SHARC stands for Secure HTML Ad Rich-media Container and refers to the IAB Tech Lab’s initiative, primarily aimed at the smoother delivery of interactive ads across platforms.

What is SHARC?

From the technical perspective, SHARC introduces of the so-to-speak “safe advertising container” API, which implies an interactive ad creative is being served in a secure iFrame, which doesn’t have access to any sensitive data, in any HTML-enabled environment (desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, etc.). 

Namely, according to the IAB Tech Lab’s experts, SHARC will be replacing not one, but two currently utilized digital advertising standards, i.e. MRAID and SafeFrame, as their more flexible and more scalable alternative (also compliant with Prebid). 

Potential Benefits of SHARC

As expected, the new standard will imply substantial benefits for all parties involved in the online video advertising ecosystem. In particular, publishers will enjoy the greater security of their customers’ and platform data, while advertisers and agencies will be able to curtail financial and operational effort spent on the ad creatives prep. 

In addition, the implementation of SHARC should potentially decrease ad load on the video ad server tech, hence helping to reduce latency issues. 

Perspectives of Adoption

While IAB Tech Lab was announcing the development of SHARC back in the beginning of 2020s, it wasn’t until April 2022 when its first raw draft was released for public comment. 

More importantly, the developers team have already announced their ambitious goal to make it somewhat a universal online ad standard, which would be compatible with all HTML-enabled platforms, including CTV and DOOH

In view of this, it’s possible to assume that the final version of the API isn’t likely to be ready until 2023 or later, leaving the time frame of its industry-wide adoption unclear.

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