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The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) new standard APIs on “programmatic direct” trading will greatly benefit advertisers. On Monday, the IAB released OpenDirect 1.0, setting standards for programmatic direct, a hybrid trading method involving both direct sales tactics and automation.

AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Yieldex, MediaMath and Bionic Advertising Systems developed the API specs.

“Programmatic strategies have become a mainstay within our business and it is imperative to find solutions and technologies that will make these types of automated transactions more reliable and beneficial to all parties involved,” said IAB VP of technology and ad operations Scott Cunningham in a statement. “This common set of API specifications sets the stage for direct programmatic ad sales and will allow buyers who want to access guaranteed inventory via automated processes to avoid multiple, costly, custom integrations.”

The new specifications will increase workflow efficiencies for publishers; give them greater control of packaging, pricing and delivery of inventory; and give them a better way to automate reserved inventory, according to the IAB. And buyers will be able to access bigger pools of unique users, increase efficiencies by using just one API integration across multiple publishers, and access media offerings that are not available on an exchange.

Notable in the IAB standards is the “advertiser first” approach. “Both advertisers and agencies must sign up with the publisher and receive credentials,” OpenDirect 1.0 stated. “Advertisers may perform their own buys or provide consent to have an agency perform buys on their behalf; for an agency to perform buys on behalf of an advertiser, the advertiser must provide consent.”