The automated Supply Chain Validation service refers to the IAB Tech Lab’s initiative, aimed at streamlining publishers’ maintenance of their ads.txt files and minimizing errors therein.
In brief, the automated supply chain validation implies regular review of a publisher’s (app)ads.txt for possible errors and their validation against partners’ seller.json files.
Scheduled checks are handled automatically, without sending prior notices, with the results being published and available for buyers’ review. In case of any errors and/or inconsistencies found, the validation service will send an email alert to the registered publisher to ensure their timely fix.
In particular, the scope of test cases covers ads.txt accessibility on a publisher’s root domain, file formatting, validation of advertising domains, representation of a publisher’s digital property in their seller partners’ seller.json files, and more.
Potential Benefits for Publishers
One of the biggest advantages of signing up for the automated Supply Chain Validation service is a publisher’s ability to spare time and effort, usually spent on checks of their often long ads.txt files, and get notified of existing errors, if any, in a timely manner.
Another noticeable benefit is an opportunity to keep track of their representation in existing sellers.json files, which can potentially help sustain buyers’ trust in their inventory.
At the same time, an obvious drawback of the newly-released IAB Tech Lab’s service is it’s not being free. The currently announced annual fee is $99 per domain, which may result in much higher expenditures for large publishers operating tens of various domains at a time.
In this respect, it’s still unclear whether the new initiative will gain track among publishers in the upcoming months, given an array of already existing solutions, e.g. the one, offered by Google Ad Manager, which includes fewer functional capabilities, but enables checking ads.txt files for syntax errors at least.
Read a comprehensive guide to the automated supply chain validation on the AdPlayer.Pro blog.