If you’ve been looking to scale your ad earnings, then you’ve probably come across the solution known as header bidding. It’s a tempting upgrade for any publisher who wants to see a 20-50% increase in earnings when switching from a network like AdSense.
Since you’re likely to see optimal results with a premium provider, it makes sense that you’d only be looking for the cream of the crop. We’ll dive right into some of this year’s best header bidding providers and the publishers best suited for them!
What is header bidding?
Aside from being the trendy, shiny-new-toy, header bidding is the solution that arose from the inadequacies of many network providers (such as AdSense). Beyond tackling transparency and limited-demand issues, header bidding worked to improve control over ad units for publishers.
It’s the advanced programmatic technique of bringing an array of ad networks together to bid simultaneously in real-time for publisher inventory. The increase in competition means greater yield (more money for you!) and improved ad quality (better ads for your viewers!).
What does a good provider offer?
Broadly speaking, the best ad platforms should offer:
Access to a premium demand-supply: Having a large demand pool to draw from leads to more relevant ads, greater fill rates, and increased earnings through increased competition.
Dependable and fair revenue: Skip the hidden fees and fear of missed payments with a provider who can offer a clear and competitive revenue share, as well as reputable payment history.
Reliable services and support: Ad-monetization relies on more than selling and serving ads — especially in today’s digital climate. There are lots of optimizing to be done and trends to always be on the lookout for. A provider should effectively manage several aspects of your ad strategy.
Who are the best providers?
- Newor Media
- Monetize more
- Nitro pay
1. Newor Media
Newor Media is a relatively new platform gaining popularity and a quality reputation quickly. The company places customer service and publisher experience above all— using cutting-edge ad technology to succeed in getting you the most revenue possible while staying true to user experience and site speed.
They are a full-service ad management solution. So, in addition to connecting you to advertisers, they offer a host of ad optimization. For example, publishers can take advantage of ad layout optimization support, Adblock revenue-recovery, and a consent management platform— to name a few.
Additionally, they support various ad types and ad solutions (ad refresh, lazy load, fast ad delivery – to improve page loading speed, and more).
Newor Media is demand-agnostic, so they don’t prioritize specific networks over others. Also, publishers have access to direct deals because of their network size.
They have a traffic requirement of 30,000 unique users per month and don’t hold publishers to contracts or exclusivity agreements. It’s rare for a company, but they also offer guaranteed payment (entirely true!) despite network clawbacks.
- The 30,000 users per month requirement can be difficult for new publishers to hit
- They require managing two ad units on your website
Mediavine is undoubtedly one of the most widely used header bidding providers among larger websites. This is because they specialize in serving quality ads to publishers while being committed to traffic quality and brand safety.
They are selective about the ad networks and websites they choose to work with.
They’re incredibly proud of their offered vertical ad networks (networks relevant to specific niches) in the Food, Parenting, Travel, Home, and Lifestyle categories.
Between their partnerships and the selective process of choosing which publishers to work with, if you are accepted into their program, you can expect high-quality and relevant ads, as well as increased fill rates.
They require publishers to have 50,000 sessions a month and original and engaging content alongside clean, verified whitelisted traffic. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee acceptance.
- Three – month contract is required
- They are exclusive – so you can’t work with other networks
- They only cater to particular niches
With the release of AdPushup 2.0, the platform has undoubtedly elevated itself to be a top header bidding contender. They advertise themselves as a revenue optimization platform designed to maximize publisher ad revenue by increasing their CPMs and CTRs.
AdPushup uses ad layout optimization, page-load speed tools, and an extensive network stack to boost revenue. Additionally, the company focuses on transparency, which they directly translate into their reporting interface.
Apart from viewing key metrics, publishers can measure the performance of individual demand partners.
They operate on a Net-45 pay basis and have a pretty solid payment history. They only work with publishers already generating at least $5,000 in monthly ad revenue, making them a great fit for larger websites!
- They require exclusivity, which significantly restricts your ability to diversify demand
- Their requirements make them unavailable for small to medium publishers
- Many reviews claim poor communication or miscommunication on the company’s end
Pubwise is an advertising technology company aiming to take the ‘guesswork out of header bidding’ through header-bidding technologies fueled by AI and machine learning.
