How Header Bidding has drained the Waterfall

17 May 2017

Currently, an increasing number of publishers is turning to Header Bidding technology. This puts us in need of recommendations on how to use its benefits properly. With that, let’s step back and answer the question – why did the need for an alternative programmatic buying process arise?

Now, two ways to join programmatic are generally known: header bidding and traditional waterfall structure. The waterfall first emerged as a solution for publishers who wanted to separate premium and non-premium inventory. The technique implied offering inventory to buyers in an order as determined by publishers. Publishers based their decisions on the previous performance or their own expectations.

Where has the discontent with the waterfall came from?

In general, “waterfall” means that the impression is passed from one monetization partner to another until it’s sold. What is not bought by the top players goes down to the next buyer. The two reasons to be dissatisfied can be determined right away: publisher’s yield cannot reach its maximum and the buyers with less control over the market are limited in their access to the inventory on sale.

waterfall model

The typical list of waterfall’s flaws includes the following:

  • Inefficiency due to high latency.
  • The top offer does not promise the highest revenue.
  • Complex settings need to be tweaked all the time.

Passing an impression until it’s bought prolongs ad loading time. Then again, if an impression is bought at level 3 or 4, buyers on levels 5 and lower down the waterfall, who were willing to pay more, don’t get the chance.

Header Bidding comes and saves the day

Header Bidding is the technique that has been introduced as a way to “flatten the waterfall”. Publishers got an opportunity to offer the inventory to all demand sources simultaneously. The technology implies insertion of a JavaScript wrapper into the header of a webpage. The script ensures that all bid requests are triggered at the same time.

HB basically solves the problems created by the waterfall and offers additional advantages:

  • The impression itself isn’t pushed back and forth. Instead, the notification that the impression is for sale is sent. Hence, ad serving is faster.
  • Publishers can make more of the inventory while offering it to anyone who wants it.
  • Additional demand partners increase the overall revenue.
  • More transparent access to the info about impressions sold, in particular on the prices.
  • No need for finding and setting the right sequence of potential buyers.

However, no technique can be flawless. First, you need to know how to setup header bidding to get the maximum of it. Moreover, it has its weak points that dictate the need for the technology to evolve.

The progress in the direction also evokes new questions for analysts to highlight: choosing between server-side and browser-side header bidding, knowing the peculiarities of in-app and video header bidding, as well as getting the best of the hybrid models, the combination of RTB and HB in particular.

Want to increase your knowledge? Follow us for more insights.

Want to learn more?

*
*
*

Your message has been sent successfully.

You Might Also Like
17 best advertising podcasts - Admixer Blog

Podcasts are quickly maturing into a content-rich media format, with an abundance of niche programs about advertising. Since the ongoing health crisis prevents us from going to lectures and marketing meetups, a podcast is a great way to stay in touch with your colleagues and the adtech industry.  CMO of Admixer Anna Yatel said: “In […]

17 best advertising podcasts - Admixer Blog
17 Podcasts to Enhance Your Digital Advertising Strategy in 2020

Podcasts are quickly maturing into a content-rich media format, with an abundance of niche programs about advertising. Since the ongoing health crisis prevents us from going to lectures and marketing meetups, a podcast is a great way to stay in touch with your colleagues and the adtech industry.  CMO of Admixer Anna Yatel said: “In […]

Read more
Programmatic Trends 2020 - Admixer Blog

Programmatic advertising is developing rapidly. According to the eMarketer research, more than 82% of U.S. display ads will be purchased using programmatic in 2020. Programmatic is becoming a dominant model for trading all media types.  Yet, there is a long road for it to cement its positions in the new sectors, like CTV, DOOH, and […]

Programmatic Trends 2020 - Admixer Blog
16 Programmatic Trends Shaping the AdTech Industry in 2020

Programmatic advertising is developing rapidly. According to the eMarketer research, more than 82% of U.S. display ads will be purchased using programmatic in 2020. Programmatic is becoming a dominant model for trading all media types.  Yet, there is a long road for it to cement its positions in the new sectors, like CTV, DOOH, and […]

Read more
Quarantine Chronicles: What to Read, Watch and Listen to - Admixer Blog

Coronavirus pandemic has made millions of people turn to remote work. Social distancing may be an effective measure to stop the virus spread but it also leaves us wondering how to spend the extra free time. We’ve asked our colleagues to share educational content that helps them stay sane during the crisis. Check out the […]

Quarantine Chronicles: What to Read, Watch and Listen to - Admixer Blog
Quarantine Chronicles: What to Read, Watch and Listen to While Distancing

Coronavirus pandemic has made millions of people turn to remote work. Social distancing may be an effective measure to stop the virus spread but it also leaves us wondering how to spend the extra free time. We’ve asked our colleagues to share educational content that helps them stay sane during the crisis. Check out the […]

Read more
Stay updated with Admixer