Why Publishers Should Implement App-ads.txt

Why should you read this article?
Publishers who don’t implement app-ads.txt risk seeing a drastic decrease in programmatic in-app revenue.


Why Publishers Should Implement App-ads.txt 


1. What is app-ads.txt?

Mobile is one of the channels hit hardest by ad fraud.

In Q1 of 2018, financial exposure to app fraud hit $700 – $800 million worldwide*, hence the IAB’s launch of app-ads.txt. An extension of ads.txt, the specification enables the blocking of counterfeit in-app inventory from unwanted resellers and protects publishers from domain spoofing.

* AppsFlyer’sThe State of Mobile Fraud: Q1 2018

2. Quality Control: Why publishers should implement app-ads.txt

Publishers who don’t implement app-ads.txt risk:

  • Their apps being spoofed
  • A drastic decrease in programmatic in-app revenue. Key demand players are already focusing their investments on ads.txt inventory. Google’s has announced Display & Video 360 will stop buying unauthorized app inventory in the next few months.
  • Their reputation as a premium publisher

It’s imperative that publishers implement app-ads.txt so that they can better control their inventory. Adopting the standard is a must for premium publishers with first-rate apps.

3. How to implement app-ads.txt

To participate in the authorized seller scheme, the developer’s website URL must be published in the listing metadata of all app stores distributing the application. By crawling the app listing pages in the app stores, buyers and advertisers will be led to the app-ads.txt file, the contents of which will allow them to confirm authorized resellers and target authentic inventory.

Just implementing app-ads.txt is key, but once it’s incorporated, there is still work to do. Fraudsters have been known to try to slip into publisher’s ads.txt files by claiming to be legitimate resellers, when they’re not. So, vigilance is key. That means publishers need to keep track of who they’re listing in their authorized seller file.


4. Want to learn how to implement ads.txt for in-app?

Read our ads.txt and app-ads.txt technical documentation.


5. Quality at Smart

Smart fully supports the IAB in its efforts to improve quality in the ecosystem through ads.txt initiatives. We’re committed to standards and are encouraging all publishers to avoid revenue losses by jumping on board early.

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