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Updating to oRTB 2.5: What’s New?

Ryan Gauss
Posted on
By , VP of Product Development


What is oRTB?

Since 2010, OpenRTB has been spurring growth in the real-time bidding (RTB) advertising marketplace and continues to provide open industry standards for communication between buyers of advertising and sellers of publisher inventory. Here at AerServ, we’re committed to bringing publishers the latest technology for mobile monetization and are proud to support the oRTB mission. Recently, we’ve pushed out an update to support oRTB 2.5 and we’re excited to have publishers leverage the new release.

What’s New in oRTB 2.5?

Support for Header Bidding

Header bidding is technology that enables publishers to make their inventory available to multiple buyers simultaneously who can then submit bids, or dynamic prices for the impression. Header bidding enables publishers to capture higher CPMs from buyers, increase fill rate, and improve the competitiveness of their auction. We’ve been supporting Header Bidding via the AerServ OpenAuction. If you’re interested, you can read more here.

With the new oRTB 2.5 update anyone submitting a bid request can now specify if the ad call is from a header bidding call or not. Some header bidding auctions may have different mechanics (i.e. first price auction) or have a second auction where a winner may need to compete in an additional auction on the ad server. Notifying buyers that the inventory they’re bidding on is header bidding inventory can help buyers be aware of the possible header bidding scenarios they may encounter and explain why they may lose an auction.

Ability to Specify View-ability Measurement Metrics

Publishers can now pass in view-ability stats for their inventory from third party view-abilty vendors such as MOAT, Double Verify, or Integral Ad Science (IAS) in the bid request (i.e. 85% historical view-ability).

Advertisers are using view-ability data to determine if they want to fill the ad or not. This is a definite benefit for advertisers because they have more visibility into the inventory, but it can be a positive for pubs if they have a high view-ability score as it will make their inventory more attractive to buyers, when compared to other inventory with lower scores.

Support for Billing and Loss Notifications

The billing notification provides the ability to send a notification to the buyer when we record the impression and will bill for it. Traditionally the publisher and buyer have both had their own impression pixel to know when an ad displays, but there is no communication between them and most discrepancies occur when one party records an impression and the other does not. This mechanism allows the publisher to notify the buyer when they recorded an impression and plan to charge for it, so it should hopefully cut down on the discrepancies.

The loss notification provides AerServ an opportunity to notify the buyer when they’ve lost an auction and give a reason why they lost (i.e. did not bid high enough, there was something wrong with their response, there was something invalid in their bid response, etc.). There are some pretty specific loss notification codes that can be sent which the buyers will hopefully use to modify their logic so they can begin to win more auctions.

A Note for Buyers: Both the Billing and Loss notification functionality require you (the buyer) to support these notifications and be capable of receiving them. If you haven’t yet prepared for the oRTB 2.5 features now is the time!