Do you know which are the most popular methods to buy and sell digital advertising products? In the dynamic world of advertising, new technologies and methods are constantly arising in order to improve advertising campaigns’ performance. Therefore, it is key to keep up with them. The Header Bidding technology has settled down to replace traditional Waterfall setup.

Embi Media’s ADOPS Director Damián Ferrara will show us in this following interview how this two different methods work and why is so important to adjust to this new technology.

What is a Waterfalling?  “Waterfall auctions have been playing a leading role in media buying. This process allow publishers to handle multiple demand sources prioritizing ad impressions based on high CPM and fill rate along a chain. Through passback the impression will move to the next demand partner in the chain if the CPM price requested is not filled” Embi Media’s ADOPS director explains.

According to him, this technology has some drawbacks because by using this method, there is not a fixed percentage of impressions to each demand partner and it is also required a determined CPM. So, “As you move down the waterfall, the CPM price floors decrease, if no eligible direct campaign is found, the impression is sent to the next partner in line. This structure is based on an assumption of what an impression is worth, rather than the actual value. Then, although CPM’s rates increase there is a high degree of discrepancy. In the shifting between different sources of demand many impressions could be lost.”

Consequently, Header Bidding technology appears to remove discrepancies and also the impression is offered to all the demand sources simultaneously and allows them bid on the available inventory at the same time.

How does it work? “Header Bidding technology involves adding a piece of JavaScript code within the head of the publisher’s websites. This enables different sources of demand to access to the available impressions much more easily. Every source of demand receives the offer and the highest paying bidder wins the auction. It is a real-time bidding that allows media owners to compete demand sources simultaneously. If you set a specific timeout limit to your header bidding tags, you can reduce the amount of latency.” Damián describes. He is currently coordinating the website structures, executing optimizations and managing the implementation codes.

Due to this new technology, there is a performance improvement (between 10% and 20%) in terms of profit. Why?  Because all partners have the same chance to get the impression, but the winner is the one who bid higher. As a result, it is essential that the company that chooses the sites to monetize their content has access to the majority of the sources of demand or Ad Exchanges.


To conclude, Damián shares with us his vision about which is the next step that digital market has to make. “Although Header Bidding is a great answer to make up for the inefficiency of the Waterfall approach, it is necessary to develop a technology that applied to ad servers help us to reduce latency time.”

Embi Media is an Argentinean Advertising Agency founded in 2016 focused on monetization and optimizations of digital products. Their main goal is to offer publishers a cross device option to enhance each digital content in their different formats. Their founders are Ariel Massaccesi, Pablo Medina, Alan Resnik and Damián Ferrara.


Post Author: Damian Ferrara

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