Have you heard of Header Bidding? If you have been working in the programmatic advertising and marketing industry, chances are you have heard of it and quite possibly, used it.

Header bidding has quickly become the talk of the town, and the people in the ad optimization industry are actively deliberating about the subject. While the industry has been set abuzz with the new face in town, there is little understanding among the common populace.

 And while people were still trying to get their heads around Header Bidding, Prebid was introduced, and it has changed the game. Prebid Header Bidding is an open-source solution that has made it possible for publishers to easily access Header Bidding and, as such, has led to a significant increase in ad revenues. Prebid JS has been so influential that it has easily become the most used wrapper.

This article will allow you to understand the intricacies of Header Bidding as well as Prebid and then provide you with tips to help increase your ad revenue.

Header Bidding the Simplest Explanation For You

Header Bidding/ Bidding/ Pre-bidding is an advanced programming method that enables publishers to put their inventory on sale for interested buyers simultaneously, creating an auction-like situation. You just have to apply a JS code to your website’s section to set up Header Bidding.

The JS code initiates communication with the different demand partners to place their bids on the inventory. The process can be made time-bound, wherein the parameters are set by the publisher, and the buyer who has the highest bid ends up winning.

Header Bidding came into being in 2015, before which the ‘Waterfall’ method was used, and has ever since taken over the programmatic advertising space. Since 2015, Header Bidding had been used extensively for display advertising, but recent trends have seen it being used in video formats too.

The previously used ‘Waterfall’ method, although widely used, was reliant on calling on each demand source individually, without considering the bidding offer. The Header Bidding method made the process more efficient and removed redundancies by introducing simultaneous bidding. The ‘Waterfall’ method had several drawbacks, which were improved upon by Header Bidding. Some of the key issues tackled by Header Bidding are presented below:

  1. The highest bid gets the deal instead of the first bid meeting the cost requirements.

  2. Real-time transparency on CPM.

  3. Low maintenance requirements.

  4. Does not affect the latency rates of the publisher websites.

  5. If an inventory item does not receive timely bids, it is not lost.

Header Bidding greatly improves ad revenues of publishers and also provides advertisers to bid for quality inventory. Header Bidding ensures that publishers can earn the highest possible RPM (Revenue Per Thousand Impressions) as numerous demand sources are competing for the ad bid. It works in an unbiased and efficient manner and maximizes your ad revenue automatically.

What is Prebid for Header Bidding?

Prebid Header Bidding is an open-source solution that allows publishers to effectively and efficiently use Header Bidding on their websites and as well as on Android and iOS applications. Prebid JS has made the process of setting up a header bidding much simpler and easier, and the publisher can now do it themselves instead of having to hire an expert developer or a team of developers.

You can also set up line items, and Prebid will help you effectively manage your items as well as utilize asynchronous ad calls. Prebid is an effective tool in getting the maximum revenue out of your inventory and helps the advertisers in getting their ads on the best inventories.

Publishers can either use Prebid as it is in the ‘standard’ form or use Prebid JS to build a custom solution for your publishing platform. Prebid is a product suite that includes Prebid JS, Prebid Server, and Prebid Mobile.

Prebid JS

Prebid JS is extremely easy-to-use code that improves Header Bidding for display and video advertisements on the publisher’s platform as well as OTT android and iOS applications.

Prebid Server

A Prebid server provides a publisher with either a hosted or server-side header bidding solution. A Prebid server greatly reduces the latency on the publisher’s site between the ad selection and bid request processes and ensures that the publisher’s site can load quickly.

Prebid Mobile

This solution ensures that the publisher can use header bidding even on your android and iOS applications.

How does Prebid Header Bidding Increases Ad Revenue?

The Prebid Header Budding method of monetization is a much more ideal method of generating ad revenue as compared to the ‘Waterfall’ method. Instead of sending requests to demand sources in a sequential manner until someone meets the price requirements and has an ad which leads to bids with high CPM (cost per mile) getting neglected.

Furthermore, the process is also time-consuming as the process is sequential in nature which can result in high latency for ads to load onto your website.

Although Header Bidding is a better option, it does not have the necessary tools to support your ads on mobile sites and apps. This is where Prebid comes in to save the day. Header bidding is a complex technology and is not easy for publishers to handle as such, Prebid allows publishers to easily use Header Bidding for their Android and iOS applications and mobile websites.

Once you have set up using Prebid, you can use the Primary Ad server, which provides you with multiple bidding options, greatly increasing your ad revenue, CPM as well as RPM. It also decreases the latency of the Header Bidding process by a simultaneous bidding process from demand sources that are interested in the inventory of the publisher.


Header bidding is the ideal way of maximizing ad revenue for publishers as it ensures that they can get the best CPM with the least possible delay and their site is not running without ads which can lead to a huge loss in ad revenue.

Prebid ensures that Header bidding can be easily understood and handled by publishers, and the practice can be taken over to mobile applications and sites. The ease of usage, along with a simultaneous bidding process wherein you have control over the ad process, makes this the best process to improve ad revenue.


1. What is the benefit of header bidding?

By using header bidding codes, buyers can see a publisher’s entire inventory, enabling them to better understand their reach. As bid requests can be generated for every impression available, buyers can reach a wider audience and have a better chance of delivering their campaigns.

2. How many publishers use Prebid?

Prebidding is now the preferred method of ensuring the highest eCPM with the lowest latency used by more than 66% of publishers.

3. How many types of header bidding are there?

Header bidding can be classified into two types:-
i. client-side, and
ii. server-side.


Shubham is a digital marketer with rich experience working in the advertisement technology industry. He has vast experience in the programmatic industry, driving business strategy and scaling functions including but not limited to growth and marketing, Operations, process optimization, and Sales.

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