OM SDK for CTV – an Explainer

On October 12, 2022 ad tech matters, ctv, om sdk, open measurement

IAB Tech Lab have now extended the capabilities of Open Measurement (and the associated OM SDK) to include CTV by launching for tvOS and AndroidTV, with other CTV platforms also on the roadmap. OM provides advertisers with the flexibility and choice in choosing verification solutions from their preferred providers whilst also making it easier for publishers to integrate via one SDK (software development kit) and thereby enable ad verification with all verification vendors.

Some Background on Open Measurement

The OM SDK was initially released for iOS and Android in 2018, with the original source code being donated by Integral Ad Science some 12-15 months prior.

It is a unique initiative in our industry with a number of highly competitive technology vendors all working collaboratively in an open source manner to enable a range of verification & measurement solutions with universally beneficial outcomes for vendors, sellers and buyers.

Core Benefits

The core benefits of Open Measurement can be summarised into a few key topics:

Ease of facilitation – improved integration and maintenance for media owners as only one SDK has to be integrated and maintained within an app. Easier for app developers to manage and ensures that consumers benefit from more stable apps which won’t require endless updates.

Improved accuracy and performance – as all vendors have equal access to data discrepancies are minimised and performance optimised.

Genuinely collaborative – a unique open source initiative which enables a wide number of participants to improve a key product area for the industry for all involved.

Foundational building blocks for cross-screen measurement – whilst initially only enabling the measurement of brand safety, fraud and viewability (for now), the scope is expanding from in-app, to web and now CTV.

Expansion into Web

OM was extended to web video inventory in late 2020, by enabling third-party ad measurement services to share signals via the OMID (Open Measurement Interface Definition) API.

OMID is a dedicated application programming interface (API) that receives all signals collected by sites and apps via the OM SDK. Measurement service providers then place their scripts within the ad creative in order to transmit those signals to their own servers via the OMID. This enables third-party verification providers to effectively measure ads served to any mobile SDK that implements that API.

The related process is below:

• Measurement provider tag is trafficked with the ad creative.

• Ad SDK initiates the OM SDK which triggers the OM SDK Javascript or OMID API.

• Measurement providers tag listens to events in OMID API and sends the data to its servers.

Expansion into CTV

There are a number of key features within the latest version (1.4) as listed below and an initial list of CTV operating systems that are supported are also included.

Identifying CTV Traffic: Recognise the environment in which a native app is running.

Last Activity: Signal that an event has occurred which indicates that someone is still viewing. Binge watching CTV content is a consumer trend, so for ad measurement in extended content viewing cycles knowing that someone is still watching the content, or if a device was left on is important.

Display Connection Status: Understand when the TV display is off, but applications may still be running.

Video Pod Measurement: Enable measurement of video ad pods with gap-less playback for javascript session types.

Wider support for Native Apps for CTV – the OM SDK includes both native libraries and JavaScript, which have now been extended to include platform specific libraries for iOS, tvOS,Android or AndroidTV. Implemented natively on the device for collecting and publishing viewability signals that support viewable impressions as defined by MRC.

Supported Apps & Operating Systems

For the list of current supported apps and operating systems please see the table below.

 As this list expands we will update the industry here in Australia and recommend reviewing the IAB Tech Lab’s OM SDK specifications themselves, available via the link at the bottom of this page and for an overview of OM’s evolution in past releases and plans for 2023 see the table below: