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OTT/CTV Publishers: Flatten your waterfall to create maximum value

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By John Martin, Director, Business Development, OpenWrap
September 22, 2022

Programmatically sold OTT/CTV inventory continues to increase as does the importance of the open exchange, as streaming TV viewership surpassed cable TV for the first time.

Since its inception, premium OTT/CTV media has been strictly reserved for upfront purchases. For inventory available via programmatic pipes, publishers have opted for a sell-side platform (SSP) waterfall approach. In many cases, due to quick rises in traffic, premium CTV publishers are now selling most of their premium ad impressions programmatically. There is more emphasis on maximizing revenue through programmatic and the challenges of managing a cumbersome SSP waterfall are beginning to appear.

Flattening the waterfall and enabling a true, unified, programmatic auction is the most effective way of solving this. That is where unified bidding solutions like PubMatic’s OpenWrap OTT come in.

Reduce Time Spent on Waterfall Management

Most digital ad operations professionals have been here before. Analyzing, ordering, and optimizing bidder tags is a laborious process; not to mention the time spent on negotiating with demand sources about CPMs, fill, and floors.

Utilizing a unified auction across OTT guarantees time back which can be spent on more forward-thinking projects – all the more important as the landscape evolves at such a fast pace.

Maximize Competition and Revenue

A waterfall approach doesn’t necessarily mean a publisher is selling their ad impressions at the highest possible price. CTV CPMs are purchased at a premium, and selling impressions lower than their value can add up for teams with important revenue goals. The unified auction solves this immediately by enabling SSPs to bid simultaneously.

With OpenWrap OTT, publishers can choose any bidder that supports video, allowing our customers to sell their inventory at the highest price. Enabling the unified auction maximizes the return of the open market, and also encourages publishers to deliver a holistic ad auction where direct sold, direct programmatic, and the open market all compete to drive higher yield.

User Experience is King

The goal of streaming TV is to deliver a premium viewing experience. Competition in the marketplace is rife and noticeable challenges with ad delivery can force a streamer to go elsewhere. Unifying the programmatic auction reduces ad delivery friction.

Within OpenWrap OTT, PubMatic solves creative deduplication within ad pods. The platform hosts tools to scan creatives and review exclusion lists to assure customers that viewers won’t be seeing the same ad during scheduled breaks.

Success is Contingent on Interoperability

Flattening the waterfall is important for the future success of the biddable CTV landscape. OpenWrap OTT has a variety of integration options to best suit customers’ needs. Our most recent integration release, In-Line Bidding, puts OpenWrap OTT independently between the CTV ad server(s) and server-side ad insertion (SSAI).

Through PubMatic’s unbiased, agnostic approach we will continue to drive our customers’ success as we build the digital supply chain of the future. Learn more about OpenWrap OTT here.