adopting ads.txt–what’s being reported


In Martech Today there’s a pretty good overview of the different experiences a company can have when it comes to instituting ads/txt: A paragraph from that article follows…

Getting on board

“The hardest part for a publisher is ensuring that it has a complete list of the unique IDs its sellers and resellers use to identify its inventory,” a spokesperson for The New York Times told me.

Forbes added an Ads.txt file to its site in mid-August. “It took us about a week and a half or two weeks to prepare it because we had to reach out and make sure we had everybody’s seat number correctly listed and that we’re not missing anyone,” said Achir Kalra, senior VP of revenue operations at Forbes Media.

Dotdash was able to compile a list of its programmatic sales partners for all six of its sites in a single day. “Anybody who’s on the programmatic ad ops side would have that [information] on hand. And when we talked to Amazon and Google, they were actually able to provide us with the information that we needed if we were confused,” said Dotdash revenue product manager Jen Sun.

“It’s not so much a matter of timing as getting it prioritized into the workflow. It’s a relatively simple but elegant solution. I don’t see necessarily any reason why it would take too much time to get it implemented. It’s really straightforward,” said David Pond, director of programmatic operations at Vox Media, which implemented the standard across its portfolio of sites on August 7.

According to an article in AdOps Insider, as of Sept. 7th
only 12.8% of publishers have an ads.txt file.


In that article, the author wrote: “To get this stat, I took the Alexa top 10,000 domains, removed everything owned by Google, Amazon, and Facebook – which don’t sell their inventory through 3rd parties and therefore don’t need an ads.txt file – and removed the obvious pornography sites.  After filtering, I had 9,572 domains to crawl.  I sent all those through Neal’s crawler and found 1,930 domains selling ads, and 248 with an ads.txt file.  248 / 1,930 = 12.8%, voila!”


Google is the most popular ads.txt partner,
followed by the major SSPs

The analysis by the author continues…

“Within the 248 domains in the Alexa top 10K I found that had an ads.txt file, there were 114 unique ad tech partners listed. Across the entire dataset I found 137 ad tech partners.

Not surprisingly, Google was by far the most common, present in 97% of the Alexa 10K cohort, and 76% of all domains.  The major ad exchanges, Rubicon Project, AppNexus, Index Exchange, and OpenX are the next most common partners and are the only other companies with greater than 50% penetration among the Alexa 10K, but aren’t nearly as pervasive overall.  Google is the only partner in the full dataset with more than 50% penetration.

On average, ad tech partners were listed on 96 domains, or 3% penetration.  However, because the data is relatively stacked toward major players, the median figure of 16 domains per partner is more qualitatively accurate in my view.”



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