Unlocking Mobile Potential: The Advantages of Prebid for In-App Publishers

The digital advertising landscape is continuously evolving, presenting new challenges and opportunities for in-app publishers aiming to maximize their revenue. One of the more significant advancements in this area is the adoption of In-App Prebid, also known as Prebid Mobile, which aims at enhancing efficiency and profitability over the traditional Waterfall method of ad serving.

Understanding Prebid and the Waterfall Method

Prebid is an open-source framework facilitating header bidding, where multiple ad buyers bid simultaneously, ensuring the highest payer wins the ad slot. This real-time bidding system contrasts sharply with the sequential nature of the Waterfall method, heralding a more dynamic and profitable approach for publishers.

In contrast, the Waterfall method, an older ad-serving technique, sequentially requests ads from advertisers based on perceived value, often leading to inefficiencies and lost revenue opportunities.

Here’s a more detailed comparison of the two methods:

Traditional Waterfall
Bidding Process
Real-time bidding where multiple demand sources bid simultaneously.
Sequential bidding, where ad sources are called one after another based on priority.
Bidding Fairness
All monetization platforms have the opportunity to bid at the same time, maximizing competition.
Does not allow all partners to participate fairly in monetization.
Bidding Speed
Faster as it allows for simultaneous bidding and decision-making.
Slower due to the step-by-step call to each ad source.
CPM Management Efficiency
Eliminates the need for manual maintenance or adjustments to each platform’s CPM
CPM adjustment and optimization are cumbersome and usually delayed by several hours.
Data Integrity
Offers more transparent and consistent data, without the need for Passback mechanisms
Data discrepancy issues are commonly present.
Technological Complexity
More complex to implement but offers advanced features and efficiency.
Simpler to set up but lacks the advanced capabilities of Prebid.
More flexible, allowing publishers to adjust strategies based on real-time data.
Optimization usually relies on API-imported data, which is usually delayed by hours or day.
Offers detailed reports on all demand partners participating in real-time bidding
Provides limited visibility into the sequential prioritization of demand partners.

Benefits and Challenges of In-App Prebid for Publishers

What can publishers expect from integrating In-App Prebid into their advertising strategy? Let’s explore below:

Performance and Revenue Optimization
In-App Prebid improves advertising efficiency by creating a competitive auction environment where numerous demand sources bid for ad space at the same time. This process optimizes ad inventory fill rates and maximizes revenue for publishers.

For example, consider a scenario where an in-app ad slot is made available. Instead of offering this slot to a single ad network at a set price, Prebid allows multiple networks to bid in real-time. If Ad Network A offers $2.00 CPM, Ad Network B might counter with $2.50 CPM, and so on, potentially pushing the final bid to an even higher value, such as $3.00 CPM.

This bidding war allows the publisher to secure the highest possible price for their ad space.

Fill Rates: Prebid Versus Waterfall
While Prebid typically enhances fill rates by enabling multiple bidders to participate simultaneously, thus reducing the likelihood of ad slots going unfilled, this isn’t the whole story. The simultaneous bidding in Prebid can indeed increase competition and potential revenue for publishers; however, it also means that if the ad slot is not filled during this one-time, parallel bidding process, the opportunity is missed entirely.

On the other hand, the Waterfall model, though potentially slower due to its sequential bidding process, can sometimes achieve better fill rates in certain scenarios. This is because it allows for the ad slot to be offered to a sequence of networks until one fills it. Each ad network in the sequence gets a chance to fill the inventory if previous ones have passed, potentially reducing the likelihood of an ad slot remaining unfilled.

There has been an industry trend towards Hybrid Waterfall model, blending Prebid’s simultaneous bidding with the sequential approach of Waterfall. This model captures high-value opportunities quickly and fills any remaining slots sequentially, ensuring higher fill rates and minimizing unsold inventory.

Transparency and Control
Prebid’s architecture provides a clear view into the ad auction process, giving publishers unparalleled transparency and control. For instance, during an auction, Prebid allows publishers to see the highest bid and all the other bids that were placed, which advertisers made these bids, and the types of ads they intend to display.

This visibility allows the publisher to make more informed decisions. For example, a gaming app publisher knows their audience prefers gaming-related content. In this case, they might opt to accept a slightly lower bid from the gaming accessories advertiser because it aligns better with their users’ interests. This approach could lead to higher engagement rates and a better user experience.

Moreover, while Prebid’s control mechanisms—such as setting floor prices, blocking specific advertisers or content types, and prioritizing certain ad campaigns—are technically possible in a Waterfall setup, Prebid facilitates these controls more efficiently. This is because Prebid can utilize fields in the OpenRTB standard to pass this information directly, whereas in a Waterfall setup, such information often has to be communicated to networks through bespoke methods, such as SDKs. This direct use of OpenRTB in Prebid simplifies the implementation and enhances the effectiveness of these control mechanisms. For instance, if a gaming app publisher wants to ensure no food-related ads are shown during a new game launch campaign, they can easily configure Prebid to exclude these ads, regardless of the bid price.

