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The Myths (and Truths) of Video Header Bidding

Video Header

Video header bidding is ready to explode, much in the way display header bidding burst onto the scene a year and a half ago. The technology is already out there for video header bidding to succeed. But with the concept still being relatively new, everyone has questions and concerns about video header bidding.

To avoid any proliferation of misinformation around the upcoming video header bidding deluge, I wanted to address the myths around the technology, while setting the record straight on what publishers need to know before diving in.

Myth: Video header bidding is not really “header” bidding because it is in the player.

Truth: Although this is true for some video header bidding solutions, many of the latest solutions use existing frameworks such as prebid.js to include the JavaScript code in the header.


Myth: Video header bidding will cause user experience issues on my page.

Truth: In our own tests at Beachfront, video header bidding actually increased “speed to render” of a video ad – the first part of a video that users see – by 30% faster than the legacy method which is calling your video ad server on player load. Why is it faster? Because video header bidding can run the auction in parallel with the video player being loaded. That means the video ad is already set to launch when the player is ready. Everything can happen in parallel, which is better, since it reduces rendering times (and thus, improves user viewing experience).


Myth: I need to choose between Client- and Server-Side header bidding.

Truth: Quite the opposite, actually. Publishers can choose a best-of-breed solution that utilizes both client-side JavaScript using prebid.js, while also running a server-based auction where all video ad calls are run in a simultaneous auction. This provides the best of client-side and server-side header bidding all at once. For providers that are more mobile-focused, connections are also server-to-server for both real-time bidding and other server-to-server integrations.


Myth: Server-side header bidding means a lack of control and transparency.

Truth: Video header bidding solutions should provide you with a level of two-way transparency that’s comfortable for your business needs. Solutions are currently available to publishers, allowing full control of auctions, creative, analytics and blocking.


Myth: I need to have video content in order to utilize video header bidding

Truth: That depends on your publisher needs. Video header bidding works with both in-stream and out-stream, plus in-feed and native video formats as well. It’s no secret that out-stream and in-feed video fill rates have been challenged. But video header bidding can potentially help solve these fill rate issues – as well as pre-load out-stream video ads before they’re viewable to the user.


When shopping for a video header bidding solution, use these insights to help inform your decisions and make the proper business decision for your ad tech needs. There are a lot of potential partners out there for your first dive into video header bidding. But not every solution is one-size-fits-all. Knowing the myths (and truths) about video header bidding, and what that means for your business’s goals and capabilities, helps all parties get exactly what they want out of the partnership. Transparency and communication are both keys to video header bidding success.