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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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.