What is ads.txt?
The ads.txt file is a list of authorised digital sellers (ADS) that are authorised to resell a website’s ad inventory. Ads.txt is a simple, flexible, and secure method for publishers and distributors to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory, improving transparency for programmatic buyers.
Ads.txt supports transparent programmatic digital media transactions and can remove the financial incentive from selling counterfeit and misrepresented media. Similar to robots.txt, ads.txt can only be posted to a domain by a publisher’s webmaster, making it valid and authentic. As a text file, ads.txt is easy to update, making it flexible. The data required to populate the file is readily available in the OpenRTB protocol, making it simple to gather and target. And because publishers sell their inventory through a variety of sales channels, ads.txt supports the following types of supplier relationships:
-Domain owners who sell on exchanges through their own accounts
-Networks and sales houses who programmatically sell on behalf of domain owners
-Content syndication partnerships where multiple authorized sellers represent the same inventory
How does it work?
Publishers drop a text file on their web servers that lists all of the companies that are authorized to sell the publishers’ inventory. Similarly, programmatic platforms also integrate ads.txt files to confirm which publishers’ inventory they are authorized to sell. This allows buyers to check the validity of the inventory they purchase.