Leading Operations Online

Header bidding is a way for publishers to solicit real-time bids from a multitude of programmatic partners on each and every piece of inventory by using the page header within a site's source code. Basically, it’s a convoluted way to bypass the ad server waterfall and ensure inventory is valued fairly in real-time.

It works like this:

  • A header partner integrates Javascript in the page header of a publisher’s source code; this code may exist by itself or be encapsulated in a wrapper with other header partners. 
  • When a user arrives on the page in question, the code calls out to the corresponding demand source (SSP, DSP, exchange) through the browser. (In desktop ad serving, the user’s browser is used as a communication hub for calls and redirects.)
  • The demand source launches an auction or auctions for some or all...

When we split up the types of publishers out there in digital, we tend to group them broadly. You have your pubs originally from the traditional newspaper/magazine space, those that came out of broadcast media, your newer digital pure plays. We don’t tend to divide B2B pubs from B2C pubs—even though there are often massive differences in how those publishers need to develop their monetization strategies.

When we caught up with FatTail CEO Doug Huntington, he was keen to talk about what sets B2Bs apart, from an advertising perspective. This is, Doug said, a certain historical sweet spot for FatTail, which was plying its tech toward solutions for the B2B Network World way back in 2002.

Sure, B2Bs might be underrepresented in the monetization discussion. But it’s not for lack of good material. Anyone who’s worked with a niche B2B knows how creative these pubs have to be to make revenues. And as Doug explained, while there are areas where B2Bs have to catch up to their B2C peers,...

Publishers know advertisers always want to be on the part of the page where users are most engaged. But they also know that when you have a highly engaged user, you might want to let them enjoy what they came to your site for, and give them a little space.

It's a classic conundrum, and it's something the NetSeer's Head of Product, Amir Bakhshaie, and his team have had on their collective mind for a long time. So when Amir first told us about NetSeer's dynamic gallery insertion tool, it seemed like it could be a really interesting solution. As Amir told us, when publishers trade user engagement for immediate ad revenue, that's not a sustainable solution in the long term. If you want to cultivate long-term engagement on your site, a publisher should know when and where not to serve an ad, just the same as they should know when and where to go ahead and serve an ad.

We wanted the scoop from...

You may hear a lot these days (particularly on a header-cheerleading site like this one) about the ad-server waterfall being vanquished like some fairy-tale villain. Well, it’s not entirely gone, and similar to many foes in children’s stories, it wasn’t always such a bad thing—it was simply exploited.

In the early days of digital advertising, creative (note that we’re mainly talking display here) would actually have to be hard coded into a site to run, or the publisher would serve creative on their end via an in-house ad server. Basically an advertiser had to treat each publisher as a separate entity—creative for every campaign would have to be “hand-delivered” through something as quaint as email or an FTP server.

The widespread adoption of third-party ad servers enabled a single piece of creative to easily run across a multitude of sites. Because...

Yield management is a slippery topic to explain, and even more complicated in practice. Rather than explain how it works, it’s probably more helpful to explain what it does. Well… what it’s supposed to do, in theory.

First, the problem that yield management aims to solve for publishers: The total amount of inventory on a site is more or less consistent over time, but the demand for it fluctuates. Your goal is to sell out all your inventory all the time, at the highest prices possible. Yield management strategists have to figure out which buyers will have access to how much inventory, at which time, through which buying channels, at which CPMs.

Basically, in order to keep both fill rates and CPMs as high as possible, the same inventory is sold to different buyers at different prices.

Yield management is not even remotely confined to digital media.You come across examples of it as an everyday consumer without thinking twice about it. The “analog world”...

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