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Open Direct

OpenDirect enables publishers to offer premium inventory using a programmatic interface that partners and vendors build according to the OpenDirect specifications.

Every organization in the industry uses some kind of interface (or a combination thereof) to manage inventory throughout the buying and selling of premium, reserved inventory. Each system is different, which means if one partner wants to integrate their system with another system, the integration is customized to that system. Further integrations all require customization, each instance consuming valuable overhead. While the overhead enables more business, cutting down on the cost of these integrations allows resources to be diverted to more important ad operations tasks.

OpenDirect provides a standard way for publishers to make their inventory available in any OpenDirect-compliant interface where agencies and advertisers can reserve premium inventory.

For publishers, this means that in a programmatic marketplace, publishers can make premium guaranteed inventory available to more buyers. Tech providers can offer a greater variety of premium inventory to their customers. For the industry, a marketplace that uses OpenDirect means more fluid movement of inventory while greatly reducing the overhead involved when integrating with partners.

Adoption of OpenDirect also opens the doorway to improved tracking of inventory across systems, providing early visibility reporting and potentially reducing discrepancies down the road. While OpenDirect does not directly enable improved impression counting between parties, it does lay the foundation for opportunities to improve impression reporting between systems.

Publishers can begin using OpenDirect by modifying their systems to log Organizational IDs and accounts consistent with the specs in this document. They also need to be able to respond to API requests for inventory details as well as manage inventory in response to API requests.

Tech providers who want to use OpenDirect need to make use of the API in this spec as they design and build their interfaces for offering automated guaranteed inventory.

As OpenDirect becomes more adopted in the marketplace, the movement of premium inventory becomes more fluid.

About the IAB Technology Lab

The IAB Technology Laboratory is a nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions. The goal of the Tech Lab is to reduce friction associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain while contributing to the safe growth of an industry.

The IAB Tech Lab spearheads the development of technical standards, creates and maintains a code library to assist in rapid, cost-effective implementation of IAB standards, and establishes a test platform for companies to evaluate the compatibility of their technology solutions with IAB standards, which for 18 years have been the foundation for interoperability and profitable growth in the digital advertising supply chain.

The OpenDirect Work Group is a working group within the IAB Technology Lab. Further details about the IAB Technology Lab can be found at:

Jennifer Derke
Senior Manager, Product
IAB Technology Lab

The industry effort to promote and establish OpenDirect in the marketplace is open to suggestions for new features and solutions for increasing adoption (as well as new adopters).

Contact the IAB AdTech Lab at to get involved.


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