IAB launches guidelines for identifiers on OTT; in public comment until May 3

The IAB Technology Laboratory released last week new Guidelines for Identifier for Advertising on OTT Platforms with recommendations on how to maintain a high-quality advertising experience within over-the-top television (OTT) environments—advocating that stakeholders manage advertising-related activities through an identifier for advertising (IFA).

According to IAB, the guidelines are available for public comment through May 3, 2018. The technical guidelines provide instructions on best practices for delivering targeted ads, as well as controlling ad frequency and rotation across a wide variety of disparate smart TVs, connected devices, and other OTT systems.

Devices and apps must store and send the following parameters as part of an ad request:

  • An identifier for advertising (IFA) – required, unless the user has opted in to limit ad tracking, an IFA must be a unique value that is completely disconnected from a hardware ID, MAC address, IMEI, or IP address;
  • An associated IFA type – identifying the source of the IFA, whether device-generated, publisher-provided, or temporary;
  • Limit ad tracking (LAT) – an opt-out mechanism to respect the user’s privacy choices.

“After linear TV, more Americans watch video content on OTT than on VOD or DVR, and the medium is skyrocketing,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “The traditional semi-persistent cookie we are accustomed to using as an identifier on browsers isn’t at play across OTT systems, so we need to deploy other types of identifiers to ensure that ad experiences are optimal for consumers. These guidelines will direct stakeholders down the path of best practices to allow OTT to grow and evolve as a significant advertising platform.”