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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released OpenDirect 1.0, a standard API for programmatic buying and selling premium inventory direct from publishers, for public comment.

OpenDirect was initially created by AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yieldex to provide a guaranteed standard API for programmatic premium direct sales. Bionic Advertising Systems and MediaMath then joined the effort. The group brought the OpenDirect specification to the IAB’s Digital Advertising Automation Task Force for review and broad adoption among publishers. The API is designed to deliver “greater efficiencies and reliability in the packaging, pricing, and delivering of reserved inventory for publishers”.

Programmatic direct (also referred to as programmatic premium) allows publishers to use automation in their direct sales processes. The IAB says that the API will give agencies access to larger pools of unique users, greater efficiency with one API integrated across multiple publishers and the ability to book guaranteed inventory and access inventory that’s not available on exchanges.

Scott Cunningham, Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations, IAB, said of the initiative, “OpenDirect 1.0 is valuable to the industry at-large and therefore is best served under the auspices of the IAB, where we have the resources and reach to ensure it becomes a global standard. 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. 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 avoid multiple, costly, custom integrations.”

OpenDirect 1.0 can be reviewed here. Public comments are being taken through December 3, 2014. The IAB Digital Advertising Automation Task Force will then evaluate the comments, make any revisions needed and release the final version.