Alex Bornyakov, founder & CEO of supply-side platform VertaMedia, predicts that header bidding, which became successful in 2016, could die on the vine this year.
While it has been successful, header bidding may become obsolete: It may have taken a while for programmatic to provide publishers with the additional revenue they needed, but few can deny that header bidding succeeded where the traditional waterfall failed. Confidence in header bidding is now so strong that nearly half of digital publishers are using the technology.
However, header bidding will face significant challenges in the year ahead. Latency is the biggest issue—embedding header tags within pages causes frustratingly slow loading times for consumers. Video will bring another layer of complexity to the mix, with existing technology currently unable to run smoothly with larger video ad units that use the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition (VPAID) guidelines. Resources need to be put into place to resolve this -- whether by automating other processes, or making allowances for the delay as part of campaigns.
In the year ahead, it’s possible that header bidding will be eclipsed by a better solution from media giants, or it could undergo a revamp by third-party developers that create a tool that outpaces conventional header bidding. If the industry chooses to embrace integration or a new technology emerges, there’s every chance that header bidding could become obsolete. Whichever direction the technology takes, one thing is clear: Header bidding isn’t currently up to the challenge of video.
At the moment, header bidding is actively promoted by demand-side platforms, since it allows them to buy Web inventory directly from publishers, using DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and bypassing AdX. If you consider header bidding only in conjunction with Google, it will cease to exist if Google decides to make AdX more transparent. In general, any consolidation -- and consequently, any increase in the market infrastructure's transparency -- will cause header bidding to die.