Publishers weigh the downsides to header bidding
Header bidding, the industry obsession du juor, has quickly become an enticing gambit for publishers looking to squeeze more revenue out of their inventory. But that doesn’t mean they’re willing to look past the tech’s faults.
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.
“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.
“You have to put a lot of tech into using a header bidder, and a lot of publishers may not have the tech resources to do it or understand it,” said Business Insider vp of programmatic and data strategy Jana Meron. “It’s a lot.”
Publishers are also concerned about how header bidding might leak data about their audience to their partner bidders, who can then use what they learn to buy access to that audience for cheaper elsewhere. It’s a data-leakage concern shared by both publishers and brands, which should give publishers pause before they rush to adopt header bidding, said Matt Prohaska, CEO of Prohaska Consulting .
“Header bidding looks great monetarily, but a lot of publishers are waking up to the fact that there’s a bit of a ‘seller beware’ element to this pitch,” he said.
Photo: Flickr/Scott Beale
Bloomberg Media is testing paid tiers for virtual events
Bloomberg is testing a virtual events model where attendees could pay different amounts to attend with a slew of tracks.
Member ExclusiveCase Study: How The Week successfully created a children’s media property amid the pandemic
The Week created and grew a children's publication in the unprecedented pandemic year to keep young audiences engaged.
‘They won’t enable our identifier’: Identity tech providers try to make sense of Google’s plan not to support alternate identifiers
Some identifiers just won’t work in some Google inventory, but identity tech providers are keeping a stiff upper lip.
SponsoredHow publishers are maximizing retention after the COVID-19 subscription surge
Michael D. Silberman, senior vice president of strategy, Piano For many publishers, 2020 was a good year for subscriptions, and the trend has continued into 2021. For example, over the last month, The New York Times grew active news subscriptions by 48%, and Insider has doubled its subscriber base to just over 100,000 in the […]
‘It moved quicker than we planned’: iProspect’s global president Amanda Morrissey on the restructure with Vizeum
iProspect's global president Amanda Morrissey expects to complete Denstu-owned performance agency's restructure with Vizeum by the end of March.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: Media companies’ diversity reports show compounding leadership gap problem
Media companies’ diversity shortcomings pervade their organizations, but lack of diversity among their executive and management ranks is particularly problematic.