Private Marketplace Header Bidding Technology

Advertisers turn to PMPs on mobile amid ongoing brand safety concerns


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

February 20, 2018 | 4 min read

Private marketplaces (PMP) are a more and more effective way for publishers to monetize their inventory using programmatic technologies, as advertisers increasingly embrace automation but also seek assurances over where such technologies will place their ads.

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PMPs are invite-only marketplaces created by premium publishers that promise greater value for all parties concerned

These are the findings contained in the latest Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) study from PubMatic, which found that mobile ad impressions monetized via PMPs rose by 37% year-over-year in Q4 2017, representing the eighth consecutive period of such growth.

As a result, mobile PMP inventory prices were at a 155% premium, compared to those paid for the average mobile impression available on an open exchange throughout 2017, according to PubMatic, with researchers concluding that more supply-control equates to more profit for publishers.

Separate studies by the IAB demonstrate how mobile now represents over half of all digital ad spend from 2016 onwards, with the market valued at circa $40bn per year in the US alone, and programmatic a strong driver of that growth.

However, in spite of the clear benefits of incorporating such technologies into their online advertising strategies, such as cost and workflow efficiencies, many tier-one marketers have been left red-faced by repeated high profile examples of brand safety blunders in recent years.

Some have championed PMPs as a hybrid solution for advertisers with such concerns, as such an offering typically sees premium media owners invite their highest-spending advertisers to have first option on its higher quality inventory in a bidding scenario.

Rajeev Goel, PubMatic chief executive officer, said the findings represent “a shift toward supply chain integrity and quality” as advertisers increasingly seek the efficiencies posed by automated technologies.

“We expect this trend towards quality and programmatic direct to continue in 2018 as advertisers increasingly demand higher standards for transacting,” he said, adding that publishers also need to be provided with “greater visibility and control.”

To take advantage of this trend, last year PubMatic inked a deal with AnyClip giving it “preferred partner” status whereby it would take responsibility for the monetization of in-stream and out-steam ad formats for the online video resource.

Elsewhere in the study, it highlights the emergence of header bidding as a means for publishers to monetize their inventory, with researchers commenting that it has “moved into the mainstream” as of Q4 2017.

Mobile web experienced 121% year-over-year growth in header bidding impression volume in Q4 2017, more closely aligning with desktop inventory, which experienced an 81% year-over-year impression growth rate over the same period.

As publishers deepened their header bidding expertise, the popularity of hybrid solutions offering both client- and server-side integrations, such as PubMatic’s OpenWrap, rose from 13.6% to 20.7% adoption rate between September and December 2017, according to the company.

Further findings contained in PubMatic’s latest QMI report, based on insights gleaned from over 10 trillion monthly bid requests, can be downloaded for free here.

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