Brief

IAB Tech Lab revamps Content Taxonomy standardization project

Dive Brief:

  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab revealed significant additions to its Content Taxonomy in an exclusive release provided to Marketing Dive. Additions included new content categorizations for things including events and attractions, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. The latest version of the taxonomy is open to public review until March 1. 
  • The Content Taxonomy is adding over 400 new site content classifications across 29 of its broad "Tier 1" categories, along with updates to existing ones. Support for more global applicability and a machine-readable taxonomy with ID mappings were also highlighted in the release.
  • "These updates will benefit companies in the programmatic space whether they want to effectively target and/or block certain content categories, produce better data quality or be able to more accurately and consistently describe their content," Alanna Gombert, GM at IAB Tech Lab, said in a statement. "This ultimately drives higher levels of transparency and accountability in the industry."

Dive Insight:

To date, many of the underpinnings of digital marketing have been relatively ad hoc, which has affected the quality of inventory in the ecosystem and the transparency by which it is implemented. More robust standardization in the Content Taxonomy should provide a stronger baseline to ensure transparency between media buyers and sellers, which will be especially important as digital's investments continue to grow.  

Digital recently became the largest channel by media spend for the time in history, but it still remains a vast, fractured and unwieldy space for brands to manage. Industry-wide standardization projects are sporadic yet important for adding a layer of consistency to the business end of things online. 

Programmatic, for example, enables marketers to more efficiently buy media in the wide-spanning digital landscape, but the technology relies on taxonomies to target or block ads in real-time bidding, per IAB. A more standardized framework ensures that those practices are transparent and industry-neutral, which isn't always the case in a "Wild West" scenario or with third-party tools. 

The latest updates to the Content Taxonomy also arrive at a time when marketers and ad buyers are keenly aware of brand safety and looking for ways to sidestep media that might not align with their values or be able to reach their target audience. More detailed classifications help facilitate that search for brand-safe spaces and also help publishers and advertisers better target their data by more clearly delineating content categories.

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Filed Under: Corporate News