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 they see existing open-source solutions currently on the market as a bait-and-switch situation, promising control and then charging 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, a easy-to-use UI or the enterprise-grade 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, is 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.

SEVEN Is The New One

PubMatic CMO Jeff Hirsch

PubMatic CMO Jeff Hirsch

Since we announced our comprehensive revenue automation platform, SEVEN, at DMEXCO last month, we’ve gotten a lot of buzz about our new technology offerings. After all, this was the largest set of technology releases in the history of PubMatic. In addition to stimulating deep conversations with our customer base, we have also fielded a lot of questions about the platform’s name. Perhaps most commonly, we’re asked why the platform is called SEVEN and why the company chose to move away from the “One Platform” positioning we’ve had for nearly a decade.

So, what is “SEVEN”? Well, if you want to get “technical,” seven is one more than six, three less than ten, the number of days in a week… And that’s about how important the actual number is to our platform… Okay, we did spend a bit more time on it than counting on our fingers, and I’ll explain that more in a bit.

Ultimately, the idea is bigger than a number.

For years the ad tech industry has been guilty of overcomplicating how we discuss what are already complex technology and offerings. That’s perhaps in part why many of us have been so focused on creating and naming a single-stack solution capable of solving all of publishers’ and advertisers’ needs in one place. It’s a noble notion, just not one that is specific to what our constituents are asking for. The best of all worlds is having a single source solution AND having the ability to address specific customer needs through a modular approach. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.

There’s no doubt that the concept of “one” was a popular one (pun intended). In fact, during the eighteen-month period from April 2014 to August 2015, the ad tech industry saw an explosion of solutions highlighting this concept: Neustar launched a DSP called “PlatformOne”; AOL rolled out its programmatic platform, “ONE”; MediaMath announced its “Bloomberg Terminal for marketing,” called “Terminal One,” and at PubMatic we continued to promote our “One Platform” message (“Every ad. Every sales channel. Every screen. One Platform.”).

“One” speaks to the popular desire for simplicity in a complex industry. Ultimately, however, it also reflects the aspirations of technology providers rather than the actual needs of their customers. Tech vendors aspired to be the whole platform that customers could use without the need for any supplemental tools or solutions, and the concept of “one” that dominated our naming conventions for over a year highlighted that desire. (Interestingly, this concept can be traced as far back as 2011—and possibly even further—to the creation of the Japanese ad tech company Platform One, which then launched both a DSP called MarketOne and an SSP called YieldOne.)

Simplicity and the concept of one solution are not necessarily synonymous, however. The fact is that publisher and advertiser businesses are far too sophisticated, their needs too complex and varied, for any “one-size-fits-all” solution to succeed. Customers need the ability to pick and choose—to customize—the tools they need in order to address the specific challenges that they face, and the nature of our industry means that no two customers are facing the exact same set of challenges. Even a technology behemoth like Google isn’t able to supply everything to everyone and even if they could, there would be reluctance to be beholden to them.

Despite our industry-wide focus on “one,” many of us, and especially PubMatic, have spent years building the kind of solutions that our customers actually do need: namely, modular ones.

Why SEVEN, as opposed to Revenue Buster, YieldFixer—even SIX or TEN—or any other name for that matter? We decided on SEVEN as it represents the number of major inflection points in the evolution of technology in the media and advertising industry. Accordingly, our focus on innovation has meant that we have led many of those changes. From the first ad server to the advent of Real-Time Bidding for publishers, the automation of direct sold inventory to the ability to access analytics in real-time, we’ve seen myriad technological advancements that have accelerated the media industry. While some of them are of particular importance to us, we also recognize that they could number as few as three or as many as fifteen, depending on your perspective.

In short, SEVEN is the new name for the PubMatic platform that encompasses the wide array of technology offerings from PubMatic. There will be no EIGHT, there was no SIX, and the arsenal of products housed within our platform certainly numbers well over seven. Ultimately, it’s less important to fixate on our platform’s name than it is to continue to innovate technology solutions that help publishers and advertisers thrive in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape. Sometimes the best marketing is that which understands the power really lies in the ability to create a dialogue; if SEVEN has led you and your clients to have more conversations, then it has already been hugely successful. Keep having conversations about SEVEN, have a lot of fun with it, and continue being an important part of an organization that driving leadership in the industry.

And just remember, what you do at PubMatic matters.



Find out more about the PubMatic platform, SEVEN, or to learn about all of PubMatic’s solutions, visit

PubMatic Launches SEVEN

Heading to Dmexco this week? Be sure to stop by the PubMatic Booth, Hall 8, Aisle C069 to find out about our latest product launch: SEVEN, PubMatic’s comprehensive revenue management platform that gives publishers full control of their digital assets and gives media buyers the ability to purchase verified audiences and premium inventory at scale across all screens, channels and formats.

The SEVEN platform provides solutions for:

  • Holistic management of ad decisioning;
  • Automating the buying and selling of inventory;
  • Managing quality control and compliance;
  • Providing real-time data and analytics.

