Publishers weigh the downsides to header bidding

With header bidding, publishers can combine demand for the inventory from both direct and indirect buyers in a single unified auction. This lets them make more money for their space because all demand partners are bidding at the same time.

But with that approach comes the risk of slowing down publishers’ pages. To implement header bidding, publishers add a line of Javascript to the header portion of their sites’ HTML. That can add more time to page-load, depending on how many header-bidding partners a publisher decides to work with.

That’s a hard sell today. Publishers and their ad tech partners are already getting slapped around for creating website experiences bogged down by ads and JavaScript calls. And users have responded by blocking ads and those scripts entirely.

“The risk is that the very thing you’re trying to accomplish with header bidding gets negated once you implement it,” said Tribune Publishing head of programmatic Lori Tavoularis. ”You’re trying to get more scale and people to see your site, but more latency can lead to fewer impressions and less viewability. That’s a challenge balancing that.”

Such is one of the major technical challenges that face publishers looking to implement header bidding, which is far more complex than just adding a few lines of code to a site’s backend. Beyond just the basic technical aspects, publishers also have to consider how header bidding fits into their overall ad-deal flow and figure out which and how many header bidders to work with.

Read the full article here

Source: Digiday

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