Header-bidding is an AdTech solution for publishers that allows running parallel auctions, in which multiple ad exchanges and networks bid on the exact same impression simultaneously. Higher competition ensures increased revenues for publishers and holistic return direction. However, to utilize this technology, media owners need to deploy header-bidding wrapper on their website first.
Let us dive into the guide to header-bidding wrappers to understand how this technology works and also to find out what novelties in this area might change the way we bid in 2019.
What is header-bidding wrapper?
Header wrapper considerably simplifies the way publishers manage their programmatic contacts. Basically, these tags allow publishers to add or eliminate demand sources without having to alter the website code. 1 container tag put in the header is much more operationally efficient than dozens of individual tags for each and every partner. Wrapper tag technology intelligently organizes buyers and gives rules for the RTB auctions which are profitable for the media owner.
Without header-bidding wrappers, managing partners was almost impossible. By 2018, 75% of app publishers were working with 5 different header-bidding partners. Mobile header-bidding solutions are managed through software development kits (SDKs) that are also called mediation platforms.
Kinds of wrappers and header-bidding tag
There are open-source and industrial header-bidding wrappers. Open-source wrapper tags are free, fully customizable and quite flexible. Thousands of independent programmers and AdTech community members contribute to the code, which makes it even more efficient. Prebid.js, PubFood.js are the most popular open source solutions.
The issue with commercial solutions is the wrapper code provider may control header-bidding demand, analytics and service partners if it isn’t common, industry-proven technology.
They are ideally suited for technically-adept publishers and media owners that want a simple framework, which is flexible in customization. Additional provider-specific wrapper tags normally come with a fee, but they provide technical support, advanced analytics, and other additional services.
The vast majority of header-bidding wrapper tags are browser-side bidding containers. However, with client-side integration, publishers may be limited by the performance issues such as slower auctions, decreased time of page loads, latency issues and bad user experience.
Alternatively, there are server-side containers. In this scenario, auctions happen on the provider’s server, removing the breeds from the browser. Server-side solutions dramatically have proven to reduce technical complexities by reinforcing OpenRTB standards. This happens because, in server-side auctions, demand resources respond not only with the bid price but also with an ad creative. Ad server can successfully analyze advertising content and choose the best-quality ads. Such safety check prevents bad ads appearing on the publisher’s website.
The major feature to ask for is asynchronous container style and a single timeout. This technology ensures that all programmatic partners have their bid requests triggered at the same time.
Choose wrapper containers that offer multiple options on formats like display, native and video ads, in addition to various user channels like mobile, or desktopcomputer.
Header-bidding wrapper solutions: market trends
273,29 billion dollars is global ad spending invested in digital advertising last year. This number appears stunning but the shares of Google and Facebook in this number are really large, so the publishers will have to get by with the rest of the billions. Header-bidding wrappers may help to even out the circumstance. As eMarketer reports, over half of programmatic websites were using unified auction in 2018 and the amount is expected to grow.
The most common header-bidding solutions allegedly were client-side implemented wrappers (39% ), and hybrid wrappers (21,1%) followed by server-side decisions (6,3%) which are just gaining momentum. In regards to the business verticals that adopted header-bidding solutions, it appears that news/content, communities, utilities, and e-Commerce embraced the header-bidding technology the most.
Presently, many supply parties are seeking to optimize their own inventory selling procedure configuring demand paths separately. Various header-bidding wrappers also brought nuances into the auctions that buyers need to comprehend so as to identify how they pay.
In 2019, the first-price auction in header-bidding will be used by default, also the market players may expect such training as bid-shading and the incidence of mobile within desktop.
One more bonus of header-bidding is an chance to serve video and native ads. Nowadays, such formats are seen as the most valuable assets on the publisher’s website, and the demand for them grows. Because of this, mobile developers serving these types of ads have the chance to sell their inventory in the maximum price.
What are the pros and cons
As with any other programmatic technology, wrapper tag solution has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s consider all of them so that you know what potential benefits it might bring to you and what challenges you may face when implementing:
Header-bidding wrappers allow publishers to configure worldwide timeout settings. This helps to decrease latency, enforce a difficult deadline to the auction and place the limit on how long the browser waits for all bidders to respond until they are passed over;
- Improves page load speed, therefore increased user experience;
- Increases server response time. The ad server will deliver ad creatives to a user’s browser in the shortest time possible with minimized complications;
- Implemented easily. Container tags can easily be added into the header of the page;
- Ensures better ad and page performance. Less script on the page increases web page efficacy;
- Asynchronous rendering mode allows loading ads in sequence so they don’t block other components and the rest of the publisher’s web page content.
- Consolidated line thing settings in the ad server;
- Easily add, test, swap and remove demand partners. Wrapper tags make trading relationships easy;
- Centralized data from analytics and reporting at one place allows publishers to learn what works and what not. Such insights are useful in the optimization of the ad space and additional preparation.
- Requires skilled resources on the developer’s side for a successful operational setup. To use a wrapper tag technology, you must understand clearly how to configure it, what features it supports and how to troubleshoot potential issues;
- Some wrappers come without a user interface, however custom solutions can be found;
If not configured correctly, the wrapper tag can seriously affect the page load, which will result in a revenue reduction;
- The same happens with direct campaigns. If wrapper containers aren’t running correctly, passbacks are possible. Poorly integrated demand partners can easily ruin the installation for additional demand sources and even interrupt the entire campaign.
How it works with your ad campaign
The user enters a publisher’s web page and the material begins to load along with the header-bidding containers. Wrapper’s code makes asynchronous calls for all demand partners at precisely the exact same time. The ad impression is therefore offered to all integrated demand resources and the auction starts. All buying partners react to the publisher within a limited timeframe. The wrapper tag collects bidding responses and immediately sends query string parameters to the ad server. The ad server assesses bid requests and selects the winning bid. Finally, the ad server delivers the ad to the advertising slot. Done!