Programmatic Direct OOH Trading Industry Standards

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Outsmart, the trade body for the Out of Home advertising industry the UK, and the IPA’s outdoor specialists have announced the publication of OpenDirect (OOH) 1.5.1, a programmatic direct trading standard for the Out of Home industry.

Amit Shetty Senior Director at IAB Tech Lab suggested that “OpenDirect provides a standard way for publishers to make their inventory available in any OpenDirect-compliant interface, which helps agencies and advertisers access premium inventory. The Out of Home collaboration to add channel-specific capabilities as an extension enables the global media industry to learn from the adoption of this project, refine as needed, and ideally merge the extension into the next version of OpenDirect.”

The standard builds on the IAB Tech Lab’s OpenDirect common structure, with an extension for media owners and buyers to connect and transact inventory in an OpenDirect-compliant interface. For media owners, this means that they can make guaranteed inventory available in a programmatic marketplace. For buyers, this means they can programmatically access inventory for their customers. For the industry, a marketplace that uses OpenDirect means a more fluid movement of inventory and increased opportunity to overlay data to inform purchase and sale decisions and purchase directly.

OpenDirect (OOH) 1.5.1 is an extension of the IAB Tech Lab’s OpenDirect 1.5.1 schema, particularly around the ‘product targeting’ function, to accommodate the ‘real world’ aspects of Out of Home media in the dimensions of inventory, audience, delivery, distribution, pricing and prohibitions. It is also designed to support the programmatic trading of both ‘classic’ and ‘digital’ Out of Home media formats from billboards to vehicles to digital screen displays.

Adapting the IAB Tech Lab’s OpenDirect schema for Out of Home has been a strategic and technical goal for media organisations on both the buy and sell side of the Out of Home industry. Created on behalf of Outsmart and IPAO by the UKOOH Standards Committee the new standard offers increased workflow efficiencies across multiple media owners, greater control in products packaging, pricing, and delivery of media campaigns and a reliable means of programmatically trading directly. Whilst this work has originated in the UK, the standard has been built to facilitate international adoption and therefore improve cross border cooperation in an increasingly integrated marketplace.

The Out of Home companies that collaborated to establish the OpenDirect (OOH) standard include the media owners Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux, Ocean Outdoor and the agencies Kinetic, Posterscope, Rapport and Talon.

Justin Cochrane, Chair of Outsmart, told us “This is an example of best-in-class collaboration across the Out of Home industry, which will continue to give brands even more reason to embrace Out of Home.” whilst Chris Daines, Chair of IPA’s Outdoor Committee said “We are proud of this collaborative project. Common standards are increasingly required in order to improve efficiency and data compliance in the assessment and transaction of Out of Home Advertising”

The OpenDirect-OOH 1.5.1 v1.0 specification documents are available here.

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