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Video header bidding

What is video header bidding

Video header bidding is the process publishers employ to sell their video ad inventories to multiple demand partners and ad networks. With video header bidding, selling video ad inventories can be simultaneous. Video header bidding was brought in to counter the disadvantages of the traditional waterfall method.

How does video header bidding work

Header bidding allows multiple demand sources to bid simultaneously on the same ad inventory. When a user visits the websites, and the player is loaded, it sends an ad request to multiple demand partners, who bid on the ad inventory. The highest bidder can display their video ads on the user side.

In video header bidding, there are both client-side header bidding and server-side header bidding.

What is client-side video header bidding

  1. When the user visits the website with the video player, it loads, and the header-bidding wrapper calls the multiple supply-side platforms (SSPs) or ad exchanges.
  2. The SSP and ad exchange forward these bid requests to various display-side platforms (DSPs) and ad networks. The DSPs and ad networks represent advertisers who seek to display their ads to users.
  3. The DSPs evaluate the requests and determine how much they wish to bid on the ad inventory. They place bids on the ad inventory once they decide how much to bid.
  4. The bids from demand sources are sent again to the video player's code through SSPs and ad exchanges. This code is called a "header bidding wrapper," which takes on the responsibility of managing the bidding process.
  5. The header bidding wrapper receives and evaluates all the bids. It compares the bids based on price, ad quality, and targeting criteria. The highest bidder is selected as the winner.
  6. Once the header bidding wrapper decides the highest bid, it passes this on to the publisher's ad server. The ad server is a system the website owner manages to handle ad placements.
  7. The ad server delivers the ad creative or VAST tag to the video ad player within the user's browser. The video ad player renders and displays the ad within the content or video player interface.

What is server-side video header bidding

  1. Similar to client-side header bidding, when you open a webpage, the video player loads, and the header bidding wrapper is also loaded. It sends an ad request for an ad to the server. The request has information about the ad space available in the video player.
  2. The ad server receives this ad request and identifies it as a video ad impression eligible for server-side header bidding. The ad server forwards this ad request to the server-side header bidding solution.
  3. The server-side header bidding solution receives the ad request. It then sends a bid request to multiple demand partners.
  4. The demand sources evaluate the bid requests and how much they would pay for the ad space. They then send their bids and ad creatives back to the supply sources.
  5. The server-side header bidding solution will collect these bids and determine the highest. They will then return the winning bid.
  6. The demand partner delivers the ad creative or VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) tag to the ad server and delivers the ad creative or VAST tag to the video ad player within the user's browser.

Advantages of video header bidding

There are many advantages to video header bidding. They are as follows.

  1. Maximized revenue: Video header bidding allows multiple demand sources to compete for each ad impression in real-time. This will result in higher bids and increased revenue for publishers.
  2. Optimized yield management: Video header bidding allows publishers to manage inventory effectively, enabling multiple yield partners where publishers can set floor prices and adjust them based on performance.
  3. Better user experience: With video header bidding, there is reduced latency since the demand partners are called at once, and ad loading time is improved. This will lead to a better user experience. It can also lead to high engagement and better overall performance for publishers.
  4. Enhanced Targeting: Video header bidding gives publishers access to various demand sources, including advertisers and data suppliers. The increased competition makes it possible to target and personalize video ads with greater accuracy, which may lead to better user experiences and higher engagement levels.

Disadvantages of video header bidding

Video header bidding also has some disadvantages, which are as follows.

  1. Latency issues on the client side: It involves loading more scripts into the website, which may increase the time it takes for pages to load. Users may notice slower load times as a result. This may result in a bad user experience and higher bounce rates.
  2. Leakage of data: Video header bidding allows sharing of user data with multiple demand partners during bidding. If data sharing is not handled carefully, there is a risk of data leakage.
  3. Lack of transparency: Advertisers are unaware that the price they pay for inventory is the same amount a publisher receives. They also need to be made aware if the header bidding provider gets a commission.
  4. Lack of video ad spaces: Video inventory is much less when compared to display inventory. As a result, the scope of video header bidding is also reduced.

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