September 29, 2014 Last Updated 8:44 am

The IAB announces nonprofit research and development consortium, the IAB Technical Laboratories

IAB Tech Lab will be governed by an independent Board of Directors and Executive Committee, which will oversee its agenda and funds allocation

Press Release:

NEW YORK, NY – September 29, 2014 — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today announced the formation of the IAB Technical Laboratories, a nonprofit research and development consortium. Charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions, the goal of the consortium is to simplify and reduce the costs associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain – and for individual companies’ businesses.

The IAB Tech Lab will spearhead the development of technical standards, create a code library to assist in rapid, cost-effective implementation of IAB standards, and establish 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. Other objectives will include:

  • Saving time and money for member companies by providing industry certification for technology vendors
  • Streamlining processes through the reduction of compatibility issues
  • Driving industry standards in video, mobile, “The Internet of Things,” and other emerging areas

The IAB Tech Lab will be governed by an independent Board of Directors and Executive Committee, which will oversee its agenda and funds allocation. Management of the Tech Lab will report to the senior leadership of IAB, to ensure alignment of the two associations. The Tech Lab’s governance structure will allow it to become a truly global body and accept member companies from outside the U.S. In addition, marketers and agencies, as well as other companies with interests in the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, will be invited to join. Companies that are already IAB General Members will automatically become members of the IAB Tech Lab, at no cost beyond their IAB dues.

“The entire digital marketing and media world will benefit from better and more informed dialogue between business leadership and technical leadership,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The IAB Tech Lab will guide the conversation and cooperation necessary for the emergence, implementation, adaptation, and interoperability of global standards in our collective industry. In addition, we recognize the buy-side’s major stake in the evolution and operations of the digital media and advertising supply chain, and welcome their partnership in this initiative.”

Simultaneously, the IAB will widen its criteria for full voting, or “General,” membership from “sellers of interactive advertising inventory” to “companies that sell, distribute, or optimize digital advertising or marketing programs.” Accordingly, a number of current nonvoting, or “Associate,” member companies will now be eligible to vote, serve on the IAB Board of Directors, and chair IAB Committees and Councils.

The IAB Board voted unanimously on September 17 in favor of the change in IAB membership criteria, and the IAB’s current General Members last week overwhelmingly approved the expansion.

“This shift in membership structure will give many of the key businesses that facilitate and power the interactive advertising industry an increased role in setting the vision and strategy of the IAB,” said Vivek Shah, CEO, Ziff Davis, and Chairman of the IAB Board of Directors. “With the growth and increasing complexity of a value chain based as much on transacting data as transacting inventory, many of the initial distinctions between IAB members are no longer relevant. Instead, we need to come to the table together as counterparts in shaping the future of the digital ecosystem.”

“The modifications to our governance and the creation of the Tech Lab put the IAB in position to evolve in step with the constantly shifting interactive landscape,” said Patrick Dolan, IAB’s Executive Vice President and COO. “Our ‘General’ membership ratified this restructuring to ensure that the IAB can take the long view of industry needs and tackle challenges in support of our mission to empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.”

The dues generated by the conversion of applicable nonvoting members to voting members will also, in great part, support the establishment of the IAB Tech Lab and its operations.

The news was released at this year’s IAB MIXX Conference in New York City. To learn more about upcoming opportunities to participate in the IAB Tech Lab, please email techlab@iab.net. For further information about the new IAB membership structure, email membership@iab.net.

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