SEVEN encompasses both PubMatic’s existing offerings–including its SSP, RTB, PMP, Analytics, Header Bidding, Curated Audiences, and more,–as well as new solutions including the Unified Ad Server and OpenWrap, within these four solution areas.

PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server is the first built specifically to enable seamless workflow across all ad revenue channels, whether guaranteed direct sold campaigns, private marketplace, private marketplace guaranteed, automated guaranteed, open exchange or integrated wrapper. With PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server, publishers now have the ability to:

  • Manage programmatic and non-programmatic inventory from a single view;
  • Optimize revenue across sales channels without jeopardizing guarantees or brand control requirements;
  • Access enterprise-grade analytics with real-time data and insights.

“It’s great to see companies like PubMatic developing the ability for publishers like us to optimize revenue across channels—especially without sacrificing guarantees,” said Stefan Carlsson, Head of Programmatic at Bonnier Tidskrifter. “With the launch of SEVEN it’s clear that they have a lot more in store as well.”

To find out more about SEVEN, visit or visit the team at Dmexco this week at the PubMatic Booth, Hall 8 Aisle C069.

DSPs: Do You Know How Header Bidding is Impacting Your Campaigns?

PubMatic’s new Header Bidding Extension Object will help you find out

Clearly, header bidding is here to stay. The rapid adoption of this programmatic tactic and its universal acceptance is testament to its ability to return the power of ad decisioning to publishers while also helping buyers segment and target their audiences more effectively. However, the buy-side has struggled to quantify the impact that header bidding has on their business.

In order to help the entire ad tech ecosystem make sense of header bidding and its impact on inventory pricing and performance, PubMatic is excited to launch our Header Bidding Extension Object, which will allow all Demand Side Platforms transacting over the PubMatic platform automatically to determine whether or not an impression is header bidding enabled.

As the header bidding landscape continues to become more complex – with waterfall-based impressions competing directly with header-tag impressions and server-to-server API impressions within a single campaign – increasingly DSPs are searching for streamlined access to the data they need to measure the impact of header bidding-enabled inventory on their campaigns.

Today, DSPs are forced to request specific information on integration types from each of their partners manually, a stark contrast to the automation and efficiency that is central to the programmatic landscape. DSPs need to be able to analyze each type of impression more accurately in order to bid, target and report effectively.

PubMatic’s Header Bidding Extension Object is an addition to the OpenRTB protocol that allows us to send information programmatically within a bid request to provide a DSP with valuable insight into whether or not each opportunity is header-enabled.

The Header Bidding Extension Object release follows the launch of our enterprise-grade Wrapper Solution earlier this year, continuing PubMatic’s track record of innovation in the space and our continued efforts to move header bidding from “hack” to a standardized and measurable part of the programmatic ecosystem.

Reach out to your PubMatic rep to find out more or to get this feature enabled for your DSP.

Hussain Rahim is Director of Product Marketing at PubMatic

PubMatic Empowers Buyers to Discover Global Audiences

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PubMatic today announced the launch of Private Marketplace Guaranteed (PMP-G) deals that bring together the certainty and premium audiences of direct deals to the advanced audience targeting of programmatic. Additionally, buyers using PubMatic Curated Audiences capabilities can now segment and target audiences at scale in the same guaranteed environment with the packaging of multiple private marketplace (PMP) offers from various publishers, all under a multi-publisher single deal ID.

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The Luxury Buying Experience of Private Marketplaces

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By Paul Chu, VP Advertiser Solutions, PubMatic

Close your eyes. Imagine walking into a store, with your eyes still closed, and trying to buy something without being able to see anything – the salespeople, the products, the shelves and racks… nothing. That’s what it’s like for digital advertisers and agencies buying in some programmatic marketplaces. In the past, this was acceptable for advertisers, because although they were buying inventory blindly, they could buy at scale, measure their campaigns and still achieve a reasonable return on advertising spend.

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March Madness: The Number One Seed in Ad Spend


As March Madness tips off this week, the first round teams lace up to step on the court, and employees in offices across the country prepare their brackets, we are reminded of the marketing power behind mega sporting events and why it’s important to begin thinking about them as immense marketing opportunities.

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The Perfect Marriage – Programmatic Advertising and Presidential Campaigns

political advertising

By Jaime Lefkowitz, Sr. Director of Mobile, PubMatic

With Super Tuesday behind us, and the primaries heating up, candidate’s ability to leverage the power of programmatic advertising has never been more critical. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have emerged as the frontrunners for their respective parties, but other contending candidates remain in the race, and they need to have the right strategy in place if they want to come within reach of the oval office.

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The 4-1-1 on Private Marketplaces

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A Conversation with Hussain Rahim, Director of Product Marketing at PubMatic

Private marketplace (PMP) adoption continued to increase in 2015, and there are no signs of it slowing down in 2016. eMarketer estimates that PMP spending will reach $3.65 billion this year and grow 35% to a projected $4.93 billion by 2017. But like so many other fast-growing areas in digital advertising, there is some confusion that surrounds it. In order to shed some clarity on the subject, we sat down with Hussain Rahim, Director of Product Marketing at PubMatic to get some answers.

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