In this blog, we will introduce you to video header bidding. Get into the nitty-gritty details of video header bidding, understand what it is, how it works, benefits, downsides, and much more.

Header bidding is the most efficient way of selling inventory for publishers. After its release, it has been adopted and praised by publishers and advertisers across industries. So, it won’t be strange to see video header bidding following the same path.

Due to this, vendors are experimenting and providing more options to publishers and advertisers to encourage its use. For example, OpenX, AppNexus, SpotX, and many other popular names have started optimizing their header bidding wrapper for video advertising.

Also, the fact that header bidding is now a preferred method for 75% of top publishers. The industry is seeing publishers actively implementing video header bidding for their video inventories.

More and more people are preferring video header bidding and for good reasons. According to a study, it has been found that it helps increase the ad fill rate by a whopping 57.7%. On top of that, it helps increase bid rate by 51.6%

video header bidding
Image Source – Automated

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What is Video Header Bidding?

Video header bidding is a process of making a publisher’s video ad inventory available to multiple demand sources. The process is designed as a solution to the traditional waterfall process earlier used to sell video ad inventory. In waterfall, a publisher’s video ad server is required to make ad calls to demand partners one after another causing latency and reduced yield.

The concept of video header bidding is similar to header bidding in display advertising, but with different execution.

The two ways to conduct video header bidding are client-side and server-side video header bidding. Just like header bidding, it involves a header bidding wrapper to conduct the auction. Video header bidding sounds a lot like header bidding in display advertising. However, the working process is quite different.

How Does Video Header Bidding Work?

As discussed, video header bidding is conducted using two methods: client-side and server-side. In client-side video header bidding, a publisher puts a header bidding wrapper in the header of the website. Then, on the webpage, there is a video player to run video ads.

Now, whenever an impression is available, header bidding wrapper calls out the demand partners and conducts an auction on the user’s web browser.

Once a winning bid is selected, the wrapper sends a signal to the ad server. Next, the ad server sends the video ad to the video player which is then displayed on the user’s screen. During this entire process, the video player stays in the loading period.

Server-side video header bidding takes the auction to the server rather than on a user’s browser. Meaning, as soon as an impression is available, the server collects the bids and runs the auction. Once the winning bid is selected, the ad is placed on the user’s screen by an ad server. This reduces page load time for a better user experience. Furthermore, video header bidding works best when implemented via the server-side.

Role of Header Bidding Wrapper?

A header bidding wrapper contains the framework needed to conduct the header bidding process. A wrapper organizes various demand partners and defines a set of rules to run the auction. Usually, a header bidding wrapper is provided by a publisher’s header bidding partner. Alternatively, it can also be accessed from open sources like Prebid.js.

Properties of header bidding wrappers are:

  • It is a JavaScript tag residing in the header of a website.
  • It can be used to add and/or remove demand partners from an auction.
  • The wrapper can be used to set a timeout period for each header bidding partner.
  • Using the wrapper, the publisher can ensure that the bid request is sent to multiple demand partners, simultaneously.

You can also take a look at our webinar to know more about Header Bidding Wrappers:

Why Is Video Header Bidding So Important?

Video header bidding is an essential tool for publishers and advertisers to increase their revenue, improve ad quality, and enhance user experience. Here’s how we think video header bidding can benefit your business.

Increased Revenue

The traditional programmatic advertising method is to run an auction where the highest bidder gets the ad placement. This process can limit revenue opportunities for publishers, as they may miss out on higher bids from advertisers who come later in the process.

Video header bidding solves this problem by allowing multiple advertisers to bid simultaneously, giving publishers access to a larger pool of potential buyers. According to a study by eMarketer, publishers can see an increase in CPMs of up to 50% with video header bidding compared to traditional programmatic auctions.

Greater Ad Quality

Video header bidding also helps to improve ad quality. With traditional programmatic advertising, the ad may take longer to load or may not be relevant to the user, resulting in a negative user experience. Video header bidding allows for more precise targeting, ensuring that the ad displayed is more relevant to the user.


Improving user experience is crucial to keeping visitors engaged and coming back to a website. With video header bidding, users see fewer irrelevant or repetitive ads, resulting in a more positive experience.

Business Resilience and Adaptability

In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses need to be adaptable and resilient to stay ahead of the competition. Video header bidding offers this flexibility by allowing publishers to work with multiple demand sources simultaneously. This approach not only maximizes revenue opportunities but also provides a safety net in case of ad network outages or sudden changes in the market.

Also Read – How to Triple Your Video Ad Revenue: Checklist for Publishers

Are There Any Downsides of Video Header Bidding?

