Header bidding is now “synonymous” with programmatic advertising, claims PubMatic’s Q2 Quarterly Mobile Index Report. The data appears to support this conclusion, as header bidding has seen triple-digit increases or greater in each geographic region studied.
“Header bidding continues to grow and evolve," Kelvin Pichardo, PubMatic's director of product marketing, told RTBlog, noting that it's "ever-important" for "publishers to regain control of their ad decisioning."
The growth has been particularly apparent on mobile browsers and mobile apps. The volume of monetized header bidding impressions processed through the PubMatic platform, SEVEN, rose 149% year-over-year (YoY) in the second quarter of 2017. Mobile web eCMPs increased 150% YoY across all geographical regions in the same period.
Additionally, mobile private marketplace impression volume increased 73%, with eCPMs (cost per 1000 impressions) increasing 23% YoY. In May 2017, over 80% of publisher impressions processed through PubMatic’s platform globally used header bidding technology.
Pichardo elaborated on how the mobile web and in-app header bidding process compares to the desktop: “The function of header bidding, across formats, whether browser or in app, is to capture the real-time pricing data for your multiple demand partners, before the ad gets to the ad server. So, the function doesn’t change but the mechanics can change in an app environment, while the mechanics and function remain the same as desktop on the mobile web.”
Further trends reported include increases in the use of native ad formats and video on mobile devices. On the SEVEN platform, 67% of monetized native impressions in Q2 were on mobile devices.
Android continues to be the top mobile advertising opportunity for in-app impressions, with over eight in 10 monetized impressions on SEVEN being served to Android devices. ECPMs on iOS devices, however, remain higher overall.
On the international front, Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw mobile impressions triple in Q2 2017 when compared to the same quarter in 2016.
With strong adoption of header bidding throughout the programmatic landscape, what can we expect to see going forward? In answering this question, Pichardo echoes what PubMatic CMO Jeffrey Hirsch told RTBlog in early August: “The next step in ad decisioning needs to be unified ad serving,” explains Pichardo.
“Traditional ad servers were not built for a programmatic world, let alone one that operates across channels, devices and ad formats," he adds. "Publishers need to optimize their monetization strategies across both direct-sold and programmatic, at the impression level, all without jeopardizing guarantees or brand control requirements.”