In the world of programmatic advertising, header bidding was, put simply, revolutionary. This is one of those technologies that burst onto the advertising technology scene and was everywhere in what seemed like a matter of seconds. It didn’t exist, and then everyone suddenly had it — Google, Amazon, Prebid and countless others.

Why did header bidding take the advertising world by storm? Because it brings so many benefits to publishers. In this post, we examine some of the biggest benefits of header bidding. If you aren’t convinced yet, you’re about to be.

When you’re ready to see the advantages of header bidding for yourself, reach out to Playwire. Our cutting-edge revenue amplification platform enhances header bidding’s benefits to bring your revenue to new heights.

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The Complete Guide to Header Bidding

Read our complete guide to Header Bidding for everything you need to know.

Benefits of Header Bidding for Publishers

Let’s jump right into it. These are the biggest benefits of header bidding for publishers:

  1. Increased CPMs
  2. Access to more inventory demand
  3. Higher fill rates
  4. More control
  5. Fewer passbacks
  6. Better data on inventory value

We discuss each of these benefits in more detail below.

1. Increased CPMs

Think about your average monthly revenue. Would you like it to be 50% higher? According to Digiday, some publishers are seeing their cost per mille (CPM) increase by that much for premium inventory.

How does header bidding increase CPMs? By getting you the highest bid for each impression — not just the first acceptable bid. Before header bidding, the programmatic advertising process lined up bidders in order of priority, and the first bidder to make an acceptable bid got the impression. 

Header bidding changed that. Instead of queuing advertisers up, header bidding allows the entire list of bidders to make bids simultaneously. The highest bidder wins. That means you never miss out on a higher bid just because someone in front of the high bidder made an acceptable (but lower) bid.

2. Access to More Inventory Demand

When you implement header bidding on your site or app, you get to choose the supply-side platforms (SSPs), exchanges and other demand partners you send bid requests to. In theory, you can include as many as you want. That means you can get access to much more demand than if you just choose one demand partner.

When a user loads your site, the header bidding code will send a request for bids to all of the demand partners you have chosen, and they will all bid simultaneously. In terms of demand for publisher inventory, nothing compares to header bidding.  More demand means more competition for your inventory, this in turn drives up bid prices and forces bidders to value your inventory properly.

3. Higher Fill Rates

The increase in demand is one of the biggest benefits of header bidding, and it comes with a bonus benefit: higher fill rates. Your fill rate is the percentage of the bid requests you send out that get “filled” with an ad for the end user to see. 

Generally, a higher fill rate means higher revenue. That’s because every ad that isn’t filled is just money on the table. With more demand for your inventory, there’s a much smaller chance of any bid request going unfilled.

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4. More Control

One of the major selling points of header bidding is that publishers can customize almost every aspect of it. Of course, doing that requires some technical know-how, but the benefit of learning this stuff (or having a knowledgeable header bidding partner do it) is that you can make your auctions work for you the way you need them to.

With header bidding, you are in control of the demand partners who get to bid on your inventory. And you can make changes over time. If one of the partners simply isn’t delivering the way you want, you can quickly remove them from your header bidding setup. If you discover a demand partner that looks promising, you can add them just as easily.

You’re also in control of timeouts, price floors and where auctions take place (directly on your site or on a dedicated server). Being in control of that many factors gives you a lot of room to tweak campaigns and maximize results.

5. Fewer Passbacks

A recent survey from eMarketer asked publishers the biggest benefits they were seeing from header bidding. Of those surveyed, 23% said seeing fewer passbacks was the most important benefit. A passback occurs when your floor CPM isn’t reached on a particular ad exchange or network. The request for bids is then “passed back” to your ad server, where it then goes to another network. 

The passback process is inefficient and can result in more timeouts and unfilled ad requests, which again leaves money on the table. Header bidding improves this issue by sending the requests out to all of the exchanges and networks at once, which means there is no passing back to be done because the request has already reached everyone.

6. Better Data on Inventory Value

Header bidding generates a ton of data. You can sell each impression individually, which means you can drill down to single impression-level data with relative ease. Add to that the fact that you get so many bids for each impression. With all of those bids, you can do things like average out bids for certain types of inventory to inform your floor prices. 

Many header bidding platforms and wrappers offer built-in analytics tools that allow you to see and organize all of this information easily. The end result of having better data is a better ability to make decisions about your ad sales.

Get the Benefits of Header Bidding with Playwire

At Playwire, we realized the benefits of header bidding a long time ago. Since then, we have built a header bidding platform that combines the demand of all of the other major platforms to maximize publishers’ revenue.   It’s easy. It’s simple. It works. 

Interested? We want to hear from you. Call 1-561-206-4621 or contact Playwire online to learn more about our header bidding solution today.

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