Sellers.json vs Ads.txt | Everything Publishers Should Know

Sellers.jsopn vs ads.txt

IAB Tech Lab has already introduced ads.txt, sellers.json files, and the OpenRTB SupplyChain Object to prevent ad fraud. Statista predicts that by 2022 ad fraud costs will reach 22 billion U.S. dollars.

The negative impact of ad fraud is twofold; both publishers and advertisers can be affected. In particular, publishers see a reduction in CPMs, ads of poorer quality, and, most importantly, a negative impact on user experience.

In this article, you will learn about the sellers.json file, as well as the differences between ads.txt and sellers.json. Your next step will be to understand how the OpenRTB supply chain object affects you as a publisher and how it relates to sellers.json file.

What are the differences between sellers.json and ads.txt?


Ads.txt Description

The main goal of ads.txt file is to take care of publishers’ ad inventory and prevent the occurrence of ad fraud. This file gives publishers greater control, as it allows you to see if sellers are authorized to sell your ad inventory.

What is sellers.json?

Sellers.json is the next step you can take to further increase the transparency of your programmatic ecosystem. Picture a coin. For a long while, only one side of the coin was visible—the publishers’ side (ads.txt). Now, with sellers.json, you can see the other side as well—the sellers’ side (SSPs or intermediaries and exchanges).

Both files—ads.txt and sellers.json—have the same goal: to provide information about buyers, sellers, and resellers, and how ad inventory is being sold.

How does sellers.json work?

Sellers.json documents the relationship between SSPs or intermediaries and exchanges, and their publishers. In simpler terms, it is an identification card of all legal entities participating in the selling process. This gives publishers a clearer picture of who is paying or receiving money.

There are two MANDATORY things, which have to be included in sellers.json file:

1. Seller’s ID;
2. Seller’s Type (Intermediary, publisher, or both).

Other information, like publisher’s domain or the name of the legal entity, can be confidential in some cases.

Sellers.json file example:


How are OpenRTB and SupplyChain Object related?

Imagine this scenario: a user enters a website; the ad request is sent to SSPs or ad buyers. This ad auction is a process of OpenRTB (real-time bidding) that allows displaying ads to a user based on geolocation, demographic, or behavioral attributes.

SupplyChain Object is a part of this ad request, which is represented later in the sellers.json file. This allows buyers to know which intermediaries are involved in the process of selling ad inventory.

How does SupplyChain Object work in reality?

Picture yourself as a publisher who is creating quality content. You chose Setupad as a way to increase your ad revenue and the security of your ad inventory.

On the other hand, we sell your ad inventory through one of our partners, OpenX. This means that ad buyers are bidding on ad impressions in real-time.

At this time, the SupplyChain Object collects information about OpenX and Setupad.

The ad buyer who won in the ad auction can then check the sellers.json file of OpenX to see if Setupad was the authorized seller of your ad inventory.

What does sellers.json file mean for publishers?

The good news is that as a publisher, you don’t need to worry about hosting sellers.json file. This is the responsibility of Setupad and our exchange partners.

This file has greater relevance to ad buyers, as it allows them to evaluate if the seller was authorized to sell the ad inventory that they are bidding for.

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