Publishers Tap AppNexus’ Prebid Video To Pump Up Programmatic Yield

Although video header bidding is still nascent, early adopters are starting to see results.

Social-heavy publisher Diply has been using AppNexus’ video header bidding solution Prebid Video since the end of last year to allow programmatic auctions to compete alongside its ad server –  Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

Customizing its header bidding wrapper helps Diply facilitate competition within an auction. For instance, Diply can decide whether to serve a banner ad or outstream video unit to drive the most yield for a winning bid closer to real time.

 “We have multiple partners that compete for the impression within the wrapper, since you have the ability to call multiple partners into that platform through Prebid.js,” said Sheri Ham, VP of programmatic for Diply.

Prebid Video is built on open-source code called Prebid.js, which promises interoperability with other ad servers, SSPs and most major video players.

Prebid Video also runs auctions asynchronously upon page load.

That way, when multiple demand sources compete concurrently like in a standard header bidding setup, there’s less chance for latency and a video loads more rapidly.

“The key thing is it reduces latency versus in a more traditional tag-based integration,” Ham said. “Since Diply is such a highly mobile product, latency is something that’s really important to us.”

Another publisher, Ranker, has been using AppNexus’ header bidding wrapper since June.

Early on, Ranker saw very little demand, but entering Q3 and Q4, things have ramped up, according to Premesh Purayil, CTO for Ranker.

Since Ranker uses the LKQD video ad server instead of the more entrenched DFP, it had to customize its integration more.

“We had to make some adjustments to send our bids there instead of DFP,” he said. “We built video header bidder integrations with Amazon, Facebook and Rubicon with a few more rolling out in the coming weeks.”

Video header bidding has helped Ranker increase efficiencies by streamlining the number of demand partners it accommodates in its video stack.

In addition, the publisher has cut down on the number of “non-100% fill VPAID tags” it used to receive from multiple SSP partners.

By using a header bidding wrapper, Ranker reduced its tag-based partners from 50 to 15, which doubled its eCPMs.

“In addition to the increase in overall yield due to the bump in efficiency of the auction, the other main benefit is the large drop in latency on delivering pre-roll ads,” Purayil said. “Users can get to the content faster and have a much better experience.”

More than 30 publishers, including Diply, Ranker, Fandom and Penske Media (owner of Variety, WWD, Rolling Stone and more), have tapped Prebid Video for header bidding since its launch last December.

“We’re starting to see a cluster of publishers who are seeing meaningful results, which is not where we were a year ago with video header bidding,” said Eric Hoffert, SVP of video technology for AppNexus. “When we launched, people were looking at video header bidding as something that was maybe more technically interesting, but [now it’s] something that’s becoming commercially viable.”

One forecast this past fall estimated that 51% of publishers who leverage a header bidding wrapper used AppNexus, while Index Exchange commanded close to 28% of market share.

The growth of Prebid Video is in line with traction AppNexus claims it’s experiencing in its video business overall.

More than 100 video sellers are now using its video SSP, up from 15 publisher clients during its beta launch in March 2016, with more than 1 billion header bidding requests monthly, the company said.

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