CANNES — In a world where digital advertising is increasingly moving towards TV, the Real Time Bidding (RTB) 2.6 protocol has been designed specifically with connected TV and digital video in mind.

It promises to revolutionize the way media companies package their television inventory and how advertisers select spots.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Anthony Katsur, CEO, IAB Tech Lab opens up on what goes into making RTB 2.6, the spec for which was finalized in 2022.

Efficiency and Precision in Pod Bidding

One feature of RTB 2.6 is ad pod bidding, a means by which you can more precisely bid on TV spots, whether it’s CTV or addressable linear spots.

Katsur says the RTB 2.6 protocol is considerably more efficient, reducing the number of RTB requests for a TV pod from potentially 15 to a mere three.

Not only does this increase efficiency, but it also “gives advertisers and media companies greater optionality in terms of how media companies want to package up their television inventory through RTB,” he says.

“And it also gives advertisers a lot more flexibility in terms of cherry picking spots within a pod.”

Smoothing Out Frequency Capping

The RTB 2.6 protocol also addresses issues of frequency capping, a common challenge in the fusion of programmatic and video.

In a programmatic TV world, ad buyers want to ensure they don’t over-expose well-targeted viewers to the same ad.

“Advertisers that are looking to manage reach and frequency across digital video and CTV environments, it gives them more finer grain control,” IAB Tech Lab’s Katsur says.

The Journey to Adoption

Despite the RTB 2.6 protocol being finalized in Q1 2022, adoption has taken approximately 12 to 18 months. But Katsure says that is a common timeline, likening the protocol to “updating the software on your ATM”.

“Our standards are adopted based on their merit,” he says. “We’re not the internet police. We can’t snap our fingers and force the industry to adopt our standards.”

He further adds that successful standard initiatives drive growth, deliver efficiencies, and mitigate risk.

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The Green Edge of RTB 2.6

In addition to offering operational efficiency, the RTB 2.6 protocol also contributes to sustainability. “Every time an impression opportunity – whether that is a digital video, CTV, or display impression – is processed, that uses a computer. … That uses energy and that burns carbon,” Katsur explains.

He concludes, “So within the new version of the protocol being it is much more efficient in CTV. It will ostensibly use less carbon in the CTV and digital video ecosystem.”

A buyers will hope that marks a step towards a greener digital advertising landscape.

You’re watching coverage of the Sustainability & Responsible Marketing Summit at Cannes Lions 2023, presented by Adlook & Sharethrough. For more videos from Beet.TV’s Cannes Lions 2023 coverage, please visit this page.