Increased Complexity

Video header bidding can be more complex than traditional programmatic advertising methods, requiring additional setup and technical knowledge. This may result in higher implementation costs, longer setup times, and a steeper learning curve for publishers.

Increased Page Load Times

Video header bidding requires additional scripts to be loaded on the page, which can increase page load times. This can result in slower load times for users, potentially leading to a negative user experience and increased bounce rates.

Limited Demand Sources

While video header bidding allows publishers to work with multiple demand sources simultaneously, not all demand sources may be compatible with the technology. This can limit the number of potential buyers and result in missed revenue opportunities

Best Practices for Video Header Bidding

Test & Optimize

First thing first, test and optimize your video header bidding setup regularly to ensure that you’re maximizing revenue and delivering the best user experience. Test different demand partners, floor prices, and ad formats to see what works best for your audience.

Set Realistic Floor Prices

Second, aim high with your floor prices, but at the same time, it’s also important to set realistic prices. Setting prices too high may result in fewer bids, while setting prices too low may result in leaving money on the table. Finding the right balance is key.

Use a Reliable Header Bidding Wrapper

Choosing a reliable header bidding wrapper is crucial for ensuring that your video header bidding setup is working efficiently. A good wrapper should be easy to implement, provide accurate reporting, and integrate well with your existing ad server.

Choose Your Demand Partners Carefully

Before you single out a demand partner, it is recommended to research and choose partners that have a good reputation for delivering quality ads and have a high fill rate.

Focus on User Experience

While it’s important to maximize revenue, it’s also important to prioritize the user experience. Be sure to monitor ad load times, frequency, and relevance to ensure that users are not being bombarded with too many ads or irrelevant ads.

Monitor Ad Quality

It’s important to monitor the quality of the ads being served to your users to ensure that they are not offensive or misleading. Use ad quality tools to help filter out low-quality ads and maintain a high standard of ad quality.

Also Read – Header Bidding Optimization – A Step by Step Guide

Some Interesting Facts About Video Header Bidding

Video ads generate better yield than display advertising. Some reports suggest video header bidding increases CPMs by 50% or more. But the profit for the publisher highly depends on experimentation (A/B testing, ad optimization and more). So, it becomes hard to say whether it is as beneficial as display header bidding or not.

Also, video header bidding offers a great opportunity for publishers to open up for video advertising, but it is still not the first choice for many. This is because a video impression gets accounted only when a video ad plays on a user’s device.

Moreover, there are two other concerns for publishers using video header bidding: page latency and technical complications.

Page load time increases in the case of a video. Since videos are considered rich media files, they take more time to render on a user’s device. Also, adding this load time to the usual time taken to run an auction for client-side bidding, cumulatively, makes the process more time-consuming.

Next is a technical complication. Most web video players support Flash rather than JavaScript code to play videos. Hence, the publishers interested in video ads are required to integrate JavaScript supported video player which is generally provided by header bidding partner/vendor.


All a publisher wants is to maximize the yield by selling inventory. We know, both client-side and server-side header bidding has their challenges. Hence, there is no ideal method to execute the header bidding or video header bidding for that matter.

However, to truly maximize the revenue, publishers need to implement and test with the video header bidding. Hence, demand for video header bidding will increase. Only if the demand increases, the industry would be interested in updating the technology and find solutions for current drawbacks.

AdPushup’s Header Bidding Solution

Merely deploying header bidding in your ad stack isn’t enough. Consistently optimizing it with technical improvements is the need of the hour. This is what AdPushup’s header bidding solution does. Through our multiple optimization features using data science and machine learning, we help publishers maximize their yield. 

With our header bidding solution, you get: 

  • Automatic demand partner selection according to optimum requirements
  • Smart timeout management
  • Freedom to bring your own demand
  • Bid monitoring and discrepancy resolution 

Frequently Asked Questions – Video Header Bidding

1. What is video header bidding in simple words?

To put it in a simpler way, video header bidding is a technique used by publishers, allowing them to sell their video ad space to the advertiser. The whole procedure takes place in real-time.

2. What is a video header?

Video header is one of the best ways for publishers to display ads without the pop-up of any advertisement. In this method, publishers can directly upload a video file on their website instead of relying on Youtube or other video players.

3. How does video header bidding differ from traditional ad auctions?

Unlike traditional ad auctions, where ad space is sold to the highest bidder after a page has loaded, video header bidding allows for a more competitive and efficient process. Advertisers can bid on impressions simultaneously, allowing the highest-paying bid to win the ad space.


Deepak has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the ad tech landscape. Whether it's through in-depth articles, thought-provoking insights, or compelling storytelling, he’s dedicated to helping people navigate the complex world of ad tech with the simplicity of his words.

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