Video Header Bidding

There are two major ad buying approaches currently distinguished in programmatic video advertising: ad waterfalling and header bidding.

Namely, ad waterfalling implies somewhat a hierarchy of the bidding priority assigned to various demand sources (demand-side platforms, ad networks, etc.), which doesn’t take into account the real-time value of a video ad impression. 

As for video header bidding (also known as pre-bidding), this approach implies that multiple sources of demand are simultaneously bidding on the same publisher’s inventory, prior to making the ad server call.

What is Video Header Bidding?

The specifics of header bidding in video advertising lies in the fact that the ad server calls are made by the video ad player, not the page header. 

Meanwhile, it’s the video header bidding tag (container, wrapper), integrated into the ad-enabled video player, which handles the simultaneous bid requests, and further determines where to make the video ad server call. 

Benefits vs Potential Pitfalls

From an advertiser’s perspective, video header bidding is seemingly a winning strategy, simply because it enables them to access the entire stack of a publisher’s inventory, hence maximize reach of their video ad campaigns. 

From a publisher’s perspective, one of the obvious benefits of video header bidding is their ability to generate greater ad revenue by selling inventory at the highest price offered at the time of auction. 

On the flip side, the implementation isn’t easy to handle. 

More importantly, adding too many demand sources to bid simultaneously on the same video ad placement on a publisher’s webpage may result in higher latency. Simply put, the page may load slower, than it usually does. 

Another possible drawback is the risk of inventory data leakage to some of the bidders, hence the risk of losing demand partners, if the latter find similar inventory for the lower price elsewhere. 


For more information, please check out a comprehensive guide to video header bidding on the AdPlayer.Pro blog.

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