2019 is right around the corner and publishers of all kinds are trying to figure out the best way to set up their client and server side header bidding partners. After a year of conversations and observing various header set up’s we have a good idea of what you as a publisher should be doing to maximize your header bidding activity in 2019.
Prebid.js is an open source header bidding wrapper which has been the foundation for header bidding in 2018. Prebid is the foundation of any baked out header bidding strategy. A publisher implement prebid (or have a consultant manage their prebid stack) and integrate their own demand partner relationships so they are paid directly from each network/SSP. You should aim to have around 6-8 header bidding partners client side and ensure that each demand partner is bringing unique advertisers to your inventory and not just reselling exchange demand. Prebid is the most widely used open source header bidding framework and can be highly customized. While prebid offers over 100 partner adapters you can integrate into your ad stack, it’s important for any publisher to understand if a partner is truly driving value. Roxot conducted analyzing countless header bidding auctions to determine the most popular and strongest header bidding partners.
Google’s EBDA (Exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation) enables a publisher to allow third party demand to bid within DFP against google AdX. With just a click of a button and a signed contract from each demand partner, a publisher can enable multiple bidders to compete directly inside of DFP. This technology was created by Google as an “anti-header bidding” of sorts. Header bidding traditionally relies on passing winning bids back to DFP and triggering granular line items that were being creates in the thousands. with EBDA, a publisher can seamlessly enable 3rd party exchanges to bid dynamically in DFP.
You can see a list of available EBDA bidders here:
In conjunction with prebid, many publishers use Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM) to facilitate their server side bidding. Amazon’s A9 Adtech group created a powerful server to server (S2S) header bidding wrapper that allows a publisher to integrate their own demand relationships. Amazon has rapidly taken up a large market share with their technology and signed up 100’s of publishers in 2018 poised to grow even further internally in 2019. It’s the Amazon way!
While there are many other header bidding wrappers that are widely adopted (many based on the prebid.js framework) We feel the big three remain to be prebid.js, Amazon TAM and Google EBDA based on hundreds of publisher phone calls, meetings and analyzing data from the ad ops community. Many companies who have their own header bidding wrappers are also SSPs that plug into several wrappers as a demand partner.