Publishers on Google’s header bidding competitor: ‘It’s no game changer’
The header bidding movement is picking up steam among publishers, and Google is feeling the heat.
Last week Google officially debuted “DFP First Look,” a new feature for it ad serving tech that lets publishers offer up their high-value impressions to programmatic buyers before offering them up to reserved buys. Google promises both an easy integration process and better monetization through the feature: Publishers testing First Look have already seen yield lifts as high as 10 percent, the company said.
With First Look, Google is taking its first big defensive move against the rise of header bidding, which lets publishers offer inventory to their programmatic partners before making calls to their ad servers, giving more buyers access to inventory simultaneously. While header bidding is great for publishers, which get higher CPMs for their most valuable ad spots, it’s potentially bad for Google’s ad exchange, AdX, which faces more direct competition for inventory from alternate bidding partners such as Amazon and Criteo.
But while Google is pitching DFP First Look as a more simple, integrated alternative to header bidding, publishers aren’t rushing to implement it.
“I don’t think it’s a game changer, nor do I anticipate it replacing header bidding in our ad strategy in the near future, as the two technologies seem to address different challenges,” said Cory Wheeler, head of programmatic at Graphiq, which operates search engines in verticals such as gadgets, real estate, personal finance.
Wheeler said that while First Look is a big improvement to Google’s programmatic stack, it’s unlikely to have a major effect on publishers who have already put in the work to integrate header bidding into their operations. Likewise, for publishers that don’t have a lot of guaranteed inventory, the features appeal is minimal, said James Woods, ad operations manager at Curiosity Media.
“No publisher would stop using a header bidder simply because of First Look because the value-add of most header bidders is greater than simple ‘incremental’ opportunities like sporadic spending from a remarketer.” he said. “Sure, those high CPM, low match buyer might be part of a header bidder’s demand, but no one is implementing a header bidder for just that demand.”
Another limitation with DFP First Look is that, unlike header bidding, it still forces publishers and buyers to work through AdX, which could turn off demand sources looking for a more direct relationship with publishers.
Google executives were not available to comment before publishing.
Despite these challenges, not all publishers are writing off Google’s answer to header bidding. “As a publisher, one of the ways we’re able to grow revenue is by staying in front of and (when appropriate) instituting new technology. Google is our largest display partner so if they roll out a new feature that may offer opportunities to increase yield, that’s something worth exploring.”
In other words, publishers are going to go with the tech that makes them the most money.
“At the end of the day, publishers are motivated by yield,” said Ari Paparo, CEO of real-time bidding company Beeswax. “If a solution gives them that, they will put in the extra work to get every penny. Publishers are very rational creatures in that way.”
Photo: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock.com
Dentsu’s latest ad report shows slowed growth, driven mostly by inflation
The good news in Dentsu's ad forecast is that there's still growth. The bad news: most of the growth is the result of inflation, while real ad pricing actually dropped a bit.
How chef influencer Tue Nguyen works with the BuzzFeed Creator Network
BuzzFeed's Creator Network has been valuable from an audience and production education standpoint, but Nguyen still drives most of her business on her own.
Dentsu’s new Web3 readiness tool shines light on the tech’s potential to complement AI
Dentsu's Innovation Initiative is launching a web3 readiness index next month — at a time when the industry is obsessed with AI. Could the two technologies actually make a good pair?
SponsoredHow agencies’ relationships with RMNs are continuing to evolve in 2023
Sponsored by Best Buy Ads As retail media networks proliferate, agencies are increasingly identifying RMNs as valuable opportunities for their brand clients as they seek quality audience data, meaningful reporting and insights, and authentic and engaging ad formats and creative. However, there are many options for them to work through as they select RMN partners. […]
Digiday+ Research deep dive: Publishers large and small put their resources into first-party data
Eighty-two percent of publishers overall say they're already using first-party data to prepare for the end of the third-party cookie, and nearly half are requiring users to register and integrating first-party data segments into DSPs – indicating that first-party data is the clear path forward for publishers heading into the post-cookie world.
Media Briefing: Why publishers hope chatbots will be the latest retention tool
Publishers hope the chatbots they are developing will be the latest retention tool to keep readers onsite and to get them to consume more content.