The Challenge For Video Header Bidding

Amazon’s decision to move into server-to-server header bidding isn’t all that surprising. After all, Amazon wants to avoid sluggish page load times like any other publisher. Notably, publishers will be able to use Amazon’s tool to shift all their header bidding partners from the client side to the server side. 

Header bidding, and Amazon’s entry into it, signals a next step in the evolution of the technology migrating to the server side, versus placing tags on Web pages.

But what does header bidding mean for video advertising? Cedato, a provider of cross-screen video ad delivery and yield optimization, works on video header bidding tech and weighed in. “It's great to see Amazon endorse the header bidding approach but unfortunately for Amazon, this doesn’t work for video advertising,” said Dvir Doron, CMO, Cedato. Doron said that for video, the market is experiencing a struggle between two different approaches—pure client-side optimization and pure server-side optimization.

Doron said neither approach is that effective. Rather, he said, a more hybrid approach is needed for video header bidding, an approach that can maintain low latency and a consistent viewing experience across any device. This "helps publishers gain greater visibility into potential video advertising campaigns” and can potentially increase revenue anywhere from 25% to 50%.

Doron said that growth in outstream video is prompting many publishers to seek greater yield via header bidding, but using header bidding for video can be problematic. He argued that supply-side and demand-side platforms will need to use a mix of client- and server-side operations to service video--in other words, a hybrid approach his company advocates.

Cedato uses a software-as-service model and is a media-agnostic tech platform. “We’re like a video platform and video marketplace," Doron said. 

While header bidding solved a distinct need for publishers, Doron said, things work a bit differently in the video space, where there are large files, and compatibility issues. “When you try to apply the principles of header bidding to video, they don’t work so well.” Latency is a big problem and detrimental to consumers' experience.

In addition to its hybrid approach to video header bidding, Cedato offers an API that enables publishers and video platforms to add video playback capabilities within feeds, articles, and Web pages.

And while the company offers the technology to enable outstream video, it’s not an ad network and doesn’t deal with media. Its mission is to “power every video transaction" -- obviously a lofty goal. “We still have a way to go. We’re trying to build a video tech stack and to monetize video across any device,” Doron said. Essentially a back office tool, Cedato hopes to expand compatiblity to existing programmatic platforms and offer more tools for publishers to run video on their own platforms.

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