Laptop phone guide app-ads.txt

PubNative’s Guide to Implementing app-ads.txt

We previously wrote about the introduction of app-ads.txt back when it was in beta version and predicted its success following on from its highly adopted web counterpart. Already initiatives against the fight against ad fraud are triumphing, with cybersecurity company White Ops reporting last month that 2019 will see more fraud attempts being stopped than succeeding.

IAB’s final version of Authorized Sellers for Apps (app-ads.txt) was released in March and aims to increase transparency between buyers and sellers in the mobile advertising ecosystem. The project allows app publishers to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory and ensures that buyers can confidently purchase through approved seller accounts.

How to Add PubNative to app-ads.txt

The process of implementing PubNative to app-ads.txt is extremely simple and straightforward:

1. Create a .txt file that should be named app-ads.txt or open an existing one if you have already created it before
2. Add an entry for PubNative which includes our unique TAGID: d641df8625486a7b

Example of the app-ads.txt entry for PubNative:

PubNative app-ads.txt example

IAB app-ads.txt example3. Add other network entries; you should add to the list all of the ad networks that are authorized to sell or resell your inventory, including all of the information from the previous step
4. Provide the developer website URL in the app store of your application (it is mandatory to include the website URL in all of the app stores that your application is available in)
5. Post the file to the root directory of your domain’s server for the appropriate website; for example, developers-website.com/app-ads.txt

In case HTTP is used, request header must contain “Content-Type: text/plain”
6. Update the file every time there is a new seller or reseller added or removed from buying publisher’s inventory

Where Should Publishers Post Their app-ads.txt File?

As per IAB specification, publishers should post their app-ads.txt file on their root domain and any subdomains as needed. That domain should also be posted as Developer Website on the Google Play Store/App Store.

For example:

  • Publisher’s website is publisher.com
  • The publisher should post that website under Developer Website in all app stores
  • Crawlers will look for Developer Website information from app stores in order to locate the app-ads.txt
  • Location of the app-ads.txt should be under publisher.com/app-ads.txt, otherwise, the crawlers might not locate it properly

Why Implement app-ads.txt?

If there is no file present, it will be assumed that everyone is authorized to resell publishers’ inventory. By not implementing the file, media owners could become more susceptible to domain spoofing and unauthorized transactions. A lot of inventory is being sold fraudulently by sellers falsely presenting it as inventory that it really isn’t so by using the app-ads.txt file, buyers can confirm the authenticity of the inventory and be confident that what they are buying is genuine.

It’s future-proof: ads.txt is planned to be included as a standard field in OpenRTB 3.0.

Check out here for more detailed information on IAB’s ads.txt Specification Version 1.0.2. If you have any questions, drop us an email to info@pubnative.net and don’t forget to have a read of our other posts.

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