• In-App Monetization

Drawbacks and Benefits of Header Bidding for Apps [VIDEO]

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
5 min read
Posted on July 24, 2019
Drawbacks and Benefits of Header Bidding for Apps [VIDEO]

There are Few Drawbacks but Many Benefits of Header Bidding For App Publishers and Developers.

For app publishers and developers looking to improve their ad monetization programs, there are many benefits of header bidding and only a few drawbacks. Header bidding has revolutionized how a publisher’s ad server works and overall monetization for web pages, opening up premium inventory on a publisher’s website through real-time bidding.

And now that header bidding is available in-app, app publishers and developers can more effectively ensure they are getting quality inventory in their available ad space and obtain better insights on their target audiences.

Interested in learning more about in-app header bidding? In our latest Whiteboard Wednesday video, Chas Castell dives into the advantages and disadvantages of header bidding within app environments.

Chas is the founder of PubRev+, a premier independent global consultative agency providing commercial optimization and strategic revenue creation for app publishers. He is a giant in the mobile ads industry (not just because he is 7 feet tall) and has previously worked for premium properties such as Warner Brothers, Scopely and TextNow.


Hello old friend. My name is Chas Castell. I'm the CEO and Founder of PubRev+. We're an AdOps partnership company. What that means is we work with publishers to increase their ad revenue by filling in gaps in their ad operations processes, and I'm here today at the InMobi offices to talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of in-app header bidding. and you can probably tell we’re in a very intimate environment so appreciate you watching today and hopefully I will inspire you and encourage you with words of wisdom around header bidding.

How Header Bidding Allows Publishers to Reduce Page Load Times

Okay. So let's get started. Alright, so one of the biggest advantages of header bidding is the reduction in latency that header bidding provides, and I have a little diagram here - looks a bit squished but it's a little diagram to show you that in a mediation environment, when a mediation platform interrogates its ad networks, you're going to encounter hops, Network A to B to C to D, until a filled ad request is sent back.

In a header bidding environment, the header bidding platform will be able to run one auction and interrogate a number of ad networks or DSPs, demand partners, and return the winning bid to the mediation platform, which will then compare its own winning bid to the header bidding's bid, back to the client.

So you can see the reduction of latency is pretty, pretty powerful and when you're reducing latency you’re of course increasing impressions per DAU, which is - impressions per DAU are one of the major drivers towards revenue. So that's a really good thing. Okay.

Benefits of Getting More Bid Requests for Revenue, Fill Rates

Second is competition. You're adding more ad networks here. More demand, more competition, more competition, higher CPMs. You're potentially reducing app size, which is a biggie for user experience or LTV. You know, you may have two or three networks here that also exists here. Well, maybe you can now take out those SDKs. You reduce the app size.

And of course by adding header bidding, you are adding incremental revenue, because what happens is the header bidding returns a filled ad request, the mediation platform compares the two, the higher CPM wins. So essentially you're adding incremental revenue. Okay, hope that makes sense.

Minor Disadvantages of the In-App Header Bidding Process

So the disadvantages of header bidding are you have integration, potentially more technology to add to your app. You have to now look at three sources of revenue - of reporting, excuse me, of which revenue is one part.

You have header bidding platform will give you the CPM and the impressions per network. The mediation platform will give you that and the network will as well. So you have three sets of data to now compare.

And ad quality is going to be more, it’s going to be more complicated to interrogate and research and find out if there are bad ads coming through the header bidder, because now you have to look at a creative ID level and you have to be good at your proxying to do that.

Okay, that's a mouthful. I need some water and you probably do too. So I'm going to leave you with that information. If you have any questions, my email address is below. Until the next time.

Talk to Chas About Your Ad Inventory

Have additional questions about AdOps? Not sure if client-side or server-side header bidding is right for your app? Need help implementing a piece of javascript?

Not sure if a private marketplace is right for you? Want to know if it makes sense to work with multiple ad exchanges?

Reach out to Chas and the rest of the team at PubRev+ today to get all of your questions answered, as they have helped many AdOps and app business teams more effectively sell their inventory. You can reach Chas directly at chas@pubrevplus.com.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out these blog posts:

Stay Up to Date

Register to our blog updates newsletter to receive the latest content in your inbox.