OpenWrap: Open For Business


Hussain Rahim, Director of Product Marketing

This month, PubMatic is celebrating its 10th anniversary–in other words, we’re celebrating ten years of working to deliver products that are carefully aligned with the needs of our publishers. Over the past year we’ve been listening carefully to the challenges publishers face and their needs as they navigate the complicated world of header bidding and wrapper tags. We’ve seen tremendous growth and adoption not just of header bidding (in fact, we’re seeing more than 100 billion header-bidding-enabled impressions per month), but also in wrapper tag interest and adoption, growth that we’re looking to accelerate even more as we approach 2017.

While we’ve always promised full transparency with our Wrapper Solution, we’ve also known that providing the flexibility of an open source solution is important to some publishers. Since we first devised our Wrapper Solution we were committed to making it open source, and last month we followed through on that promise.

OpenWrap is an open source project hosted on GitHub under an Apache license that provides access to the technology that lies at the core of the PubMatic Wrapper Solution—specifically, our wrapper tag. This ensures fair and transparent auction dynamics, removing the ambiguity and risk associated with closed-source proprietary wrapper tags available in the market.

OpenWrap also provides the benefit of ensuring transparency for any header tag partner that a publisher wishes to use, further streamlining the wrapper tag integration process and driving interoperability across the header bidding and ad tech ecosystem.

Finally, we see OpenWrap as a great tool for power users and advanced publishers that already have a strong understanding of wrapper tags and want to take advantage of a powerful and extensible tool to customize it and/or plug-in their own analytics—capabilities that existing open-source wrapper tags do not provide. This allows publishers that want this level of control to fully take their header bidding strategy into their own hands.

During our conversations with publishers this year, we’ve heard publishers say that they see open-source solutions currently available in the market as a bait-and-switch situation that promises control and then charges for analytics and support as the integration gets complicated. We don’t think publishers should be left to complete complex integrations and without account management, an easy-to-use UI, or the enterprise-grade analytics needed for basic partner management and holistic reporting. We see these as core elements of any wrapper tag and are excited to be able to offer these features to qualified OpenWrap users.

Many of the open source solutions currently in market seem like bait-and-switch solutions, ultimately complicating the integration process and then charging publishers for support and analytics. We see these as core elements of any wrapper tag and are excited to be able to offer these features to OpenWrap users. This makes PubMatic’s Wrapper Solution, built on our OpenWrap technology, the industry’s first and only free, open-source header management solution that provides this level of transparency while simultaneously allowing publishers to reclaim control over their ad decisioning.

We look forward to contributions from publishers and ad tech professionals in the open-source community as they dive into the code behind OpenWrap. We’re sure that their contributions will help reinforce OpenWrap’s position as the most publisher-friendly and feature-complete wrapper tag on the market.

To find out more about header bidding, OpenWrap or PubMatic’s enterprise-grade Wrapper Solution, email

Thriving in a Fragmented Ecosystem: The Case for a Unified Ad Server

Kristen Fellows, Senior Director, Product Marketing

Kristen Fellows, Senior Director, Product Marketing

When it comes to the current state of ad serving, Gavin Dunaway, the Senior Editor of AdMonsters, said it best: “It’s time to shift our focus from workarounds to a long-term solution. And that involves reconsidering how the ad server operates.

It’s true: efforts to keep pace with more impressions, more technology, more touch points, and the level of relevancy required by consumers led to a highly fragmented technology stack that continues to fall short of publishers’ needs. As new screens, formats and channels are added the infrastructure only becomes more cumbersome. In fact, current ad serving solutions have evolved from complex (and expensive) to actually inhibiting revenue growth for publishers.


In light of all of this complication and chaos, we want to address three of the biggest challenges facing publishers in the digital media ecosystem today—managing fragmented inventory, optimizing across demand channels, and overcoming difficult system integrations—and PubMatic is developing solutions to help solve for each of them.

Challenge #1: Managing fragmented inventory.

According to research from Winterberry Group, on average marketers use more than 12 different tools—and some as many as 31 or more—to manage campaigns and data[1]. We all know that publishers face this same challenge, as complexity is evident across the entire digital ecosystem.

With that in mind, take a look at the diagram above. Let’s assume that publishers have different log-ins, UIs, and workflows for IO-based, programmatic, native, mobile and video campaigns (which clearly is a reality for many companies). Now imagine you’re in Ad Ops creating campaigns, managing inventory, doing optimizations, and configuring channels… the resulting amount of time spent learning and leveraging various solutions is staggering.

Imagine the time you’d save if you could do all of this from one location.

