90 Days Later: Video Player Bidding Best Practices

Video Player Bidding helps you maximize monetization, provided you’re following these recommendations

After the launch of Video Player Bidding earlier this year, we’ve seen great adoption and some impressive  benefits, including faster time-to-first-frame for ads and a great supplemental boost of ad demand for publishers’ ad stacks. As with any great new product comes great learning experiences. With months of data and the associated on-going analysis, our goal is to educate our customers on best practices to optimize Video Player Bidding setups to maximize revenue potential.

 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Video Player Bidding (an easy-to-implement version of video header bidding) check out our previous blog post or the great video below of JW Player cofounder Brian Rifkin and SpotX Chief Revenue Officer Sean Buckley discussing the solution, and look here for how to get started.

 

In the last three months, the data we’ve collected from Video Player Bidding has proven a few core advertising concepts we’ve recommended in other blog posts we’ve posted.

Know Your Setup

If nothing else, we’ve realized that many publishers are unclear as to the optimal player setup for their page layout and audience. This is a perfect time to do some analysis and introduce improvements and efficiencies.

 

  • Cloud-hosted vs Self-hosted

For cloud-hosted Players, we’d be remiss to not note that a publisher using a custom JavaScript embed will override any advertising settings put into the dashboard. This includes an advertising block in the Player’s JS setup.

For self-hosted Players, simply set up the advertising block with the “bids” block described in our documentation and examples.

 

  • Custom Header Bidding Solutions

We’ve found that many publishers have pre-existing header bidding solutions in place. This can present an issue with event timing depending on the implementation. Typically, the best solution is to provide the Player with a complete and finalized ad tag prior to setting up the Player. This allows publishers to take advantage of the efficiencies built into the Player’s ad scheduling functionality.

 

The example below describes how to get your custom bidding done and then set up the Player with the appropriate information so as to avoid any timing issues.

 

// Do your custom header bidding here, which should result in a created ad tag

 

var finalTag = baseTag + custParams

 

// Once you’ve built your ad tag with the appropriate key value pairs from your header bidding solution, you can set up the player

 

var playerInstance = jwplayer(“myElement”)

playerInstance.setup({

   “file”: “myVideo”,

   “advertising”: {

       “client”: “googima”,

       “schedule”: {

           “adBreak”: {

               “tag”: “finalTag”,    —— the tag supplied here is a variable, created above prior to player setup

               “offset”: “pre”

           }

       },

       “bids”: {

           “settings”: {

               “mediationLayerAdServer”: “dfp”,

           },

           “bidders”: [

               {

                   “name”: “SpotX”,

                   “id”: “85394”

               }

           ]

       }

   }

});

 

Note in this scenario, the use of the playAd API is not necessary.

 

  • Player and Site Considerations

In general we’ve found certain player setup attributes to perform better or worse with Video Player Bidding.

 

    1. Player size: Believe it or not, Video Player Bidding requires a player height and width on setup. Advertisers want to know the size and type of player their ads will be running on. We’ve found a fairly large number of publishers who are setting up the Player with null, undefined, or 0 height and width, thus giving the Player a formal size too late. This is one of the largest causes of player setup-related failures.
    2. Click-to-play vs ‘autostart:viewable’ vs autostart in view: Given the extra calls that need to be made for the bidding process, allowing the Player more time to set up and for the bidding process to complete increases the chance of success. Autostart in view typically leads to timing issues with all the other network calls on the page, so be prepared for a degradation in performance in this scenario.
    3. Multiple players on a single page: This is generally discouraged even outside of Video Player Bidding. With multiple players, it can lead to extra network requests from both the Player and the bidding process.
    4. Multiple bidding requests: Video Player Bidding is optimized for single prerolls. Bidding for multiple ad breaks, including 3+ midrolls, is not optimal due to the additional network requests it creates.

 

Mediation Options

Video Player Bidding offers multiple mediation options, each tailored to a specific publisher use case.

 

  • JW Player

This is the easiest way to get started with VPB — no additional line items are required in the Ad Server and is the most performant. If the bidder meets the static floor price, then the bidder wins. Otherwise, the Player uses the fallback tag defined in the corresponding ad break slot. Please ensure the floor in SpotX is set at or above the floor in JW.

 

The downside is the JW mediation option is not aware of any other campaigns (including direct sold) so these campaigns can be cannibalized for programmatic/header traffic. Additionally, as the floor price is static, the bidder may over/under bid for that request.

 

  • DFP

With this option, DFP determines the winner in that the bidder competes directly with DFP line items. Corresponding line items are needed in DFP.  SpotX can help with the setup of the corresponding items.

 

In this instance, please ensure that you are competing all demand in Price Priority. Competing Sponsorships and Standard line items in DFP above JWP priority will largely negate the benefits of the JWP integration. Expect very low revenue from the integration if VPB is run at a lower priority than traditional demand in DFP.

 

The downside of this mediation layer is the ads’ time-to-first-frame will be longer as the Player has to send the SpotX bid to DFP to determine the winner.

 

  • JW Player + DFP

This mediation option combines the JW Player and DFP mediation layers in that order. If the floor price isn’t beaten, the key value pairs are added to the DFP tag to compete against DFP line items. This is a good option for publishers who use DFP but want to take advantage of the performance benefits of JW Player mediation. Please ensure the floor in SpotX is set at or above the floor in JW.

 

  • SpotX

You should select this option if your primary Ad Server is SpotX. All Publisher Direct Sold demand should be run in the SpotX ad server, competing along with the Open Marketplace, allowing full control over priorities given to SpotX demand versus Publisher Sourced Demand.

 

Performance Expectations

Depending on the complexities of your setup as well as how your traffic is split between desktop and mobile, performance expectations should be managed. In short, an autostart player on a page with a large amount of other network calls on a mobile device is not optimal for Video Player Bidding.

We’re Happy to Help

We recognize that both normal Player setups and Video Player Bidding setups can be complicated, especially given your other systems and requirements.

 

For more information about improving your monetization with Video Player Bidding, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

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