Header bidding, the technology tactic through which publishers can entertain multiple bids for ad inventory simultaneously in order to maximize the chance of higher bid prices, has grown in momentum over the last couple of years.

But Criteo didn’t anticipate this kind of demand.

When the ad-tech company launched Criteo Direct Bidder, one of its header products, 12 months ago, the company’s global supply EVP Marc Grabowski expected it to be used by 750 publishers customers in the first year. But that has now exceeded 2,000, the company has announced.

To coincide with its first year of deployment, Criteo is also now committing to join Predbid.org, the organization offering and promoting free open-source header bidding technologies. It has pledged to integrate more seamlessly with these tools, including to support PreBid 1.0.

Criteo is not a stranger to header bidding already. “Criteo has been doing header bidding for about seven years, but relaunched a product … last April that allows us a better opportunity to buy in the header,” Grabowski tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “It allows us to make better user connections and also buy directly from the publishers without having to go through an SSP or an ad exchange.”

Since then, Grabowski says, demand for the tool has outstripped expectation. Using Criteo Direct Bidder helped Accuweather attract 116% ad spend year-on-year, for example.

“Other publishers have different metrics,” he adds. “An example is a European publisher, Spiegel. Their focus to be able to reduce the number of ads on page. They want to have less clutter, they want to have less distractions, they want to increase the user experience.

“Spiegel found that Criteo Direct Bidder allowed them to reduce the ads on the page while still increasing their overall revenue – as a result, increasing the relationship that the publisher had with their end users.”