That’s where our Unified Ad Server comes in. We built it from the ground up with the goal of simplifying the workflow associated with managing both programmatic and non-programmatic demand, various screens, and ad formats—all from a single dashboard.


Challenge #2: Optimizing across demand channels.

You might be thinking ‘Great, I can see all my inventory in one place, but what good is that if I can’t optimize across those various sales channels?’ Publishers are looking to increase monetization, and with existing solutions they’ve had to do a bit of guesswork to determine how to best do that. Until recently, no easy, simple option existed for optimizing across demand channels, despite the importance of the ability to do so on publishers’ bottom line.

In a discussion on the topic at a recent PubAcademy, the head of revenue operations for a large, US-based media company described how his organization uses a combination of tech partners and tools (as many as eight or nine in some scenarios) to address this issue: “We do allow our indirect revenue sources—whether associated with private exchange deals or open exchange deals, to compete with and even trump our direct sold campaigns.”

At PubMatic, we believe not only in giving publishers as much control as possible, but also offering simple solutions for complex challenges. With our Unified Ad Server publishers can decide if and how much programmatic demand like open market RTB and private marketplaces competes with direct sold campaigns (i.e. guaranteed line items)— and to do so on an impression-by-impression basis. Publishers can determine which direct line items they want programmatic to compete with, the degree of impact on higher priority line items they’re willing to accept, and weigh that against the potential monthly revenue upside.

Feedback from Bonnier Tidskrifter, an early adopter of our Unified Ad Server, highlights the importance of addressing these major publisher pain points. “It’s great to see companies like PubMatic developing the ability for publishers like us to optimize revenue across channels,” said Bonnier Tidskrifter Head of Programmatic Stefan Carlsson, “Especially without sacrificing guarantees.”

Challenge #3: Difficult system integrations.

Given all of the challenges and complications we’ve discussed thus far, is it at all surprising that another major publisher challenge has to do with the difficulty of trying to integrate with different partners and navigate the “ins and outs” of using various systems?

Since our inception in 2006, PubMatic has been focused on publishers’ needs, and we believe that the ability to leverage the insights and expertise that publishers have built over the lifetime of their business is invaluable in differentiating themselves and succeeding in today’s marketplace. That’s one reason why we built our Unified Ad Server as part of our customizable, modular solution. We want publishers to continue to use their proprietary workflows, systems, and in-depth knowledge of their own businesses to truly establish a competitive advantage in the crowded digital media ecosystem.

As one industry expert recently commented at a PubMatic PubAcadmey, featuring header bidding-related content, “There’s a need in the market for a more progressive ad serving solution than DFP.” At PubMatic, we certainly agree, and we encourage you to take a few minutes to find out more about our Unified Ad Server and all of the other components of our revenue management platform, SEVEN.

To learn more about PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server, the company’s comprehensive revenue automation platform, SEVEN, or any of the other PubMatic products and services, visit or contact your PubMatic Account Rep.

[1] “Too Many Tools? New Data on the Complexity of Marketing Technology,” HubSpot Blog. 15 Feb. 2015.

PubAcademy: Education Through Engagement

Emma Newman, Vice President of Marketing, International

Emma Newman, Vice President of Marketing, International

At a time when many of the technology providers in our industry are beginning to look alike, true differentiation is defined by openness and partnership. Tech vendors must have their customers’ best interests in mind (rather than being focused on their own, potentially competing interests) and should be able to provide education and strategy that will help their customers reach their business goals rather than focusing solely on the nuts and bolts of the technology they provide.

At PubMatic, we understand the value that is unlocked when we listen to customers and respond to their needs through innovation and communication. This ensures that they are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges each face. A key element to making this work is knowledge sharing, and our global educational forum PubAcademy is just one example of how we bring our beliefs to life in a tangible, meaningful way for our customers, clients and partners.

PubAcademy began in 2014 as a response to a series of direct requests from UK publishers that wanted to better understand the programmatic landscape and viewed PubMatic as the right partner to help them do so. And last month, PubAcademy had the distinction of celebrating its 25th event as well as the achievement of holding three successful events on three different continents (Australia, Europe and North America) within a 48-hour period. Over the two years since its inception, PubAcademy (formerly known as “Publisher Academy”) has covered dozens of hot industry topics, such as ad blocking, header bidding, programmatic mobile and ad serving.

The Evolution of ‘Publisher Academy’ and Birth of ‘PubAcademy’

In October 2014, we launched our Publisher Academy in London, featuring an intimate environment designed to encourage open dialogue among attendees. Following the event, attendees were encouraged to network with one another over drinks, giving them time to share and debate best practices, challenges and solutions in an open environment.

