Video Header Bidding: What You Need to Know

Written on
Feb 23, 2017 
George Levin  |

Q: Why is 2017 a major turning point in the “cure for header bidding,” with video leading the charge on the programmatic front?

A: Video is the most valuable real estate on a publisher’s website. Premium video demand significantly exceeds supply. That means publishers who have this supply deserve the right to sell it transparently to whom they want and at a maximum price. And Header Bidding concept is giving them this right.

Q: How did things work before header bidding?

A: With a classic waterfall, a publisher has to secure its premium inventory for direct deals, then a small fraction goes to PMP, and finally remnants are sold through SSP at a low price and with a lack of transparency. This approach is not flexible and extremely uncomfortable for publishers. First of all, incremental traffic would be monetized as remnant. Secondly, to secure more guaranteed traffic it would be sold directly with some discount.

Q: How is the largely untapped and unsaturated video header bidding ecosystem going to cure the problems of real time bidding?

A: Header bidding simplifies the process. Publishers just need to balance direct-sold deals against header bidding PMPs. No more open market with its lack of transparency, no more wasted incremental traffic. In addition header bidding makes PMPs scalable, which is great for buyers, so they can get the first look at scale.

Q: How does the transparency of header bidding let brands get the full value of their programmatic ad-spending?

A: With header bidding PMPs, buyers and sellers negotiate a price and use their DSP as a pipe. It doesn’t make sense for DSPs and SSPs to do the same work. In other words, with header bidding buyers finally get the first look at scale and publishers may optimize their yield. And both can get the ultimate transparency by pushing DSPs and SSPs to a flat CPM pricing.


George Levin is CEO & Co-Founder of GetIntent. He holds a dual Master’s Degree in both Mathematics and Marketing. After five years of studying differential geometry and topology, George decided to change his field dramatically and in 2007 began his career in online advertising. Attracted to accountability and predictability, George’s main areas of interest and expertise revolve around machine learning and programmatic.
His professional passion for learning more about the advertising technology ecosystem led George, together with his fellow mathematician student Vladimir Klimontovich, to found the programmatic platform GetIntent. With headquarters in both New York and Moscow, GetIntent is one of the leading players in the global programmatic platform industry.

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