The Mobile, Virtual, 360-Degree Future Of Header Bidding

The emergence of header bidding, particularly the server-to-server variety, has minimized latency and optimized yield for many digital publishers. However, we can expect more range of ad formats and devices effectively integrating this technique in the near future.

“Mobile-first header bidding approaches are becoming more popular, as digital advertising on mobile devices surpasses total spend through traditional desktop display advertising,” Frank Sinton, CEO at Beachfront Media, told Digital News Daily.

Current advancements in header bidding technology are most relevant to traditional video units, where “newer real-time bidding specifications are able to detect outstream versus instream video more efficiently,” continued Sinton.  

Sinton further expects virtual reality (VR), 360 video, and connected TV applications for header bidding in the near future.

Connected TV (CTV), one can presume, will take the lead here, as adoption of those types of devices increases dramatically. U.S. users of CTV grew by 20.6% in 2016, according to eMarketer, with a reach of 181.8 million, a number expected to increase by another 20 million through 2020.

Implementing revenue-maximizing techniques like server-to-server header bidding for CTV is relevant today. Header bidding for 360 video and VR may be a few years off, however, according to Sinton.

Omnivirt COO and co-founder Michael Rucker has a different take, noting that those formats can be used today.  “As long as the publisher’s ad server supports header bidding and can export a VAST tag, which your major ad servers (DoubleClick for Publishers, etc.) would be able to do, then we can incorporate header bidding inside of VR apps for publishers,” Rucker told Digital News Daily via email.

We can’t expect someone to have a VR headset or a functional 360-degree camera in their homes, as we can with connected TV devices, but that reality may (will) change soon. With headsets in the gaming, educational and event worlds increasingly gaining traction, brands should soon be able to explore such avenues with new, engaging creatives and revenue-conscious technologies.

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