According to a report in AdExchanger, "Publishers are being deluged with emails from 'agencies' and 'digital marketing solutions' companies threatening to stop buying inventory unless they’re added to the Ads.txt file."
"The New York Times, Wenner Media, Intermarkets and LittleThings all confirmed to AdExchanger they had received emails from partners angling to become part of the publishers’ Ads.txt files," wrote AdExchanger. "But the publishers have the leverage. It’s the buyers who are at risk because if they aren’t added to Ads.txt, they can’t resell the publisher’s inventory. If that’s their only business model, they’re in trouble."
According to AdExchanger, Thrive+ is one of the companies asking to be added to ads.txt files. Download the list of sites that have updated their ads.txt files as a result of Thrive+'s request:
An example of Thrive+ in an ads.txt file
A recent Reddit r/AdOps thread started by someone who works at a "national publishing company" questioned a request from Thrive+ to be added to said publisher's ads.txt file. Others said they received the same email.
The concern, as AdExchanger noted, is that this can be a sign of potential arbitrage. Several commenters in the Reddit thread shared similar concerns. Thrive+ told AdExchanger it does not practice display-to-video arbitrage.
Who has added Thrive+ to their ads.txt files?
Pixalate scanned all ads.txt files to see which publishers have added Thrive+ to their ads.txt files (listed as thrive.plus on the file). To see the full list, download it here. (Updated as of November 2, 2017.)
As of November 2, 2017, thrive.plus has been listed as a direct partner by 19 publishers on their ads.txt files, and as a reseller by 51 publishers.
According to AdExchanger and Digiday, Thrive+ is not the only company asking to be added to ads.txt files. You can read AdExchanger’s article here and Digiday’s article here for more information.
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Disclaimer: The content of this blog reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”