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Updates To OpenRTB For Public Comment

OpenORTB 2.6-202303 was pushed to production the week of April 3rd, 2023. The below outlines the updates that were made based on public comment feedback. 

Please reach out to with any questions. 

ORTB 2.6-202303

AdCOM 1.0-202303

Pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads that are played before, during or after the streaming video content that the consumer has requested. Instream video must be set to “sound on” by default at player start, or have explicitly clear user intent to watch the video content. While there may be other content surrounding the player, the video content must be the focus of the user’s visit. It should remain the primary content on the page and the only video player in-view capable of audio when playing. If the player converts to floating/sticky subsequent ad calls should accurately convey the updated player size.

Original Blog Post:

In the first release to OpenRTB 2.x since November of 2022, IAB Tech Lab is excited to release for public comment the March updates to the OpenRTB and AdCOM specifications! 

The full list can be found below, but OpenRTB 2.6-202303 release includes two highly anticipated additions to highlight: 

  1. a new object to signal when an ad slot will be automatically refreshed and; 
  2. updated definitions for what can be considered instream video 

Addition of Auto Refresh Object

It is common for sellers of digital inventory to refresh ad units on their pages. However, without a way to programmatically signal how long an ad will be rendered on page (assuming no other interruptions occur), or how many ads have been refreshed prior to the current ad unit, buyers have a difficult time understanding where and when their ads will appear. The addition of Object: Auto Refresh and Object: Refresh Settings will help publishers give buyers better line of sight into the triggers that cause an ad slot to be refreshed.   

Update to Definition of Instream Video

With the convergence of video advertising across screens, so comes the desire to target video advertising more efficiently and with more granularity. The addition of pod bidding made a big leap towards video ad support in OpenRTB 2.6 and the release of updated Digital Video and CTV Ad Format Guidelines in September of 2022 continued the trend. 

2023 shows no signs of slowing down with the release of new definitions (numbers 6-9 in AdCOM List: Placement Subtypes – Video) and a new attribute (plcmnt in Object: Video) to give publishers a way to signal video inventory in a way that more closely aligns with the updated ad format guidelines without breaking existing workstreams. 

While the proposal may not signal a breaking change from a technical perspective there is a significant impact from a business perspective. We want to incentivize publishers to adopt the new values, but with the understanding that each SSP and DSP will adopt the new definitions into their platform at different times. That means that the best path forward incentivizes early adoption but doesn’t punish publishers using the new values, especially if some of their demand partners are still using legacy values. 

For this reason a new attribute in the video object should be used specifically for the new enumeration values (6-9). 

The primary benefits of this path:

  1. Publishers can start sending the new values in the new attribute as soon as possible without having to track which demand partner is ready for the new signals.
  2. Publishers won’t be punished for sending the new signals by demand partners that are still using the legacy values. The values in the new attribute will simply gracefully fail if the DSP is not reading them.
    • If video.plcmnt is not available, video.placement value will become the fallback
  3. DSPs will have a way to flag that a publisher has reviewed the updated definitions and decided the appropriate bucket for their video inventory.
    • If we changed the definition of 1, there would be no way to determine if a publisher was using the “new” definition of 1 versus the “old” definition of 1 
  4. It will give buyers and sellers time to fully migrate to the newly proposed numbers (expected 6-9 months).
    • In the interim, early adopting sellers may choose to send both the legacy ids (for DSPs yet to migrate) and new numbers (for early adopting DSPs)

When updating the definitions, the Programmatic Supply Chain Working Group identified additional attributes that needed to be contemplated in future updates alongside placement type. These potential additional updates include:

  1. Future signals being contemplated
    1. Float attribute
    2. Contextual relevance
    3. Update to live streaming attribute
    4. Ratio of content to ads
  2. Technographics should be used to determine CTV environments and are not in scope for this update

Please join the Programmatic Supply Chain Working Group if you’d like to become part of these key discussions to evolve the video advertising landscape.  

The public comment period will close on March 26th, 2023. Please email if you have questions or feedback you would like to address with the working group. 

Full List of Features

ORTB 2.6-202303

  • Object: Auto Refresh – The minimum exposure time, in seconds per view, that the (uninterrupted) ad creative will be rendered before refreshing to the next creative. 
  • Object: Refresh Settings – Information on how often and what triggers an ad slot being refreshed.
  • ${AUCTION_IMP_TS} in Substitution Macros to signal the timestamp when an impression was fulfilled (e.g. when the ad is displayed) for use by platforms that cannot fire a notification as soon as an impression takes place.
  • plcmnt attribute in Object: Video to support updated values for digital video definitions
    • Please refer to the Upgrade Path for information on how to use the new attribute
    • This update includes a proposed deprecation of the current video.placement field in 2024, along with deprecation of the values 1-5 in the AdCOM List: Placement Subtypes – Video. That is not to say that buyers and sellers should not start using video.plcmnt before then, but understand that specific partners may have varying timelines.

AdCOM 1.0-202303

About the Author

Hillary Slattery
Director of Programmatic, Product
IAB Tech Lab