Ad Tech 101: Header Bidding Unwrapped

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | Sponsored

This is a free educational print out from the AdNews April issue. To get it hot off the press download a digital version of AdNews or subscribe to the premium print edition here.

The days of using legacy ad servers and being saddled with inefficient monetisation tools should be long gone for modern day publishers looking to maximise yield. Just as knowledge equals power, so does having the right data and the right tools, but keeping up with the best techniques is no mean feat, especially in this multi-screen, multichannel world.

The prominence of header bidding has ramped up lately with more and more publishers looking to take back control of ad decisioning. For those that got involved sooner, they are now dabbling in more advanced header bidding innovations – such as in-app and video. But why now?

“The reason the offering arose was due to inefficiencies in the legacy waterfall set-up which meant publishers missed out on revenue opportunities,” PubMatic country manager Peter Barry (below left) said.

“They also lacked control and programmatic buyers did not always have access to the best inventory ... despite being willing to pay for it”. As such, the arrival of header bidding levels the playing field and gives control back to publishers – control that had increasingly been handed over to the Google/Facebook duopoly. Peter Barry

Publishers can expect, on average, a 50% uplift in yield as a result of header bidding, so with more publishers hearing about the positive results header bidding delivered, they soon came to expect their tech partners to facilitate the change – which is why PubMatic has been pushing header bidding as a tactic since 2012. While other companies were reticent to move on behalf of their publishers, it’s those that are now suffering as a result.

Making the move

When considering header bidding here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Stability: A stable and well established partner with a good presence in market and experience in carrying out these types of integrations is key.
  • Openness: The tech partner should also be willing to work with partners who could be deemed as their competitors, be invested in maintaining an open media ecosystem and putting the interests of the publisher first.
  • Case studies: Choosing the correct partner is key and should allow you to ask any question, bust open any ad tech myths and concerns. Asking for case studies is key – as header bidding results speak for themselves.

The future of header bidding

Header bidding has been on the up across desktop and mobile web, but now, in-app header bidding and video products are in play – representing a huge opportunity for publishers.

In a nutshell

PubMatic’s country manager Peter Barry explains the jargon:

Waterfalling: The process of passing unsold inventory to multiple demand partners sequentially, one after another, in an effort to maximise fill. The process is now deemed inefficient.

Header Bidding: A programmatic sell-side tactic that allows publishers to offer inventory to multiple demand sources at the same time before making calls to an ad server, solving for the inefficiencies of the waterfall and helping publishers realise the full value of each impression.

Wrapper Solution: A technology solution that allows publishers to manage multiple header bidding partners. PubMatic’s solution allows for controls and enterprise grade analytics to help optimise and maximise revenue – which not all wrappers have.

Click on the image below to download the PDF and for more on PubMatic see here.

Ad tech 101

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Check out previous 101s below:

Ad Tech 101: Conversion Rate Optimisation

Ad Tech 101: The Marketing Cloud

Ad Tech 101: Performance Marketing

Ad tech 101: Tackling the data challenge

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