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

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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.

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Wrapper Solutions Are Putting Publishers Back In Control of Inventory Management

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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.

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6 Lessons Behind Every Successful Header Bidding Strategy

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To header bid, or not to header bid? That has been the question on the minds of premium publishers over the past year as the programmatic tactic header bidding has permeated the media industry. Last year, PubMatic released the white paper, “Decision Manager: Your Inventory. Your Rules.,” that addressed the ways in which header bidding can solve key challenges for publishers, primarily created by the outdated “waterfall” process in inventory management. This year, we’re taking a look back at header bidding successes and challenges over the past twelve months in a white paper titled, Lessons Learned in Header Bidding.

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A Deep Dive Into Header Bidding

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Last month, we hosted our first Publisher Academy of 2016 in London, our 16th so far. Designed to educate and empower publishers to make the most of their digital assets, this time, we delved into the much talked-about topic of header bidding. We kicked off the afternoon with a deep dive into the evolution of header bidding and the landscape as it stands today. This was followed by a view from the buy-side provided by guest speaker, Charlie Ashe, Head of Digital Strategy at VE Interactive, and we rounded off the session with two workshops to really help our publisher partners understand the what, when and why of header bidding.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Header Bidding

header bidding

By Evan Krauss, VP Publisher Development, Americas and
Nishant Khatri, Director, Product Management

Over the last six months or so, header bidding has been a hot topic in ad tech industry circles, with headlines spanning from explanations of what header bidding is (e.g. WTF is header bidding) to strong arguments for or against the marketing tactic (e.g. 50 percent CPM uplift from header bidding and Publishers weigh the downsides to header bidding).

To level-set, header bidding is a programmatic advertising tactic implemented by a publisher to elicit more bids on its ad inventory. This is executed through an on-page piece of JavaScript code in the “header” of a publisher’s website—thus the term, “header” bidding. While this concept isn’t a new or remarkable breakthrough in innovation, some are heralding it as a game-changing booster of CPMs, while others are skeptical and wary of the effect the practice will have on page load times and technical upkeep.

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Advertisers Treat Themselves to Mobile PMP Inventory This Holiday Season, Paying Off for Premium Publishers

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Industry leading stakeholders have set out to eradicate suspect impressions on a global level throughout the past year, and premium publishers and advertisers have begun to feel the impact of this industry shift to quality. Our Q4 2015 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report, released today, shows that advertisers are directing ad spending towards higher-quality inventory with better targeting capabilities, especially through more transparent mobile private marketplaces (PMPs). As a result, premium publishers are garnering higher prices for their inventory and attracting more mobile ad spending.

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Going Once…Going Twice… SOLD to the Header Bidder!

By Evan Krauss, VP Publisher Development, Americas

At the recent Ad Revenue Europe conference in London a group of senior publisher executives debated the current state of inventory allocation, and how publishers view the legacy waterfall and the more current header bidding technologies. During the panel, Ed Thomas, Head of Audience for Skimlinks, stated, “We’re working with publishers to identify what that loss [from using waterfalls] looks like, and in some cases it’s colossal – as much as 50%.” Although the waterfall tactic—i.e. when a publisher’s ad server sequentially calls on demand sources in predetermined priority—once seemed like a logical solution for yield management, in practice, waterfalls lead to lost revenue and operational inefficiencies.

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The Mobile Advertising Gap is Closed

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Over the past decade, consumers have fallen in love with their mobile devices, with 46 percent of U.S. smartphone users indicating that they “can’t live without their smartphones”[1] and daily mobile media consumption reaching three hours per day (second behind only TV)[2]. For publishers and advertisers, mobile represented a ripe, new opportunity—but developing sustainable mobile advertising businesses had not gone as smoothly as most had hoped, hindered by device fragmentation, bandwidth limitations and other unresolved technology issues.

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How Header Bidding Helps Publishers Optimize Revenue

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By Nishant Khatri, Director Product Management

Since the advent of programmatic advertising, publishers have auctioned off their impressions employing a technique called waterfalling. Waterfalling sees publishers offer the same impression to a series of demand sources – one after the other in near real time – until the publisher finds a source that provides a bid for the impression. The challenge for publishers with the waterfall has been that instead of consolidating all demand for an impression in one auction, it creates a dynamic where demand is segmented and cannot be revealed all at once.

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