AdLedger pilots OTT video ad deployment using blockchain

Thursday, September 24th, 2020
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AdLedger Announces First-Ever OTT Video Ad Deployment Leveraging Blockchain

  • The Privacy-First, Open-Source CryptoRTB Technology Was Executed At Scale with MadHive (DSP) and Beachfront (SSP) to Address Problems Like Fraud, Transparency, Privacy

AdLedger, the non-profit consortium building open standards that leverage blockchain and cryptography in digital advertising, announced results from its first-in-market CryptoRTB pilot. The protocol was leveraged by over-the-top (OTT) ad solutions companies MadHive and Beachfront to address three widespread problems in the digital advertising industry: fraud, transparency, and consumer privacy.

CryptoRTB is a technical standard from the AdLedger consortium, which consists of members like Omnicom, IPG, Publicis, WPP, Dentsu, Hershey, Hearst, and Meredith. The next-generation CryptoRTB protocol was developed by the engineers at MadHive and is powered by the MadNetwork blockchain, which serves as a sophisticated and scalable infrastructure for identity validation and information sharing. Both the MadNetwork blockchain and CryptoRTB protocol are open source technologies.

“With so much television spend moving to digitally delivered formats like OTT, it’s becoming even more critical to solve the underlying problems with the digital ecosystem,” said Christiana Cacciapuoti, Executive Director at AdLedger. “CryptoRTB can remedy these problems across all platforms and screens, including OTT, which is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix.”

CryptoRTB injects cryptographic tools into the ad serving environment. The open-source technology delivers digital signatures into OpenRTB protocol to identify illegitimate ad supply, create a verifiable chain of custody, and create mechanisms for data access and validation for the digital advertising industry. For the initial test, MadHive served as the demand-side platform (DSP) partner acting on behalf of advertisers and Beachfront acted as the supply-side (SSP) partner representing networks.

The initial deployment is live, fully scaled, cross-platform, and ongoing. Early findings show:

  • CryptoRTB’s digital signatures identified and completely eliminated domain spoofing.
    • Why it matters: Domain spoofing which is a predominant method of fraudsters contributing to the $23 billion lost to ad fraud last year.
  • Ads.cert fails to adequately secure private keys making it easily exploitable by fraudsters, while CryptoRTB uses more secure cryptography that is 25 times faster and cheaper.
  • CryptoRTB’s digital signatures disintermediate industry middlemen and is forward-compatible with OpenRTB 3.0 and backward-compatible with 2.0.
    • Why it matters: A recent report shows half of online ad spending goes to industry middlemen.
  • CryptoRTB cryptographically seals all consumer data, ensuring future compliance for GDPR and CCPA regulations.
    • Why it matters: Billions of dollars have already been doled out in fines due to GDPR and CCPA violations.

“The e-commerce industry has been utilizing cryptography to ensure trust, transparency and security for decades, and now we’re leveraging the technology with blockchain to remedy the problems in digital advertising,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive and Project Lead at MAD Network. “In addition to providing the verification methods needed for a more efficient supply chain, CryptoRTB is built with privacy as a core tenet to ensure a mutually beneficial future for advertisers, publishers, and consumers.”

“The behind-the-scenes work of actually understanding and integrating technologies like cryptography to create efficiencies and drive data fidelity in digital advertising is now a reality,” said Frank Sinton, Founder and President at Beachfront. “This proof-of-concept demonstrates to the collective industry that blockchain solutions can enable meaningful industry change. Now is the time to rally around this type of innovative solution, work to drive adoption with AdLedger members, and set the stage for the future of the industry. One that stands for the transparent, secure, and privacy-conscious flow of dollars and data across the supply chain.”