Inside Rubicon Project’s Latest Header Bidding Tool – Adweek


Rubicon Project has lifted the lid on a tool to help publishers deal with the complications of header bidding, asserting its roots in open-source software allows publishers to take back control.

Rubicon Project CEO Michael Barrett teased the launch of Demand Manager last week on a call with investment analysts, saying early beta tests have yielded a “phenomenal response.”

The rise of header bidding, a software that helps publishers manage multiple auctions for an ad impression simultaneously, is a trend that initially blindsided Rubicon Project and subsequently led its current leadership team to participate in the launch of Prebid.org to promote an open-source approach to developing the software.

Advocates championed header bidding as a means for publishers to reduce their dependence on Google’s sell-side ad-tech stack, and although it helped early adopters point northward, it brought with it complications, according to Rubicon Project CEO Michael Barrett.

Barrett told Adweek that Prebid.org is one of the most popularly installed header bidding solutions among premium publishers but that many of them now require additional resources to monetize the resulting demand the open-source software heralds.

“It’s really strong in terms of openness and transparency, but there are not as many tools in terms of analytics, monetization and optimization and just a real lack of expertise [in how best to use it],” he said.

Demand Manager is being marketed as “prebid as a service” given that it is based on the open-source software the company helped launch along with AppNexus in 2017.

It gives publishers access to inventory demand from more than 70 supply-side platforms and ad exchanges with a slew of international publishers, including Discovery Inc., Publishers Clearing House and Autotrader.

Rubicon Project CTO Tom Kershaw said in a statement: “With Demand Manager, we see the opportunity to combine the transparency and flexibility of open source with a turnkey service that puts control back in the publishers’ hands so they don’t have to rely on us or anyone else to run their businesses.”

Matt Burgess, business development and programmatic partnerships, at Publishers Clearing House, said in the joint statement that implementing the service helped revenue increase by double digits.

“The solution enables us to lower page latencies and improve our user experience, but the biggest change is how simple and easy it is to transact with all of our partners,” Burgess said.

Stephanie Layser, vp, advertising technology and operations, News Corp., described the prebid movement as “the independent future of ad tech.”

“The more publishers that embrace prebid and the more companies that contribute to the project, the better for the ecosystem as a whole—including buyers,” she said in the same statement.



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