CBC Turns On Video Header Bidding

CBC-Video-Header-BiddingThe Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) turned on video header bidding with Index Exchange.

The broadcaster and publisher requested that Index Exchange develop the feature because it wanted “to make more data-rich inventory available to [private exchange buyers],” said Jeff MacPherson, director of monetization platforms and services at CBC.

The move will also boost yield for the leftover inventory that CBC monetizes via the open exchange. “The control we have is far greater than in a remnant play, where direct blindly took high-data impressions and we were dumping what was left,” MacPherson said.

Since publishers of CBC’s caliber tend to sell out their video inventory at premium rates, many in the industry question the need for programmatic video – let alone video header bidding.

But CBC thought that better access for its high-paying direct programmatic buyers and a boost in yield made the one-month integration worth the effort. Additionally, because CBC is a news site, it occasionally sees viewing spikes. Those periodic increases in inventory will now sell at higher rates because of video header bidding.

MacPherson also likes that this tech is part of a “movement toward a holistic ad stack,” bringing more demand sources together.

Building the video header tech was difficult because publishers use so many different video players, said Andrew Casale, CEO of Index Exchange. CBC, for example, uses one player for its over-the-top viewing and another for its shorter news stories. That made Index’s development of the solution take twice as long. Integrations take two to three times longer for publishers, too, he said.

However, because of how video ad delivery works, Casale claims Index Exchange is able to avoid adding latency to page load times. With display header bidding, publishers must vigilantly monitor latency.

“We are separating fetching [market] demand from the act of rendering the ad or playing the content,” Casale said. The tech caches the ad until the user initiates video content. “By the time you hit the player, you are ready to go.”

Casale sees video header bidding supercharging demand for programmatic inventory. If buyers see quality, data-rich users on video programmatic, they’ll start bidding more for them.

“Video will always be highly sold-through and expensive, but when the market can see what’s there, supply and demand will take over,” Casale said. “Certain marketers will pay a premium to reserve programmatically and buy the exact audiences they want to.”

The solution works on desktop and mobile web. Besides CBC, two dozen publishers are in the integration process.

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