Ads.txt - do I need it? what is it?



Ads.txt is the talk of the town right now. Have you set yours up? What are your opinions on Ads.txt? Sovrn have published ads.txt guide to help guide you through set-up. We’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Has there been any analysis to indicate what impact this might have on publishers?


Hi Chris,

There’s some interesting discussion about the positive impact and potential problems for publishers in this article here. I’d also be interested to know if there is more analysis or stats on how this can impact publishers, though we may need to wait until this is more widely adopted to get accurate data.

Are you using ads.txt now? Or thinking of implementing it?


Not currently using ads.txt and not sure which of my ad networks actually support it. Should be easy to implement but being cautious as it’s some more thing that needs to be maintained. At this point I suspect that implementation errors and lack of keeping it current is likely to have a larger negative impact than benefit for small to mid sized publishers.


Chris, this is fair comment, equally, in the longer-term, there is a possibility that buyers might start blocking sites that don’t have ads.txt installed, so we believe it’s better to have ads.txt than not to have. You are right to say that in the short term the value may be less right now, however, the market moves quickly and it’s better to be prepared.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on time and effort required to manage. Would it help if Sovrn built a simple tool to help publishers maintain this and what would that look like?


It’s not that it would take much time or effort to maintain the ads.txt file but having worked for and with a number of organizations entities often forget about a file that might need to be updated only a few times a year – even worse for those that would update it less.

Sure, a tool to create an ads.txt file would be quite nice but you’d need to keep track of every possible company that a pub could sell ad space through – not sure that makes sense to do. As for how it would look I would imagine search field and check boxes to create the list.


Just for giggles I search for several of my header bidding partners along with ads.txt and found two that provided instructions on how to get the required fields to create an ads.txt file. One of them has a clear page that explains what it is and to contact publisher support to get the fields. Another has a walk-through of an interface and I don’t have access to. I could not find instructions for the rest of them.

In order for this to be adopted by publishers ad networks need to provide clear instructions to pubs on where/how to obtain the required information.


just for a bit of perspective - we’ve recieved zero hits to “ads.txt” in our web server log files for the past week. so there are probably not a ton of buyers using it yet. or am I misunderstanding how it works? Do they check the SSPs’ ads.txt first? So if Sovrn isn’t set up to have us in theirs, then nobody will hit ours?


another related thing I wonder about: is it a security issue to have our account IDs for all our SSPs sitting in a public file on our site?


I am wondering the same thing.


Below link should answer that question in the “How Ads.txt work” section.

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