The CBC also wanted to serve the growing number of private marketplace buyers better.
“We’re seeing a shift toward the PMPs, away from open marketplaces, because of the issues in our industry [around fraud and viewability], and we wanted to offer a larger pool of inventory that will bring more spending into the CBC programmatically,” MacPherson said.
The CBC sees the value of its inventory increasing under the setup, as well as increased bidding activity, MacPherson said. Revenue is up, too, but because programmatic fluctuates so much, it’s been difficult to tease out the impact of the shift.
However, a study Index Exchange did of publishers on its platform showed header tag CPMs outperformed waterfall CPMs by 46% in private exchanges during the second quarter of the year.In open exchanges, the spread is even larger with header tag CPMs outperforming waterfall CPMs by 166%. That's because open exchange CPMs are generally lower and attract more buyers, which increases bid density and clearing price.
Although the CBC wants to increase revenue via this header tag arrangement, it also wants to protect private marketplace buyers, which is why it’s only giving access to its Deal ID buyers.
“We wouldn’t let an outside bid ruin that relationship with our clients on the PMP side,” MacPherson said.
Now that CBC has the header tag in place for its desktop inventory, it’s turning its attention to mobile. After updating its mobile site with a more responsive design, CBC plans to test a header tag setup on the mobile web, which is underused from an advertising perspective. Mobile accounts for 25% of CBC’s inventory, even though mobile traffic is much higher.
“Our next steps are to see where the mobile world lies,” MacPherson said, “and how to activate in the mobile space.”