Babar Khan Javed
Jan 26, 2018

Video header bidding doubles publisher eCPMs: AppNexus

AppNexus reports that it has doubled eCPMs for publishers by using video header bidding. However, the approach faces adoption barriers in APAC.

As media transparency grows, vendors offering video header bidding experience greater adoption of the format by publishers.
As media transparency grows, vendors offering video header bidding experience greater adoption of the format by publishers.

Prebid.js, the open-source header bidding solution adopted by AppNexus and Rubicon Project, has demonstrated its effectiveness for yield optimization from video header bidding, according to the companies.

By allowing advertisers and agencies to access video inventory that would otherwise be reserved for a publiher's direct sales reps, video header bidding has the potential to offer publishers an avenue of selling more video ads in the automated landscape.

An announcement from AppNexus alleges that participating publishers which undertook video header bidding experienced doubled eCPMs within a year.

Processing over 1 billion header-bidding requests per month through its SSP solution, AppNexus believes it is poised for growth by addressing critical market gaps.

The company quoted Sheri Ham, the VP of programmatic for Diply, as saying the AppNexus approach outperformed Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers.

APAC analysis

Held back in the APAC region by concerns around latency and data leakage, video header bidding has grown in adoption due to Prebid Video, which connects with ad servers, SSPs, and most video players.

Relatively few publishers in the APAC region create quality long-form content that would be supported by video header bidding, and those that do are wary of the integrations needed to trade inventory in a manner reminiscent to display inventory.

According to Tom Simpson, the APAC director of programmatic and growth at AdColony, video inventory is scarce and most publishers are wary of commoditising it right now, as has happened in the display market.

"Most publishers prefer to work direct demand setting up Private Market Place deals (PMPs) with premium pricing rather than sourcing demand with multiple exchanges, Ad networks, and DSPs," said Simpson. "Header bidding on video doesn’t work seamlessly in an InAPP environment and requires significant workaround and development effort."

He adds that, in a mobile world, video buffering is a very big challenge, with viewers experiencing slow speeds to the addition of extra code wherein ad calls will increase latency and make it even more likely that video will buffer.

Another critical problem holding back video header bidding adoption in the APAC region is the continuing prevalence of Flash-based video players, wherein video header bidding quit on JavaScript.

Changes and integrations to make heading bidding work with Flash-based video players result in longer load times for video ads, hurting the viewer experience and raising app bounce rates.

According to AppNexus, publishers who are serious about doubling eCPMs can solve these issues by divesting from tag-based partners, customizing the header bidding wrapping, and building integrations with relevant partners such as Rubicon.

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