PubAcademy UK: Publishers’ Choice

Our penultimate PubAcademy of the year took place on November 9th in London, bringing publishers and buyers together to discuss the choices publishers are forced to make in order to successfully navigate the sometimes choppy waters of programmatic. We also took this opportunity to discuss how sellers and buyers can work better together to ensure all parties involved realise the value on offer.

Through the discussions that took place, we were able to identify the four key themes that seemed to resonate well with attendees:

Publishers Want to Take Back Control of Ad Decisioning

It would seem that the majority of our industry is familiar with the concept that today’s legacy ad serving infrastructure is ill equipped to help publishers manage and capture holistic yield. It is clear that many publishers are still trying to figure out how they can explore and implement alternative, open ad serving set-ups whilst minimizing the disruption to their businesses.

Working with a holistic monetization platform such as PubMatic SEVEN, with its modular approach, allows publishers to choose which products or solution sets they want to integrate and when. Only by having this choice will publishers truly be able to realise the full potential of their digital assets.

Publishers Want Partners, Not Tech Vendors

While the continued evolution of the market, its increasing complexity, and the plethora of tech vendor choices available all play a role in driving programmatic spend, they have just as much potential to inhibit growth as well.

In that light, our key panelists highlighted the importance of establishing two-way partnerships between publishers and their tech vendors. When publishers are evaluating technology partners, the primary concern is finding ones that are open, transparent and willing to integrate with each other for the good of the publisher and the overall digital media market.

Header Bidding is Still a Hot Topic, But The Conversation is Evolving

During our discussion we challenged the hypothesis that header bidding is little more than “waterfall” 2.0. Many publishers are still allocating priorities as they continue to build out strategies around their direct sold books of business and where the sweet spot can exist between the IO and programmatic direct. Regardless, all of our publisher panelists were in agreement that header bidding has had a positive effect on yield and that it’s here to stay. The conversation is evolving, as is the need. Having to manage multiple header tags and the impact they have on page performance and user experience remains a concern.

Hence the exploration of the pros and cons of solutions that address these potential issues, such as wrapper tags and server side integrations, are going to be vital over the coming months. Looking forward, there remains a lot of uncertainty around whether open source or proprietary is the route to take. The jury’s still out, but expect a verdict soon.

Publishers and Buyers Still Have Work to Do to Make the Marriage A Happy One

Our panel of publishers and buyers shared some of their key asks of each other to help everyone realise the potential that programmatic offers. In no particular order:

  • Make PMP deals more discoverable and design them to meet buyers’ needs. Building PMP deals around curated audiences, for example, or being sure to support the buying models of agencies;
  • Design PMPs to be ‘always on’ and proactively troubleshoot when they are underperforming;
  • Design offers that support the buying models that agencies will be adopting in 2017—the combination of programmatic AND automated guaranteed, for example;
  • Provide access to more targetable and segmented second-party data to drive increased bid density;
  • Finally, communicate more frequently and be more transparent.

pa_logofinaluk112216About PubAcademy

PubAcademy is a global industry education initiative PubMatic launched to help ensure our customers and partners are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges that they face in this ever changing world of programmatic.

For more information about our platform, SEVEN, visit PubMatic’s website here or email info@pubmatic.com. 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 PubAcademy@PubMatic.com.

Header Bidding – Can It Be Contained?

This article is authored by Jeff Hirsch, CMO at PubMatic.

This article is authored by Jeff Hirsch, CMO at PubMatic.

I got you.

In truth, header bidding is already out of the box and there is no stopping it. Ad tech companies that built their business on controlling inventory access will need a different model as control moves back into the hands of the publisher. Many companies are scrambling to make sense of the new market dynamics and catch up, and the industry has taken some Wild West style responsive measures.

What does the proliferation of header bidding really mean for the ecosystem? For buyers, header tags democratize inventory (I’m intentionally staying away from the “commoditization” moniker), allowing them to gain access via the right tech to help ensure accurate auction dynamics. That’s good for buyers and is sure to bode well for digital spend, be it desktop, mobile or any other screen. For sellers, header bidding creates the opportunity for significant yield lift, with the caveat that the issue of tag management moves front and center, becoming critical to publishers’ success.

The next piece of the puzzle is wrapper/container technology. Basically, a portion of publisher-side ad serving has moved into the header of a page (even Google missed this trend), creating the new model for a programmatic world. If you follow the continuum along its natural path, the next wave will result in purposeful programmatic technology built to unify ad serving against all demand.

You think some tech providers are behind on header bidding? When you consider the need for a wrapper to do this right, that is likely a huge understatement.

To be truly valuable, wrapper technology needs to not only provide a container for all header tags, but also must provide easy-to-use and easily accessible management tools for publishers to be able to make sense of all their header demand. It should create a transparent environment based on the principles of access and fairness. Inventory controls should be back in the hands of the inventory owner. Supply-side tech companies should facilitate all of this, not limit it, and should therefore be completely open to integrating all demand in order to serve the best interests of the publisher.

For the record, PubMatic implemented our first header tag tech in 2012 and released our enterprise-level wrapper solution last year. We listened to the market and addressed the need early on, taking into account our customers’ needs above all else. Publishers are back in control and players (including Google) who have built businesses on their backs are officially being de-leveraged. Oh, did I mention that our wrapper features open-source tags AND publishers don’t have to pay a dime for it?

We are ahead of the game and putting our money where our mouth is. Ready to talk?

To find out more about PubMatic’s header bidding and Wrapper Solution, email info@pubmatic.com and stay up to date on all of the latest news by following @PubMatic on Twitter.

OpenWrap: Open For Business

hussain

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 info@pubmatic.com.