PALM SPRING — Look out; there’s a new piece of ad-tech lingo on the block. So-called “header bidding” has emerged as “one of the primary drivers of growth in programmatic for publishers over the last year”, according to OpenX monetization VP Qasim Saifee.

So what is it? Digiday’s “WTF?” series explains:

“Header bidding, also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding, is an advanced programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers (mostly DoubleClick for Publishers). The idea is that by letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, publishers increase their yield and make more money.”

What’s the real benefit? “The key value for publishers is that it increases yield,” Saifee says, citing a 300% increase in adoption of OpenX’s header bidding solution in the last three years.

“We believe in as much demand competing for publishers’ inventory as possible,” Saifee says. “We’re injecting the value that our (advertiser) demand has for each individual impression in to the publisher’s ad stack, and allowing that to compete with any other demand that the publisher has.”

This week, AdExchanger reported: “Celebrity news publisher APlus dived into header bidding last year. Its first few partners increased yield by 70% combined, and each one after that created an additional 10% to 20% boost.” And already header bidding is being joined by a new technology, “the addition of a wrapper that organizes buyers as they enter the ad server”.

But Saifee warns: “There are some costs. The biggest one is the technical cost of implementing this. It’s important you think about how well this technology will work with your page.”


We conducted this interview last month at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

This interview is part of Programmatic in 2016, a series presented by OpenX