IAB Tech Lab Releases OpenRTB 2.5: What Does It Mean?

By Diksha Sahni | November 17th, 2016


The IAB Tech Lab released updates to the OpenRTB standard on Wednesday, November 16. The latest release -- version 2.5 -- includes updates that allow for improvements in the current programmatic technology. The update is the latest in the series of development to the OpenRTB protocol, a set of standards that create open industry standards that ensure all parties, buy and sell can transact RTB at scale and build future industry innovation.

OpenRTB 2.5 has been released for a 30-day open review period from November 16 until December 16, 2016. During this time, the OpenRTB Working Group will accept comments from the public for their feedback on the version 2.5 of the OpenRTB specification.

There was a lot of excitement on what developments would come with the release of the new version, from the opinions we gathered from various key industry executives on the matter. A general expectation from the next version was surrounded around what it entails for header bidding and video.

Let’s not keep you in suspense anymore and reveal what are some of the major updates that come in with the new release:

  • IAB New Ad Portfolio Support – integrating flexible aspect-ratio based ads into the bid object.
  • Video Placement Type Support – adding visibility into what type of placement a VAST (video ad serving template) tag is running in accordance to the IAB digital video glossary.
  • Header Bidding Support – allowing for a signal when a bid request is originated from an upstream decisioning implementation like header bidding.
  • Historic Metrics Support – whereby exchanges can pass historic metrics such as viewability or click through rate.

Additional updates in OpenRTB 2.5 include billing and loss notification support, payment ID, Tactic ID, clarification of device carrier, substitution macros clarification, attributes for language, and more.

Since its inception in 2010, the RTB project has been a lingua franca that drives growth in programmatic. The mission of the RTB project has been to “spur greater growth in the RTB marketplace by providing open industry standards for communication between buyers of advertising and sellers of publisher inventory.”

Bill Simmons, Co-Founder and CTO, DataXu, and Co-Chair of the OpenRTB Working Group, says that “it’s been a thrill to watch this open source standard growing in adoption since the first version was introduced in 2010. The contributing community is very active, engaged and it continues to grow. With this version, we’re adding features to better address the growing popularity of mobile, video, native, and new formats like the IAB New Ad Portfolio. Six years after its introduction, OpenRTB is supported by nearly all of the suppliers of real-time bidding inventory around the globe. Over $10 Billion in digital media will be bought and sold in the U.S. in 2017 using the OpenRTB protocol according to data from MAGNA Intelligence’s report on Programmatic, September 2016.”

You can read the evolution of the RTB project and the previous versions in our previous blog post.

Diksha Sahni
Diksha is a Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.

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