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Publishers Slow to Adopt Header Bidding

Today's digital advertising technology is attractive to revenue-minded publishers, but the newest approaches aren't always adopted (some would argue, for good reason). 

Ad technology firm GetIntent, in fact, released a study that found most publishers (more than 80 percent of the Alexa 100) have not embraced header bidding.

Header bidding, also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding, is a programmatic technique where publishers' inventory is offered to several ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to ad servers. The theory is that by letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, publishers could increase their yield and make more money. 

Perhaps more surprising about the GetIntent study is that while many advertising technology providers offer header bidding capabilities, there seems to be one dominant player in Criteo, which was far and away the leader in its study of the Alexa 1000 (a relatively small sample of course). Among the 121 publishers that most commonly used header bidding solutions, 42.1 percent used Criteo and 24.4 percent, Amazon. Fewer (17.1 percent) are using the open-source and free Prebid.js container.

Publishers typically avoid header bidding technology because it can be quite complicated and costly to implement. Based on the initial and ongoing costs of managing and maintaining these initiatives, the return may not be that much more than what publishers receive from their current setup.  

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