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New Quality Initiatives: Creating a Cleaner Marketplace with Sellers.JSON & OpenRTB Supply Chain Object

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By Adam Smith, Senior Manager, Product Marketing
August 21, 2019

As you may have seen with Ads.txt and App-Ads.txt, PubMatic continues our push for quality and transparency in the marketplace. We have consistently been ahead of the curve when it comes to securing that for our clients. As the industry moves rapidly forward, new initiatives emerge to fight fraud in the supply chain. Two of these new initiatives, the IAB’s Sellers.JSON and OpenRTB Supply Chain Object (SCO for short), have grown into more and more conversations.  

What are Sellers.JSON & OpenRTB Supply Chain Object? 

Put simply, Sellers.JSON is very similar to Ads.txt in many respects. Sellers.JSON is published by partners, or “intermediaries” that sit between the buyer and publisher, whereas Ads.txt is managed by the publisher. Like the latter, Sellers.JSON is a publicly viewable file appended to intermediary’s host domain. Here’s PubMatic’s own live file for example: https://pubmatic.com/sellers.json. It lists out each individual supply partner that PubMatic is doing business with.   

Supply Chain Object supplements Sellers.JSON, by helping ad tech systems identify all the entities involved in an ad transaction. Supply Chain Object is comprised of a set of individual nodes (sort of like blockchain). Each of these nodes is tied to a specific partner, all of whom sit between buyer and publisher and get a share of the ad dollar. Eacnew entity that handles the bid request creates a new node, which includes the seller information on their platform. When they don’t receive upstream information, the entity should mark the chain as incomplete. Also, the entity should only add their own seller information without making any changes to upstream information.  

Advertisers and agencies can use the combined information of Sellers.JSON and SCO to understand what they’re buying. Supply partners and publishers benefit from getting spend which may be otherwise lost to illegitimate entities. 

How is PubMatic solving for this? 

As more buyers push for this initiative, we’ve educated and empowered our partners to integrate every step of the way. When the first specs were released in April, we immediately communicated this – and continued to inform on new developments up to the IAB’s final spec release. In order to prepare partners for technical integration of the final specs, we hosted special “Office Hours” videoconferences with our closest partners, led by our Senior Product Manager Aswanth Vemulapalli and Director of Inventory Quality, Eric Bozinny. In these sessions, we fielded questions on who needs to integrate a Sellers.JSON/SCO file, how to correctly integrate, and special technical integration scenarios. You can view a recording here. 

As new quality initiatives continue to grow in the supply chain marketplace, it’s very important for buyers, vendors, and publishers alike to stay informed, updated, and integrate them where it makes sense.  

To learn more about our supply chain quality initiatives, check out some of our recent content or contact us.