App-ads.txt file adoption exceeds 80% for managed MoPub publishers

April 06, 2020

Tags: 2020, DSPs, Marketers

At MoPub, we take supply quality extremely seriously; we know how much it matters to our advertisers, and fighting ad fraud is simply the right thing to do. The IAB’s app-ads.txt spec combats fraud in the form of unauthorized reselling and app spoofing. We’re happy to share that as of March 2020, there is app-ads.txt file adoption for nearly 82% of MoPub’s managed app publisher base. 

Because MoPub is SDK-direct with 100% of our publisher partners, we’re inherently authorized to sell their inventory directly. We support the IAB’s app-ads.txt specification in order to provide an additional layer of transparency for our demand partners and advertisers. It’s exciting to see that the mobile app industry is embracing this spec in order to create a trusted environment for in-app ad buying and selling. App-ads.txt is a benefit for both sides of the mobile app advertising ecosystem: it helps our publishers protect their inventory from unauthorized reselling, and gives our demand partners additional confidence in the quality of their supply sources. 

Beyond driving adoption, MoPub also helps mobile app publishers audit and curate their list of approved resellers. Since the initial launch of this feature, we’ve identified and communicated a number of incorrect implementations on the publisher side that negate the value of app-ads.txt. The most common issues are driven by integration errors and result in either inaccessible files or incorrectly formatted company listings. This ongoing maintenance is an important step to ensure inventory access for all reputable buyers; it also gives MoPub another opportunity to ensure any disreputable or fraudulent buyers are not given access.

“MoPub is doing the programmatic community a real service; on the buy-side, MediaMath leverages all new features and industry initiatives to make programmatic more transparent and efficient on a daily basis, but if you’re an app developer focused on creating a great app and retaining your audience, this is not necessarily top of mind. When MoPub is working directly with publishers, we know they communicate the importance of tools like app-ads.txt and ensure that the app’s file is current and accurate. It’s nice to know we have a supply partner ensuring that these important features for brands and media agencies are handled correctly.”
–Jeremy Steinberg, Global Head of Ecosystem, MediaMath

Building trust through transparency is core to MoPub's approach; we know this is valued by advertisers and key to helping them realize the benefits of in-app inventory for their campaigns.

 “Mobile is a hugely important channel for the Trade Desk – and our clients, too. With brand advertisers having largely made the switch to programmatic, and IAB Tech Lab initiatives further strengthening trust in the channel, 2020 sees mobile in-app as a channel in a great place. With all the tools and features advertisers require fully built-in, it’s now just a case of boosting adoption. MoPub has done a tremendous job in educating the broad network of app developers they work with, especially in implementing key components like, for example, app-ads.txt.

This is important, because – on mobile even more than on desktop – Fortune 1000 advertisers need transparency and adequate safeguards to ensure media campaigns run safely, in the right environment, and reach the right audiences. MoPub has been a driving force in educating app developers on exactly what brand and media agencies need – be that viewability, IVT, or app-ads.txt.” 
–Joel Livesey, Lead Director Inventory Partnerships at The Trade Desk  

MoPub has additional buy-side features and supporting tools in active development; expect additional updates as those are released. Information on adopting and accessing app-ads.txt for both publishers and advertisers can be found here.

About the author: John Egan, Head of Demand, EMEA

John leads the EMEA Demand partnerships team and is responsible for MoPub's buy-side partnerships with programmatic buyers and direct marketers. John joined MoPub in 2012 prior to its being acquired by Twitter, where he led publisher acquisition. Prior to MoPub, John developed and implemented the ad monetization strategy for a number of gaming companies. He lives in Dublin, Ireland, and is an (internal) award-winning Twitter follow at @jegania.

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