What is Header Bidding?

Programmatic buying, in literal sense means automation, but still requires a lot of work to connect buyers and sellers. These connects also involve publishers trying to make a lot more money and buyers trying to get maximum value for the inventory bought.

Techniques like header bidding are one of the ways publishers try to get more revenue for their inventory. It has different names like advance bidding, pre- bidding etc.

The concept is that publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making a ping to their ad server. By letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, the yield or the returns earned by the publishers go up.

It will be a dream come true for publishers to see their inventory make enough returns on inventory and drive maximum efficient utilisation of the inventory. Its often called “publisher waterfall”, where impressions are sold to sales channels in descending order until someone bids it. This obviously means money is lost along the path.

. Publishers usually don’t get much value when they plug into AdX as due to its technology, AdX is able to beat other demand in the adserver and place a bid even if its not its turn.From a buyers perspective, header bidding allows for them to bypass the relationship that DFP( DoubleClick for publishers) and AdX have.

Publishers obviously see a lot more value in header bidding. This also puts a lot of pressure on DFP, which through its dynamic allocation feature lets only AdX bid on every impressions.

But, there is a catch which essentially comes in the form of a complicated setup and affect page load time of publishers. Each SSP tag means a slow down on the load time of the web pages. As the name stand, the tag also needs to be implemented on the site header. The other challenge is agreeing a key value to receive the pre- bid price. This means a higher visibility on all the inventory and potentially limit incremental revenue. so….will a publisher be willing to allow for such things?

Well, one way ( in the future that is) will be to have a standard or universal header tag between all vendors.

But like I said, only in the future. Until then publishers just need to realise its a better way of doing things that the way they are doing now.