Get Aggregated app-ads.txt File Dumps From 42matters

The IAB’s app-ads.txt standard was designed to combat in-app advertising fraud and build trust in the mobile advertising industry. At 42matters, we offer a variety of app-ads.txt solutions that businesses (including SSPs, DSPs, Attribution Platforms, etc.) can use to scale and improve bid enrichment, traffic verification, ad spend optimization, inventory growth and management, market research, competitor intelligence, and much, much more.

Here’s what we cover in this article (click the links below to jump to the corresponding sections):

Want to try our app-ads.txt insights for free? Reach out to our team!

What Is app-ads.txt?

To be brief, the app-ads.txt standard was developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab (IAB Tech Lab) to increase transparency in the mobile advertising ecosystem and combat ad fraud. In essence, it enables buy-side businesses, like Demand-Side Platforms (DSP), to acquire ad space from sell-side businesses, like Supply-Side Platforms (SSP), that have been pre-authorized by app publishers to sell their ad inventory.

It works like this. App publishers want to monetize their apps with in-app ads. To do this, they work with ad sellers that auction their ad space to advertisers via real-time bidding (RTB) and similar processes. With app-ads.txt, app publishers can list all ad sellers (both direct sellers and resellers) that they’ve approved to sell their inventory. Buy-siders can then use these files to optimize the traffic verification process and forgo bids on ad space auctioned by un-approved sellers.

In addition, app-ads.txt enables buy-siders (DSPs) to distinguish between direct and reseller inventory. This is important because resellers typically charge a premium for the inventory, meaning advertisers will spend more per impression on reseller inventory than direct inventory. To keep costs low, DSPs can use app-ads.txt files to identify reseller inventory and give advertisers the choice of excluding it from their campaigns.

How to Scale the app-ads.txt Standard with 42matters

Still, as useful as the standard is, it can be extremely challenging to leverage in the real world. Take RTB as a case in point. RTB is a process by which digital advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis via real-time auctions. Critically, the RTB process (from bid request to ad placement) happens in milliseconds. This means two things are absolutely critical:

  1. Decision making needs to be instantaneous.
  2. All processes need to be automated.

In other words, for app-ads.txt to be used in the ways described above, DSPs need access to well-maintained, bulk app-ads.txt datasets. This is where 42matters comes into the picture.

We provide aggregated app-ads.txt data sets for millions of mobile and connected TV (CTV) apps available on 12 leading app stores. This includes: Google Play, the Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore, Tencent Appstore, Huawei AppGallery, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV, Fire TV, Samsung, LG, and Vizio. These file dumps provide businesses with the depth of insight necessary to power complex processes like traffic verification and ad spend optimization, while giving them the speed, accessibility, and accuracy to do so efficiently and at scale.

These file dumps are updated regularly, meaning our customers can rest assured that they’re working with the latest and greatest information at all times. Additionally, with our managed data service, they won’t need to validate the data or manage their own crawler, saving them time and money.

How Does 42matters Collect app-ads.txt Insights?

Simply put, we’ve built a crawler that scans publisher websites, email addresses, and privacy URLs to identify app-ads.txt files and access the data contained in them. The data is then aggregated and made accessible to our customers via downloadable CSV file dumps, API endpoints, and the 42matters Explorer.

Additionally, since we take data quality seriously, we analyze and validate all URLs associated with each app. For example, we discard URLs that point to “base domains” that don’t belong to the app’s publisher. As a matter of fact, many mobile apps use a Facebook Page (or Google Site page) as their official websites, but use the privacy URLs or email addresses with the correct company’s owned domains. This happens for the game Critical Ops, where, as of today, the website linked by the developer points to the Facebook Page of the game, but the privacy URL points to the official web domain of the owner of the app. In this case, the latter is the domain we use to crawl the app-ads.txt data. Once the domain has been cleansed, we schedule regular crawling of the associated app-ads.txt file.

App-ads.txt File Dump Format

The 42matters App-ads.txt File Dump comes as a CSV file that includes the following information: date and time of the last crawl (i.e. update), app domain, information contained in app-ads.txt files (including AdDomainName, PubAccId, Relationship, CAId), appID, and storeID.

The aggregated CSV file is updated weekly and is exposed to our customers via FTPS or via AWS S3. It’s easy to parse and can be quickly plugged into your existing data ingestion pipeline for similar data points. For more technical information please consult our online documentation.

Here a sample of the CSV file content for the The Weather Channel and Pandora apps:

Additionally, we offer API endpoints that expose app-ads.txt content for specific apps:

How Much Does It Cost?

It depends! We offer app-ads.txt insights at various price points. First, consider what sort of access you require. Then, visit our pricing page to see which option works best for you. 

If you have any questions about pricing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly!

Learn more about the basics:

Dig into the details:

Get Started With 42matters Today!

At 42matters, we provide app insights, data, and analytics via a host of useful APIs, File Dumps, and web-based app intelligence platforms, like the 42matters Explorer, and the 42matters SDK Explorer.

These tools, which you can try free for 14-days, offer a comprehensive look at app market trends and statistics. This includes in-depth, visual insights into downloads, categories, top charts, rating and review analyses, and more. This data can be downloaded as a CSV file and leveraged however you like — in your own algorithms, analyses, products, studies, etc.

If you would like to learn more about our recent updates, or any other mobile app analytics from 42matters, schedule a free demo with one of our experts!

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