They offer publishers an extensive range of features such as ad management control, ad layout suggestions, and transparent analytics. Most notably, they offer a unique feature called SPOT (Smart Path Optimization Technology) Optimization, which uses AI to deliver an optimized ad configuration matched to user segments.
This means improved net revenue and improved latency.
Guidelines and requirements are very hush-hush — so publishers must contact them to see if they’re eligible. Publishers receive pay on the 10th of every month.
- Lack of transparency on getting started – a publisher must apply to find out
- They charge a fee to use their services
- They require a 30-day notice to cancel their services
Ezoic is another common bidding provider that uses AI and machine- learning to optimize ad performance and increase revenue. Thanks to ad tech, they automate quite a bit of the ad bidding and optimizing process.
Their biggest draw is the Ad Tester feature which allows publishers to test new ad formats and layouts to increase revenue. They also offer publishers a dashboard to follow critical metrics, tools for website speed, and tools to improve SEO.
They have a traffic requirement of 10,000 monthly page views and operate on a NET30 schedule.
- A common complaint is how long it takes to see results with Ezoic compared to other providers.
- You either pay the service fee or insert an Ezoic ad at the bottom of your webpages
- Known to slow page load speed
Freestar prides itself on being a ‘publisher first’ header bidding platform that works to create a hassle-free ad operation for publishers. For example, they handle 100% of the set-up and integrate demand partners on your behalf (definitely hassle-free!).
Additionally, publishers have access to various ad formats (sidewall, sticky footer, etc.) to use and technology to stop mobile redirects and block malicious ads.
Unfortunately, getting started with FreeStar is not very transparent or accessible. They have no requirements listed for joining and instead direct publishers to contact them or sign up for more information.
They also require a one-year contract after a three-month trial period (crazy!).
- Lack of transparency to get started
- One year locked in contract
- Not as many optimizing tools as other platforms
MonetizeMore is another big name in the world of programmatic bidding. They have excellent page RPM increases for publishers, customized ad optimization, transparent reports, a responsive support team, and a flexible pricing structure.
They offer various products, but to access their header bidding technology, you must enroll in “MonetizeMore Professional,” which is a level up from the starter service.
Their “MonetizeMore Professional” service requires publishers to be making a minimum of $5,000 monthly in ad revenue before joining.
- Header bidding is not offered in their starting product package.
- Their steep ad earnings requirement makes them unsuitable for new to small publishers.
NitroPay is devoted to providing publishers with a simple, transparent, and robust process. They focus on achieving results by building personal relationships and recommending how publishers can improve—a straightforward but effective approach.
They support a wide range of ad types (sticky stack, anchor, IAB Display, etc.). Additionally, they offer an extremely robust reporting interface, a content protection layer, and access to many top-tier ad networks.
To get started with them, publishers must have a ‘high-quality original website,’ three months of traffic data to supply, and over 100K monthly pageviews. They have a strong payment history record, so you won’t have to stress about being paid on time (or at all!).
- They lack the automated AI services to maximize revenue potential
- The traffic requirement is relatively steep
Ever get a revenue boost that doesn’t last? If so, you’re not alone and part of the primary demographic PubGalaxy looks to target.
Their mission is to provide publishers with a sustained increase in revenue earned from display ad inventory, tapping the complete capabilities of the RTB ecosystem.
They tap into both the traditional static demand and programmatic ad exchanges to increase CPM, which is unique.
While they don’t have any burdensome requirements, they recommend generating an average of seven million page views per month and passing clear Google’s Transparency Report.
They offer a revenue share model with no hidden fees and operate on NET35 and NET65 pay schedules.
- Strict requirements make it best for big websites only
- Europe-based publishers seem to get the most from the platform compared to other countries
Upgrading to a header bidding provider is necessary for any publisher hoping to maximize their ad earnings. However, finding the best provider can seem challenging with all the tech talk floating — but hopefully, this helped.
Beyond the promise of increased yield, the right provider will balance quality and user experience while offering a world of solutions and features. Check out this free earnings calculator to gauge what your site could be earning with a good partner.