Undoubtedly, programmatic has been an enticing ad buying strategy for all parties on the video advertising market for quite a long time now. However, many publishers are still grappling with a series of issues with customers’ advertising experience, video ad viewability, inventory monetization, yield management, and more.

In this respect, the introduction of outstream video ad formats, has, obviously, improved the situation, allowing publishers to boost ad viewability, while keeping user experience with ads non-disruptive.

Yet, when it comes to money, achieving persistent revenue growth often remains a continuous struggle.

Pitfalls of Waterfalling

Perhaps, the most common programmatic ad buying approach in digital advertising in a whole and video advertising in particular, is waterfalling, which implies a hierarchy in bidding priority among demand sources (SSPs, ad networks, etc.).

As the experts admit, the main problem with waterfalling is, the real-time ad impression value isn’t taken into account, which is why low-ranked demand sources may win over a potentially higher bid, causing publisher’s’ revenue loss.

What is Header Bidding?

Header bidding (pre-bidding, advance bidding) is a programmatic ad buying approach that implies multiple demand sources bid on publisher’s inventory simultaneously, before making the call on the ad server.

Unlike with display ads, implementation of video header bidding implies ad calls come from the video player, rather than the page header.

That is, the header bidding tag or container needs to be integrated into the video player, which further determines where to make the call on the video ad server.

Benefits of Video Header Bidding

Header bidding allows valuing video ad impressions independently and auctioning them at the highest possible price, in real time.

From the publisher’s perspective, adoption of header bidding for video ads can fuel their significant revenue uplift and provide higher transparency in terms of real-time video ad impression value and the current inventory demand.

From the advertiser’s perspective, header bidding enables access to entire publisher’s inventory stack, which helps define the maximum potential reach of video ad campaigns and adjust their bids on the premium inventory, accordingly.

Challenges vs. Solutions

The critics of header bidding cite a set of potential issues, related to its adoption, particularly in video advertising. These, namely, include:

  • Complexity of implementation

Like it or not, the implementation of header bidding for video ads may be a daunting task for publishers lacking required tech expertise or resources.

The trick is, whereas many providers promise some sort of customer support to publishers, the actual level of provided assistance is often insufficient.

What to do?

It’s crucial to select top-ranked header-bidding partners to work with, who can and will help provide the decent level of tech support and ensure the correct implementation on the publisher’s side.

  • Page latency

Beyond its complex implementation and setup, header bidding for video can potentially take a toll on the publisher’s website load time.

In fact, each added video SSP or video ad network tag becomes a potential source of added latency.

What to do?

The efficient implementation of header bidding can potentially minimize page latency risks.

In this respect, publishers should be able to ensure their video header-bidder partners handle the integration properly.

  • Data leakage

Another publishers’ concern with header bidding lies in a potential risk of audience data leakage to bidders, which may lead to their further purchase of similar inventory elsewhere, at the lower price.

What to do?

The only possible way to safeguard publisher’s audience data is to ensure their profound understanding of their header-bidder partners’ policies and practices.

As a Sum-up…

All things considered, header bidding is, by any stretch, a cutting-edge advancement in programmatic video advertising. If adopted efficiently, it can help boost publishers’ yield, while securing maximum reach of brands’ video ad campaigns.