How to Improve Yield for Video Inventory through Header Bidding

Post on December 19, 2018 by Amanda Binns

Amanda Binns Regional VP, Customer Success

Video has long been the most sought-after medium for brand marketers to engage audiences using sight, sound and motion. In our opinion, it is one of the most effective channels in achieving upper-funnel marketing KPIs. 2018 is forecasted to be a banner year for digital video advertising in the US. According to eMarketer’s latest ad spending forecast, video will grow nearly 30 percent to $27.8B this year making up 25 percent of all US digital ad spending.

Historically premium in-stream video has been sold directly in upfront planning cycles and more recently through programmatic channels in guaranteed private marketplace deals. Given the premium content and effectiveness of video, limited premium inventory has been available for monetization in open market until the emergence of video header bidding and new formats such as out-stream. Marketers are embracing out-stream video and according to eMarketer, 77 percent of ad agencies across the world see out-stream video ads as important to their clients going forward.

What Exactly Is Video Header Bidding And How Does It Work?

Video header bidding allows publishers to bypass the old waterfall tag model and open up video inventory to more partners who all compete for an impression at the same time. Since more premium inventory and the auction is now available to more buyers, the winning bid typically yields a higher CPM and generates more fill than a publisher would see in a tag integration. Prebid.js is the most widely adopted video header bidding wrapper due to its open source code and transparency.

How Can Publishers Benefit From Video Header Bidding?

The simultaneous auction creates more demand, greater fill rate and ultimately higher yield for publishers. Thus, with video header bidding, publishers can finally understand the true value of their supply. Since video has typically been siloed and sold in direct or guaranteed channels it was not as efficient to understand the true value in open market.

What Can I Do To Ensure Success In Video Header Bidding?

First and foremost, continue to focus on creating high-quality, engaging content to retain a loyal audience. Additionally, showcase that content in multiple formats such as instream with a large player size or out-stream video.

Secondly, ensure your header bidding is set up correctly from a technical standpoint and that you are passing all necessary parameters in the bid request (such as player size, mime types, VPAID version, etc.). All these qualifiers are essential to ensure brand advertisers are reaching their target audience. If a DSP cannot determine what is in the bid request, you will see a much lower fill-rate and ultimately less revenue. Make sure you are familiar with the full list of video parameters.

Finally, confirm that you have ads.txt file enabled on any indirect monetization partners. As of Q3 2018, PubMatic does not allow our supply partners to monetize inventory that is unauthorized per a site’s ads.txt entry and many other industry players are adopting similar policies. In addition, many top ad buyers, such Omnicom and Publicis, require this to ensure transparency and quality within the ecosystem.

As brand spending continues to increase in programmatic, it is essential you master the fundamentals of video header bidding for long-term success. For more info on video header bidding check out our suggested best practices on our community pages, visit our solutions page or contact us.