IAB Releases Official Protocol for Creating In-App, Rich Media Mobile Ads

The IAB “Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence,” today unveiled the final version of its “Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions,” or MRAID that define a common protocol for integrating rich media mobile ads within mobile apps.

The new initiative by the IAB defines a common API (Application Programming Interface) for mobile rich media advertisements, establishing a “framework of principles and guidelines to help the mobile marketplace reach new levels of consistency, efficiency and effectiveness,” according to the IAB.  Mobile ads have long been plagued by fragmented networks, devices, operating systems and other attributes that make it difficult and confusing for developers, publishers and advertisers alike.

“Mobile’s range of benefits has secured incredible interest from agencies, publishers, vendors and ad designers, driving rapid growth,” explained the IAB in a release.  “However, the accelerated speed of adoption also led to inefficiencies, including a marketplace cluttered with multiple, incompatible APIs from a variety of rich media vendors working with publishers to enable in-app advertising.”

This fragmentation places undue burden on marketers and agencies, requiring that their advertisement’s underlying code be rewritten several times in order to run across different apps.  With MRAID in place, the so-called API “Tower of Babel” will be eliminated, allowing agencies to be able to quickly and easily run creative across applications from different publishers.  “With apps becoming more and more central to the consumer mobile experience and brand marketers’ plans, the industry needs to have set guidelines and principles when it comes to communication between ads and apps,” said Joe Laszlo, Deputy Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “MRAID is the next crucial step in bringing mobile to scale.”

Much more information on MRAID and access to full documentation can be found here.