For publishers which want to take advantage of header bidding but which find the main open-source technology too onerous to manage, Rubicon Project thinks it has an answer.

Discovery Inc., Clearing House, AutoTrader, Southern Cross, Austereo and Domain are amongst the publishers participating in a closed beta of the new Demand Manager. a solution which aims to simplify the Prebid header bidder wrapper technology which Rubicon helped create in 2017.

“(Prebid) was great for a period of time,” says Michael Barrett, Rubicon Project president and CEO, in this video interview with Beet.TV  Here is the company press release.

“And then (publishers) realized, ‘It’s a lot of heavy lifting. I have to hire engineers. I am sub-optimizing my monetization because I’m lacking tools, and graphics, and UI, and analytics.

“So, for the last six months, we’ve been building this Prebid as a managed service.”

Header bidding is the technology which emerged around 2015 allowing publishers to entertain ad inventory bids from multiple demand sources simultaneously, rather than consecutively – a practice which had often seen them miss out on the best offer prices.

With Demand Manager, Barrett’s theory goes, publishers can worry less about technical integrations, limitations, extracting data and putting it in a spreadsheet to seek insight.

That is because, whilst Demand Manager is predicated on Prebid, it makes it all accessible through a more friendly user interface.

For Barrett, it’s a continuation of the open-source ethos which launched Prebid.

“With open source … (publishers) are no longer faced with having to choose just a vendor or having to make a bet even on a Rubicon Project, (asking themselves), ‘Hey, are those going to be around five years from now? Are they going to be responsive?'”