Header Bidding has been in the scene for long enough that almost every publisher is aware of its benefits. You, as a publisher, may also be aware of the fact that there are two kinds of header bidding, i.e., Client-side Header Bidding and Server-side Header Bidding. Let us refresh your memory:
Client-side Header Bidding: the auction takes place in the browser.
Server-side Header Bidding: the auction takes place on the server.
Need more details? Read our blog: Client-Side Header Bidding Vs Server-Side Header Bidding
Today there’s more than one way to implement header bidding. You can use Prebid or a managed header bidding provider, leverage Google’s Open Bidding product or Amazon’s header bidding solutions. Yes, similar to Google, Amazon also provides server-side header bidding solutions: Transparent Ad Marketplace and Unified Ad Marketplace. In this post, we’ll learn about Unified Ad Marketplace (UAM).
Table of Contents:
- What is Unified Ad Marketplace?
- Benefits of UAM
- Shortcomings of UAM
- UAM vs TAM
- Should you use UAM?
- What’s Next?
What is Amazon’s Unified Ad Marketplace?
The Unified Ad Marketplace is Amazon’s server-side header bidding solution. You can call it a server-side wrapper. Just like any other server-side setup, the header bidding auction takes place on Amazon’s servers. The servers are connected to the demand straight from Amazon as well as other major SSPs like District M, OpenX, Pubmatic, Oath, RhythmOne, and Rubicon.
The ad tech industry expects Amazon to be the one potential competitor that can challenge the duopoly and make a difference. And it’s going in the right direction as Amazon recently became one of the top demand partners for publishers all over the world.
So, coming from Amazon, the Unified Ad Marketplace has enjoyed its fair share of hype. But the Amazon brand is not the only reason behind the popularity. Both [TAM and UAM] of them have historically yielded good results for the publishers.
Benefits of the Unified Ad Marketplace
Amazon Unified Ad Marketplace offers a variety of benefits to publishers, some of them are unique whereas others can be commonly found with other demand partners as well:
- Unified Payment: Just like Google’s Ad Exchange, Amazon makes a single and complete payment to the publishers. As Amazon does the work of collecting the payments from the demand side, it saves a lot of time for publishers.
- Integration with current HB setup: This is another time-saving and money-making benefit from the UAM. Its integration doesn’t disturb the existing header bidding setup of the publisher. Also, the integration brings-in an incremental revenue for publishers.
- Lesser Latency: This is another benefit that comes because the process takes place on the server-side. But keep in mind that server-side header bidding doesn’t cause any dramatic change in your site’s latency. On the contrary, adding solutions like UAM to your existing setup can increase your site’s latency because, at the end of the day, you are still making an addition to your demand sources.
- Amazon’s Unique Demand: You can access the demand from Amazon’s DSP with UAM. Also, the sellers on its e-commerce platform run shopping ads to sell their products. So, you have Amazon as a unique demand source for your inventory.
- Amazon’s Data: Being one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies, Amazon also has privileged access to its users’ data (like email, credit card details, and shopping data, etc). So, the UAM has more potential for serving highly targeted ads, when compared to other SSPs.
Are there any Shortcomings of Unified Ad Marketplace?
We observed the responses from publishers using the UAM and found that some complaints are being made by multiple publishers.
Absence of Log level data: To avoid data-mining, Amazon doesn’t provide detailed log-level data like prebid. While not every publisher uses the log-level data, it is very important for publishers who rely on it for optimizing their inventories.
Basic Reporting: When Digiday interviewed publishing executives for UAM, it found that the reporting is basic. It can be even categorized as “bare minimum”. The bidding data cannot be taken outside Amazon through APIs for purposes like data visualization.
How is UAM different from TAM?
If you’ve been tracking Amazon’s presence in the header bidding space, then you must be aware of Transparent Ad Marketplace. It is a similar header bidding solution from Amazon but there are a few differences.
UAM is like a managed service where you just have to plug its demand and everything is set. All the groundwork will be already done by Amazon. It’ll be like a middleman who has aggregated the demand from multiple SSPs. Whereas while working with TAM, you are making direct contracts with SSPs that’ll work for you. You’ll do all the setup and optimization and you have to deal with every SSP individually. It’ll be like a DIY version of Prebid.
UAM is good for publishers who are looking for a plug and play solution. On the other hand, publishers who like to work out all the details of the deal directly with every SSP should use TAM. But remember that TAM is like an upgrade that is reserved by Amazon for enterprise-level publishers.
Should you enroll in UAM?
It is better to try and decide whether UAM is a good fit for you. Here are some aspects that you should pay attention to:
- Unique Demand: Amazon is working with multiple SSPs to bring the demand to you, but it’s possible that you’re already working with the same SSPs. The best SSPs in the industry are already connected with many publishers through wrapper technology providers. So, find out how much unique demand will the UAM will bring to you.
- Latency: As we’ve already mentioned earlier, the server-side header bidding is faster, but it is still an overhead for your setup. So, check the effect of UAM on the latency of your site. In case, you’re already using server-side header bidding like Google’s Open Bidding then considering latency is very important.
- Fill Rates: While conducting your research for UAM, you’ll also find some reports of lower fill-rates. In server-side bidding, cookies match rates will be lesser and it can lead to lesser bids. So, pay attention to your site’s fill rate when you plug the demand from UAM.
The best approach to decide whether or not to use UAM is to try and test it. Take a test run and observe the performance to come to a conclusion. Most publishers use UAM along with their existing client-side setup and it gives them positive results.
If you are working with a reputable partner then most of the demand in UAM may be already connected to your setup. But UAM will also bring unique demand from Amazon. The performance of the unique demand depends on your traffic but you should give UAM a try to find that out. In our next article, we’ll tell you how to integrate UAM with your current header bidding setup.