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Industry Highlights

Insights about state of transparency from 124 thousand websites we crawl

Avg. Number of Ads.txt Lines

Avg. Number of Ads.txt Lines

Avg. Number of Ads.txt Lines

357 is the average number of ads.txt lines per domain and it has grown by 33% since January 2021. The growth itself isn't a problem. You might even be thinking that the AdTech industry is growing, so it makes sense that the number of ads.txt lines would grow as well. BUT, when you combine this growth with the rest of the industry highlights below, you'll realize that something very wrong is going on. So keep reading.

Non Existing Seats per domain

Non Existing Seats per domain

Non Existing Seats per domain

Non existing seats are the strongest indicator of an unmanaged ads.txt file. The growth of non-existing seats show us that instead of taking back control over their inventory, publishers still aren't managing their ads.txt files, despite the Wizard making the process of removing them very easy. If only the average number of ads.txt lines grew, this could indicate that publishers are working with more sellers and that the industry is growing. But, when you combine this fact with the rise of non-existing seats, you can start to piece together that the state of transparency is only getting worse.

Avg. Number of Intermediaries

Avg. Number of Intermediaries

Avg. Number of Intermediaries

The average number of intermediaries grew by 27% since January 2021. Intermediaries that label themselves as direct whether due to fraud incentives or by mistake almost doubled and are now 29% of all intermediaries. That is another strong indicator of mislabeling different sellers in the supply chain. We hope that the new ads.txt 1.1 Managerdomain value will help put this in order.

Number of Sellers per Domain

Number of Sellers per Domain

Number of Sellers per Domain

If current ads.txt files represented the actual state of our industry, an average domain would be working with 58 different sellers, 20 of which claiming to be direct, or, in other words, claiming to own or exclusively manage the inventory. We see two problems here: 1. "58 sellers" signifies that every month the domain owner should be receiving 58 separate checks from 58 companies.
The reality is very different. Most publishers declare that they work with up to 30 sellers. And 2. 20 direct sellers doesn't make any sense. No domain has 20 different owners or exclusive managers. These two problems affect the buy-side due to the misleading representation of the inventory, as well as the publisher whose direct seats are probably overshadowed by those "direct sellers".

Number of Ads.txt lines per domain

Number of Ads.txt lines per domain

Number of Ads.txt lines per domain

357 is the average number of ads.txt lines per domain. The actual number is much higher, but we don't include duplicated or invalid lines. 111 of these lines (31%) claim to be direct - meaning the sellers behind these lines claim to be the domain owner. 111 is a very high number which proves that there are too many direct lines and misrepresentations of inventory to buyers.