District M adds header bidding for publishers

New features help pubs put their best inventory in programmatic

Montreal ad tech firm District M has added header integration to its programmatic publisher platform, as well as several other features designed to help publishers improve the performance of their ads and their overall yield.

Header bidding, which allows publishers to compare demand from both direct and programmatic sources on an even footing, is very much in vogue. The solution involves placing an ad server tag in the header of a webpage that requests simultaneous bids from multiple exchanges, compares each bid against negotiated rates for ongoing direct campaigns, and awards the impression to the highest offer.

That way if a programmatic buyer is looking for a very specific, high-value audience (a user with a retargeting cookie, for example) and wants to pay substantially higher than the going rate to secure it, the publisher can make sure that they end up getting it.

District M says its solution is designed to be simple and painless for publishers to implement. “Our goal always has been to deliver products based on simplicity and efficiency,” CEO J.F. Cote said in a statement. “With our header integration, we wanted to simplify the monetization process for our publishers and managed to deliver a true turnkey solution.”

U.S. publishers that have been experimenting with header bidding have seen their overall yields increase by as much as 50% without cannabilizing their direct sales. In Canada, the CBC was one of the first publishers to put header bidding into use across its online inventory. For buyers, the upshot is that much more of publishers’ best-quality inventory is becoming accessible through programmatic channels for retargeting and other finely-targeted buying tactics.

District M is also adding a related feature called dynamic flooring to help publishers more accurately price their inventory based on advertiser demand. A floor price is the minimum bid an impression may sell for at auction; “dynamic” floors fluctuate based on the historical rate that an impression has sold for. So, for example, if an impression that was initially set to sell at a minimum CPM of $3 consistently ends up selling for $5, the floor will be automatically adjusted.

In addition to its yield optimization technology for publishers, District M offers managed programmatic buying for media buyers. It uses a proprietary data management and reporting platform.

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