Header Bidding: A New Frontier in Programmatic Advertising

The programmatic advertising industry is constantly changing, and one such change that has grown in popularity over the last year or so is header bidding. Through allowing demand sources to take a first look at impressions simultaneously, header bidding gives publishers the opportunity to sell impressions to the highest bidder and increase their fill rate. When compared to the traditional waterfall auction, header bidding allows publishers to double their ad revenue as buyers who previously didn’t have access to a publisher’s inventory can now bid on properties that are most valuable to them.

As publishers ourselves, we’re excited to see advances made in the programmatic ad industry and have created a publisher-focused solution to contribute to the changing landscape. We used our background in software/web development to launch PubWise, a SaaS application that makes header bidding setup, management and reporting easier than ever. We know the areas of frustration publishers encounter the most when it comes to header bidding, so we’ve focused our efforts on providing publishers with the tools they really need.

Header Bidding Implementation

Though the end results are favorable, header bidding implementation is complicated and time consuming. In order to be most effective, more than 2,000 line items must be created for 6 – 8 different bidders. A publisher is looking at 16,000 – 20,000 line items and even more than that if they have multiple DFP accounts. Unless a publisher has an in-house development team capable of creating line items, setting up header bidding on the site(s), and testing for functionality, getting started with header bidding can be overwhelming.

We’ve simplified setup with plug-and-play technology that allows publishers to install header bidding with two lines of javascript. Once it’s added to the site, no more code is required and future updates are completed automatically.


We know it’s important to maintain control over all aspects of ad operations, but it shouldn’t be a hassle trying to navigate and maintain a management system. In addition to automatic updates, so publishers are always on the cutting edge of header bidder technology, our dashboard makes it easy to manage header bidding scripts across multiple sites and make changes without getting into code.

Furthermore, we’ve made the transition into header bidding as easy as possible with zero risk to a publisher’s current revenue. Header bidding runs seamlessly with a site’s current ad set up, and direct campaigns can be set up the way they always have with no interference.


Header bidding is still fairly new to the digital advertising market. Because of this, available reporting currently runs through Google Analytics and does not offer the insights publishers need to make the most informed decisions about their header bidding campaigns. We believe that transparent and easy to understand reporting is more important than ever because header bidding allows publishers to see the true value of their inventory. As such, PubWise allows publishers to track variance between what buyers bid and what is actually paid for a holistic picture of account performance. eCPM, impressions, fill, bidder latency and participation rates are also tracked and updates are made to the data every morning.

Start off Strong with Header Bidding Management

There is no doubt that header bidding is going to continue to grow in popularity in the years to come. Even today, it’s a constantly evolving landscape that affords new opportunities for revenue growth and insight. Publishers shouldn’t have to sacrifice ease of use and manageability for revenue maximization. Clear reporting and freedom from setup constraints is imperative, and publishers are voicing their need for this gap in the header bidding market. PubWise fills this need and helps publishers make the most informed decisions about their digital advertising strategy.

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