Key Takeaways

  • Header bidding wrappers are pieces of code that manage your header bidders and auctions.
  • There are various types of header bidding wrappers.
  • Playwire offers a managed wrapper solution designed for publisher success.

As you creep closer and closer to implementing or optimizing your header bidding processes, you will inevitably come across the term "header bidding wrapper." This piece of technology is a critical part of a successful header bidding solution for publishers. Understanding wrappers, how they work and your options is essential to understanding whether your header bidding efforts are performing at optimum levels.

What is a header bidding wrapper? That's exactly what the Playwire team explores in this article. Read on to learn more.

If you manage all of your programmatic advertising yourself, your header bidding wrapper is your responsibility. And that is a big lift, to say the least. There's an alternative: letting Playwire fully manage your header bidding technology to drive your ad revenue to game-changing heights. Contact us.

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Header Bidding Guide

The Complete Guide to Header Bidding

Header Bidding Wrapper Defined

Here's the definition in a nutshell:

What is a header bidding wrapper?

A header bidding wrapper is a piece of JavaScript code that initiates the calls for header bidding auctions. It sends out the signals to bidders that an auction is happening, and it contains the rules that facilitate the programmatic auctions that take place either in your website's header or on a separate ad server.

Header bidding wrappers are also called header bidding containers or frameworks, but they all do the same thing: They facilitate the header bidding auctions that bring revenue to publishers.

While header bidding wrappers aren't actually essential to doing header bidding, they are virtually essential. That's because, without a wrapper, you would have to handle and integrate individual pieces of code in your website's header for every single bidder to place a bid request on your inventory.

After a certain point, the technical time and manpower required to do that would start to make header bidding feel like it isn't a worthwhile endeavor. Fortunately, there are plenty of header bidding wrapper solutions for publishers to choose from.

Types of Header Bidding Wrappers

The exact number of available header bidding wrappers is hard to calculate, but suffice it today that there are a lot of them. Many ad tech tools that deal with header bidding in some form have created their own or adapted an existing wrapper, and some open-source solutions are solid choices for publishers who employ talented developers.

In any case, any header bidding wrapper you choose will fall into one of the following categories:

Open-Source Wrappers

Open-source header bidding wrappers are what they sound like: basic wrappers with fully available and modifiable code that publishers can implement on their websites by themselves. 

Prebid.js is, far and away, the most popular open bidding wrapper. For one thing, it's completely free, making it a popular option for publishers who are bootstrapping their way into header bidding. 

For all the upsides open-source wrappers provide, they come with one big downside: They're really complicated. You'll need some serious developer resources to be able to implement an open-source header bidding wrapper correctly. It is possible, but it isn't easy.

Managed Wrappers

Managed wrappers can be any kind of header bidding wrapper. The key here is that a third party handles both the setup and implementation process and ongoing management and optimization. 

These header bidding wrappers are often built by the third-party ad tech company managing them using an open-source wrapper as the substrate. For example, Playwire has built a high-performance header bidding wrapper on Prebid.js.

Proprietary Wrappers

Proprietary header bidding wrappers are those that ad tech companies have built from scratch using their own code. These wrappers are typically managed by the companies that built them. Often, but not always, these wrappers take more of a one-size-fits-all approach to plugging in each demand source and changing up header auction settings.

What these proprietary wrappers provide in terms of convenience usually comes at much higher prices. But for some publishers, these solutions fit the bill just fine.

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The Complete Header Bidding Resource Center

Playwire's Header Bidding Wrapper

Playwire's managed header bidding wrapper is built on the Prebid server (Prebid.js), but we also plug our publishers into demand from Amazon's Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM) and Google's Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation (EBDA). That means we get you access to the more than 100 sources of demand that Prebid.js can accommodate, as well as the massive demand from Google and Amazon.

After setting all of that up, we manage every aspect of your header bidding configuration with one goal in mind: maximizing your CPMs and yield. Choosing a header bidding partner like Playwire means taking your ad revenue from where it is to where you know it needs to be.

Get the Right Wrapper, Reap the Rewards

There is no single header bidding wrapper - there are several types and, among those, dozens of options. And don't make the mistake of thinking they are all the same. They're not, and your choice of header bidding wrapper can define your header bidding efforts for a long, long time.

With the right wrapper, you set yourself up for the reward of higher header bidding revenue on every single ad impression. That's what you're after as a publisher, and it's what Playwire can help you achieve. With our managed header bidding wrapper, you don't have to worry about any of this. We take care of everything to maximize your ad revenue.

It's simple and effective, and we like it that way. Want to learn more about implementing a header bidding solution with Playwire? Reach out to our team today.

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