IPG’s Kinesso Is Launching a Developer Community

Ad-tech providers including The Trade Desk have signed up to use its open APIs

The unit's owned and operated API's will make it easier to work with third parties. IPG/Kinesso
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IPG-owned Kinesso is launching a developer community by making its owned and operated APIs available to third parties, a tactic large tech providers such as Apple and Google have used to bolster the array of services they can offer customers.

Launch partners include fellow IPG outfit Acxiom, leading demand-side platform The Trade Desk, and mobile advertising startup Playground xyz, with Kinesso aiming to increase the number of partners it works with during Q4 and in early 2021.

Ian Johnson, COO of Kinesso, told Adweek the launch of a developer community based on its APIs, or Application Protocol Interfaces, will make it more cost-effective and less time consuming for the holding group’s clients to work with participating third parties in order to enhance their ad campaign activity.

“For our partners, building technology in-house is expensive and time-consuming, while licensing products from a third party is a compromise because those products often don’t fit the exact business and tech requirements. This is also true for the larger platform companies who are incentivized to design APIs that only fit their own solutions,” he said in a statement.

For instance, if a client team at an IPG-owned agency, such as IPG MediaBrands or UM, wants to work with a DSP, or use mobile ad formats to execute an ad campaign, they can use the relevant Kinesso APIs to more seamlessly work with developers providing such services. Each API is designed to allow Kinesso partners to mold solutions to achieve the outcomes that adhere to each client’s specifications, according to the company.

According to Johnson, the launch will help save time and budget for advertisers as account teams across the group will be able to commit more time to work on campaign strategy, as opposed to performing manual tasks. “Putting that API framework in place means that you can get machines to do it versus people having to be in the middle of it,” he added.

In a statement, Chad Engelgau, CEO at Acxiom, said, “The ability to access Kinesso’s suite of capabilities through APIs enables Acxiom to build and deliver seamless, integrated solutions tailored to our clients’ needs. In addition, APIs are fueled by Acxiom data, ensuring community members are building data-driven solutions based on Acxiom’s superior, ethically sourced data.”

Dave Pickles, CTO at The Trade Desk, added, “At The Trade Desk, we believe in working with developers industrywide in ways that responsibly advance the application of data so that brands can optimize campaigns and measure what matters to them.”

Rob Hall, CEO of Playground xyz, claimed the data made available through the program will help the startup augment the insights it provides to advertisers by working more seamlessly with Acxiom—a mar-tech outfit IPG paid $2.3 billion for in 2018. “Reporting is such an important artifact for the assessment and optimization of campaign performance, but audience-based insights are often lacking. That’s why we’re really excited to be able to leverage this data from IPG,” he said in a statement.

At launch, custom APIs focused on audiences, search, social and taxonomies will be made available to partners within Kinesso’s developer community, with the array of services set to increase down the road.

Making APIs available to third parties resembles some of the historic moves made by players such as Apple and Google. For instance, the Big Tech duo used open API frameworks to build their respective developer communities, which in turn helped buoy Apple’s App Store and Google Play, operations that have since helped them diversify their revenue streams.

@ronan_shields ronan.shields@adweek.com Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.