IAB OM SDK: Building Transparency & Consistency to In-App Mobile Advertising

In-app advertising is a growing favorite among mobile marketers and publishers. It is an effective advertising strategy where app developers are paid by mobile publishers to publish advertisements within their app.

According to Emarketer, in-app advertising has gone up by 25.1% by the end of 2018. Over 160 million dollars is expected to be spent worldwide on mobile ads in 2019. 

However, tracking of in-app ad viewability turns out inaccurate. This is because measurement is done through various platforms which complicates the process and hence, results in not so precise values. 

In order to simplify this for the advertisers and bring it all together into one software kit, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Tech Labs has developed the OM SDK (Open Measurement Software Development Kit). Now, most vendors have replaced their legacy SDKs with OM SDK. 

What is OM SDK?

IAB defines OM SDK as, “The Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK) is designed to facilitate third-party viewability and verification measurement for ads served to mobile app environments without requiring multiple ad verification service providers’ (Measurement Providers) Software Development Kit (SDK).”

What is the need for OM SDK? 

Previously, app developers had to install every individual advertiser’s SDK onto their application code. This allowed the advertisers to view their ad performance and measure its interaction with the users. Now, however with OM SDK, it can be installed as a common platform that covers all in-app ad viewability and verification needs instead of downloading the individual SDKs. 

How is it helping users, advertisers and publishers? 

OM SDK not only helps the advertisers but also the app publishers, it simplifies the process on either side and hence makes the transaction go more smoothly. 

For advertisers, the obvious benefit is that it allows them to be able to view their ad performances with complete accuracy and ensure that the ads are reaching their target audiences. This is highly critical for advertisers as we slowly move from laptops and television sets to mobile phones for almost all of our needs.

In turn, it allows app publishers be offered more deals to publish ads on their platform due to the greater transparency and consistency offered by OM SDK. It also helps reduce the number of SDKs the publisher has to normally upload onto their apps and hence, allows it to load more quickly. 


How does it work?

IAB OM SDK consists of two components which are the following: OM SDK Native Libraries and OM SDK JavaScript. 

OM SDK Native Libraries: Native libraries specific to Android and iOS collect and store signals that can be used to measure the ad viewability and determine ad rendering, display formats, and impression viewability as defined by MRC (Media Rating Council). 

OM SDK JavaScript: JavaScript codes are used to implement the OMID API (Open Measurement Interface Definition Application Program Interface) to describe the measurement criteria using which vendors can filter out the details required by them using native library signals. Basically, this is used to decode the signals collected by the native libraries. 

OM SDK is the future of in-app advertising and as Dennis Buchheim, the Senior Vice President and General Manager at IAB Tech Lab said, “With in-app advertising viewability and verification simplified and made more consistent, brands can confidently and more easily buy mobile app inventory. I encourage buyers, sellers, and relevant platforms, to update their systems to support OM SDK and pursue OM SDK-enabled media. Let’s continue the momentum toward simplicity and support better business relationships and results.”

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