Embrace In-App Prebid

Adopting In-App Prebid empowers publishers to leverage the full potential of their digital assets. It is an indispensable tool for publishers aiming to increase visibility in the competitive digital landscape.

AlgoriX, a leading figure in the ad tech space and a long-time partner of Prebid.org, actively contributes to the Prebid Mobile Committee. Our participation in the upcoming Prebid Ascent London 2024 event underlines our commitment to advancing Prebid technology for in-app publishers. Additionally, our partnership with Prebid.org aims at accelerating the adoption of Prebid across the industry. By standing at the forefront of this innovation, AlgoriX is paving the way for a more lucrative and transparent mobile advertising ecosystem.



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Pranav Kataria

Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy

As the Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy, Pranav brings over 8 years of experience in the adtech industry working with Publishers, DSPs, Agencies, and Advertisers from global regions to improve their monetization, performance, and strategies. With great understanding of the mobile market, his expertise lies in analytics, account management, strategy, and ad sales. With this refined skill set, he brings customer-centric mindfulness that enables growth and innovation.

Before joining AlgoriX, his keen business perspective and skills have earned him opportunities to work across different organizations and verticals in the advertising ecosystem; be it improving the processes, sales enablement, and managing client relationships.

Ray Xia

VP, AlgoriX Partner Studio

Ray Xia was a mainstay at Tencent Games, having worked at the company for 13 years. There, he took on various roles including backend developer, application development manager, and game producer. During this time, he actively participated in the development and operation of popular titles such as QQ Pet, QQ Pet Fight, and games involving the Naruto franchise. To date, these games have over 10 million daily active users. Through this rich well of experience he has accumulated covering all aspects of game development and operation, he aims to spearhead more creative endeavors via AlgoriX Studios.

Naomi Li

VP, Research and Development

Naomi Li has a decade’s worth of experience in research and development for the adtech industry. She started her career at Baidu where she was mainly responsible for the Automation Testing of the Baidu Fengchao Ad Search Engine. There, she focused on the fields of overlapping experiment infrastructure, rich media ads rendering, and ad antispam technology. Moreover, as part of Baidu’s International Group, she led the research and development of various monetization and advertising mechanisms for Baidu’s overseas app store, SDK, and AdNetwork. At present, she is responsible for the overall direction of AlgoriX’s R&D efforts, which include product planning, technical architecture design, and talent training.

Frederic Liow

SVP, Revenue Growth & Strategy

A veteran in the digital advertising industry, he began his career during the early days of the dotcom era. To date, his passion for the digital industry is still as strong as ever (and getting even stronger). Spanning twenty years of his digital career, he has worked for leading companies like Nielsen, MRM McCann, Omnicom Media Group, Millward Brown and Smaato. Currently, Frederic is the revenue officer for AlgoriX spearheading global revenue growth, business expansion and strategic partnerships. He has set up and built AlgoriX’s global mobile ad exchange, hiring talents, establishing best practices, and injecting global industry standards into the company. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Demand for Smaato, overseeing the demand business and operations in APAC. Frederic is currently based in our Singapore HQ.

Xinxiao Guo

Chief Operation Officer

Equipped with a decade’s worth of experience in global product operation as well as a deep understanding of emerging markets, Xinxiao brings her expertise in mobile traffic monetization and programmatic advertising to the table. Before her role at AlgoriX, she was a core member of iQIYI’s research and development unit. After that, she moved to Baidu as Head of Programmatic Advertising.

At present, she is AlgoriX’s co-founder and Chief Operation Officer. Together with the team, she aims to help game developers effectively reach global audiences and implement better monetization strategies.

Ruiz Xie

Chief Executive Officer

With nearly 20 years of business experience, Ruiz Xie founded AlgoriX with the vision of creating a global advertising platform and entertainment ecosystem. Through AlgoriX’s services, he aims to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem by providing customized solutions that meet the needs of businesses at every stage. At the same time, through AlgoriX Studios and its third-party partner studios, the company is currently bringing to life a greater goal of providing a comprehensive entertainment platform for people worldwide, which covers games, IP, comics, movies, and more. At present, he leads nearly a hundred employees with concrete plans to expand the company by establishing more offices worldwide.

Before founding AlgoriX, Ruiz Xie joined CoreMail in 2002. There, he created the first Ajax version of the mailbox in China for NetEase, which was the largest Internet company in China at the time. After that, he joined Tencent in 2005 and contributed to the creation of Tencent Games while also building a large scale distributed storage system. In 2013, he moved to Baidu where he took part in developing Baidu International’s overall architecture and search advertising system. During his tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Baidu Global Technical Committee and Baidu’s chief architect.