How Video Header Bidding Has Changed The Game For Publishers And What It Means For Buy-Side

Post on October 21, 2019 by Natasha De Mallet Hawes

Natasha De Mallet Hawes Director, Advertiser Solutions APAC

Originally published in B&T Magazine 

As the advertising industry continues to turn to online advertising, header bidding has emerged as a way to benefit everyone. In this piece, PubMatic director ad solutions APAC Natasha de Mallet Hawes explains how header bidding has changed the market for publishers and how it is continuing to shape the industry.

Header bidding garnered significant adoption around 2015 to help compensate for the pitfalls of the traditional publisher waterfall, allowing publishers to make their inventory available to multiple demand partners at the same time, rather than the inefficient sequential manner of the past.

Publishers saw immediate benefits from increased demand partners, including higher revenue and better latency management. Fast forward to 2019 and the majority of publishers are utilising header bidding for their display and mobile inventories, and we’re now seeing growing adoption in video.

The publisher benefits of header bidding are clear. But what are the implications for header bidding for video? And what does this mean for the buy-side?

Enhanced Audience Reach

Buyers get much closer to 100 per cent OTS (opportunity to see) and access to a more inventory, which had traditionally been reserved for direct campaigns. Buyers are also better able to find and connect to their audiences, which improves campaign performance and outcomes.

Access to High-Quality Inventory

Prior to header bidding, buyers didn’t have full visibility into publisher’s inventory; most publishers reserved a set of inventory for direct and sponsorship campaigns, and programmatic was treated as a way to help monetise “unsold” inventory.

Video header bidding allows programmatic the opportunity to compete against direct campaigns and as a result, there is a higher volume and better quality of programmatic inventory, improving viewability and brand safety.

Extend PMP Delivery

Since the emergence of Private Marketplaces, there have been issues with delivery due to a lack of inventory availability or the inability to find the relevant audiences across PMPs. Audience and programmatic video go hand in hand with many campaigns focused around ensuring ads are shown to a specific in-target audience.

Video header bidding extends reach across a larger set of inventory, and therefore increases the likelihood of finding buyer audiences in the right environment at the right time. For PMPs, this means extended delivery, greater audience reach, and better performance.

Increased Transparency

Header bidding drives transparency by providing insights around auction dynamics, impression price, and sets the stage for buying efficiency through Supply-Path Optimization (SPO). With SPO, buyers can consolidate spend around fewer media partners that yield the highest ROI, allowing the buyer to take full control of what type of inventory they are accessing through who and determine the fee at which they buy it.

What’s Next?

Header bidding clearly benefits both publishers and buyers, alike. As consumer engagement with video grows beyond traditional channels, such as desktop and mobile web, and into emerging formats such as mobile-app and CTV, we can expect to see video header-bidding solutions follow in suit.

Brands and agencies will need a single platform for access to premium audiences and brand safe, publisher direct omni-channel video supply, plus the data, transparency and pricing models to maximise ROI by optimising video investments across the supply chain.