The response to this first event was overwhelmingly positive, and it quickly became clear that we had hit upon a good format for these discussions. This positive momentum carried us into 2015, and we rolled the program out across Europe in Italy, Germany and Sweden. While moving into new markets, we also continued to hold our monthly Publisher Academy events in the UK, securing speakers ranging from Amir Malik, Programmatic Director, Trinity Mirror PLC; Wayne Blodwell, Founder & CEO at The Programmatic Advisory; and Chris Arnold, Founder, Creative Orchestra to discuss myriad important industry topics, such as mobile creativity, data activation and of course, header bidding.


Early 2016 saw the expansion of our Publisher Academy events to APAC, with forums in Singapore and Delhi where clients, partners and prospects discussed header bidding. By this time, our audience makeup had shifted to include media buyers and tech vendors in addition to publishers—ultimately making for a more interesting and fruitful discussion for everyone in attendance. As we readied for our initial US event during Advertising Week in New York City—bringing the subject of header bidding to the week’s conversations with representatives from Gannett, MediaMath and Rocket Fuel—we decided that we needed to brand these events, and that the branding should reflect the varied audiences we now have in attendance.

Thus ‘PubAcademy’ was born.

One of the uniques selling propositions of PubAcademy is that it not only began in response to requests from our publishers, but that the topics we choose to address are customer-led and reflect the challenges they face on a daily basis or questions they have in response to industry topics. In other words, it’s not a sales pitch, a fact that helps us maintain the integrity of the conversations we have at each event.

What’s Next? PubAcademy Goes Real-Time

pubacademylogouniversal-01One universal truth about the advertising technology industry is that it never stands still, meaning that initiatives like PubAcademy are vital if our customers are going to be in the best position to navigate this ever changing landscape.

For that reason, we’ll continue to invest in PubAcademy, expanding the brand globally by launching in Japan in early 2017. We’ll also be extending the reach of PubAcademy beyond those locales where we have a physical presence through development of a dedicated PubAcademy section on our website. This will ensure that customers and partners can access this resource wherever they are, whenever they want.

As we move through Q4 of this year, we’re looking forward to more successful PubAcademy events around the globe in 2017. Stay tuned for details on the next event in your region; we hope to see you all there!


To find out more about PubMatic’s PubAcademy events, including when the next one will be held in your region, or to suggest a topic or speaker for a PubAcademy session, email

How PubMatic Helped Swedish Publisher Consortium Adapt ADX Grow Private Marketplace Revenue


In recent months, publisher consortiums have gained significant traction as publishers seek to offer brand advertisers premium content and audiences at scale. Publishers have been forced to compete with digital giants that are eating up more and more ad spend because of their ability to scale audience based buying. According to eMarketer, 54% of total digital ad spend is projected to go to Facebook and Google by 2018.

Continue reading

Case Study: Growing Publisher Revenue Through Header Bidding

header bidding

The shift toward header bidding technologies for premium publishers has dominated programmatic discussions for obvious reasons – increases in revenue and yield, optimized impressions and more control over inventory. The overwhelmingly positive impact of header bidding can be seen not only overall on PubMatic’s platform, where premium publishers see 53% higher CPMs, on average, but also across major content verticals, including news, retail / e-commerce, financial information and entertainment & lifestyle.

Continue reading

PubMatic’s Wrapper Solution is Helping Premium Publishers Take Back Control of Monetization

header bidding

header bidding

Earlier this month, PubMatic launched the industry’s first enterprise-grade wrapper solution for publishers, which solves for the inefficiencies in header tag management and measurement in header bidding strategies. As premium publishers continue to rapidly adopt header bidding, they need a complete wrapper solution that enables the holistic management of all header bidding partners and provides a transparent, real-time view into bid activity and volume, monetization and latency metrics.

Continue reading

How PubMatic’s Header Bidding Technology Helped an Entertainment and News Media Company Increase CPMs by 50%

header bidding

The Story Behind the Success

A leading entertainment and news web property was in search of a reliable programmatic partner that could increase its fill rates and CPMs to maximize yield. At the time, header bidding was still a new technology that had not yet gained mainstream traction. The publisher partnered with PubMatic to leverage its Decision Manager header bidding product to gain an edge on the publisher’s competitors, in its ad sales efforts.

Continue reading

Wrapper Solutions Are Putting Publishers Back In Control of Inventory Management

wrapper solutions

Publishers grapple with various challenges in ad serving as they strive to take back control of ad decisioning. PubMatic is dedicated to servicing the needs of premium publishers, and recently released the white paper, “Lessons Learned in Header Bidding,” highlighting best practices in header bidding.

Continue reading