Kinesso, IPG’s marketing intelligence brand, has developed nine APIs for its Kanvas Developer Toolset, the agency announced Thursday.
The APIs offered through Kanvas unify the various software tools used to manage advertising campaigns.
For example, an advertiser using the Trade Desk and IPG-owned Acxiom would be able to see insights from Acxiom audiences from within the Trade Desk platform, said Graham Wilkinson, Kinesso’s EVP of product innovation.
In that case, “you don’t have to license an Acxiom UI as well as The Trade Desk UI," said Wilkinson. "Why shouldn’t you be able to see the benefit of these two things that you bought as a brand or an agency if they can be additive?”
The open-architecture approach of the Kanvas toolset is Kinesso’s way of trying to move the ad tech industry away from walled gardens and into a more open ecosystem.
“The open ecosystem approach has been very successful in the technology and software industry for a long, long time, but in the advertising agency world, there's a lot of proprietary behavior,” Wilkinson said.
The idea here, he said, is to make IPG's open architecture "real" by creating an API that can be used across agencies.
In addition to beta partnerships with The Trade Desk, Acxiom and Playground XYZ (which was acquired by contextual advertising company GumGum on Thursday), Kanvas has about 60 developer partners using its toolset.
Kanvas licenses APIs developed by Kinesso for use in multi-agency ad campaigns and gives partners a single interface to access more than 120 endpoints developed by Kinesso.
The licensing of its APIs to outside agencies offers Kinesso a promising new revenue stream Wilkinson said. Kanvas aspires to be something like Twilio, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services or AccuWeather, all services with a track record of successfully licensing their APIs.
“APIs have grown to be revenue drivers within the tech industry,” Wilkinson said. “Given the richness of our suite of products, it felt like a natural evolution to offer these out and license them externally.”
The suite of Kanvas APIs will also be available to publishers, but Kinesso is not planning to partner with publishers to develop APIs specific to their properties.
“We’re helping publishers or any other partners understand all the different endpoints in our APIs and how they could be combined to fulfill their needs,” Wilkinson said.