Over the last few years, technological developments in the ad ecosystem have evolved to allow more publishers of varying sizes to add more demand partners into their stacks. What’s more, the economic realities digital ad marketplace have brought us to a point where integrating with more than just a few demand partners is table stakes, simply the cost of being competitive.
Yes, that evolution was accelerated by the mainstreaming of header bidding circa 2015-16. The header revolution brought about closer relationships with their preferred demand partners. It also taxed publishers’ development resources and ushered in a host of issues around site performance. Think two years would be enough time to solve those problems? Think again, when at the same time industry consolidation has changed the way some of those demand partners relate to the buy side and the sell side, when fraudulent actors introduced increasingly wily and worrisome malvertising attacks into the supply chain, and when the process of managing reporting has only become more complicated.
Two years ago, publishers were coming to the realization they had to make informed, strategic decisions about which of their demand partners get to go into the header, and which should stay in the programmatic waterfall. But today, a growing number of publishers are acknowledging they need to make decisions about which partners they should continue to work with, and which they should cut off.
In this playbook, developed in partnership with GeoEdge, we’re going to look at how publishers are deciding which partners can stay and which can go. We listened to what pubs have said on the subject at recent industry events. We also launched a survey to find out what publishers value (it’s not just revenue), what they find problematic (it’s not just malvertising), how they work with their partners to solve problems, and how they determine the limits of what they’re willing to deal with.