In the evolving world of digital advertising, publishers increasingly prioritize control and customization opportunities for their monetization management. Many publishers choose to set up their own header bidding stack but lack the resources to perform day-to-day optimization tasks.
Customizing things to suit each publisher’s unique needs can also be challenging using open-source solutions, as these often lack advanced management tools and reporting. In addition, it still requires technical expertise at different levels and ad-serving maintenance to ensure that the web vitals remain intact.
This has led many publishers to opt for Prebid management platforms (sometimes known as Prebid as a Service), which offer enterprise-level management tools, at the same time putting publishers in full control over their header bidding processes. In other words, integrations that allow to scale and increase revenue in an easy fashion at no additional cost. It’s evident that choosing the right platform can be a game-changer.
The two prominent platforms in this space are Setupad Prebid Self-Serve and Pubmatic OpenWrap. Today, we’ll delve deep into the differences between them, discussing six primary aspects: infrastructure, ease of integration, customization, ad unit creation, reporting, and pricing.
When it comes to infrastructure, the choice of the Prebid version is crucial. While OpenWrap occasionally updates and has been criticized for its unstable versions, Setupad Prebid Self-Serve takes the lead with its commitment to frequent updates, ensuring users always have access to new and stable versions.
Compression is another vital aspect. OpenWrap employs Gzip for its wrapper compression. Gzip is a widely-used method, but it’s not the most efficient. On the other hand, Prebid Self-Serve uses Brotli, a newer compression algorithm that generally provides better compression ratios, which means faster load times and improved performance for end-users.
The hosting of the wrapper is also a point of contention. By default, OpenWrap relies on Apache, a local hosting solution. In contrast, Prebid Self-Serve opts for a more global approach, utilizing Azure and Cloudflare’s cloud services. This ensures better scalability and potentially faster response times.
File size matters, especially in advertising, where every kilobyte can impact page load times. OpenWrap’s wrapper starts at a default of 350kB and increases with every added browser-side SSP connection. Prebid Self-Serve, however, maintains a leaner profile, starting at just 100kB and capping at 140kB, even with maximum SSPs.
Lastly, in the age of rising cyber threats, Prebid Self-Serve takes a proactive stance by including Boltive, an anti-malvertising software, ensuring safer ad displays. In contrast, OpenWrap doesn’t offer an anti-malvertising solution.
2. The Ease of Integration
The onboarding process can often be a determining factor for many publishers. OpenWrap’s manual approach to creating line items in Google Ad Manager can be cumbersome and has been cited as a pain point for many OpenWrap clients, especially for those without IT expertise. Prebid Self-Serve automates this process and cuts it down to 20 minutes, eliminating the need for IT intervention.
The ease of integrating SSPs can significantly influence a publisher’s workflow. When comparing Prebid Self-Serve and OpenWrap, it’s evident that Prebid Self-Serve offers a notably streamlined approach. With just three straightforward steps, Prebid Self-Serve simplifies the process of adding SSPs, making it considerably more efficient than the nine-step procedure required by OpenWrap. Such efficiency underscores the importance of platform choice for publishers aiming for a seamless integration experience.
Adding SSP adapters is another area where the Setupad solution shines. Unlike OpenWrap, which requires manual updates and code changes, Prebid Self-Serve’s process is automatic and remote, similar to Google Tag Manager, eliminating the need to involve IT teams for constant code updates.
Currency settings, especially for global publishers, can be a hassle. Prebid Self-Serve offers a solution with its automatic and daily updated exchange rates, ensuring accurate and up-to-date financial transactions.
Customization is where platforms can truly differentiate themselves. Whether it’s adding or removing SSPs, adjusting ad refresh rates, or setting timeouts, Prebid Self-Serve offers built-in solutions that are both preset and adjustable without the need for code updates. This flexibility ensures publishers can tailor their ad experiences to their unique needs.
Moreover, Prebid Self-Serve’s built-in Chrome extension for monitoring and blocking ads provides publishers with granular control over their ad displays, ensuring quality and relevance.
4. Ad Unit Creation
Perhaps the most time-consuming process with open-source monetization software is ad unit creation. This also varies significantly between platforms. A side-by-side comparison of Prebid Self-Serve and OpenWrap reveals a few key differences in their approaches.
Prebid Self-Serve offers a concise seven-step process, encompassing tasks from the automatically launching Setupad Prebid Orders to placing the tags live on a site. This streamlined approach ensures publishers can efficiently set up their ad units without unnecessary complexities.
In contrast, OpenWrap’s procedure is more intricate, involving a total of 14 steps. These range from adding Prebid Line items in GAM to mapping ad units and placing tags live on a site. The extended process might require more time and attention to detail, potentially slowing down the ad unit integration.
In summary, Prebid Self-Serve considerably simplifies the process of creating and launching ad units compared to OpenWrap, emphasizing the importance of platform selection for publishers seeking a hassle-free experience.
Effective reporting is the cornerstone of any successful advertising campaign. While OpenWrap offers separate reports for different connections, Prebid Self-Serve provides a unified view, combining data from multiple sources for a holistic understanding.
Nevertheless, OpenWrap offers a good variety of metrics for free to all its clients, which are bid rate, win rate, timeout, and latency.
It’s worth noting that Self-Serve offers a much broader range of metrics, like price split, geo split, traffic sources split, rCPM, sRPM, and much more, but not all of them are available with the free plan.
Prebid Self-Serve also stands out with its Yield Formula, which connects with GA4, offering insights on key metrics and providing historical comparisons and growth projections. This data-driven approach ensures publishers can make informed decisions to optimize their ad revenues.
One notable advantage of OpenWrap over Prebid Self-Serve is the fact that it’s available for free to all clients.
While Prebid Self-Serve does offer a free plan for medium-sized publishers, enterprise-level customers get a custom quote depending on the number of ad requests. However, taking premium hosting, anti-malvertising solution and other paid tools that are already included with the Prebid Self-Serve, a closer look is needed when reviewing which solution better suits your needs.
In the competitive digital advertising landscape, the choice between platforms like Setupad’s Prebid Self-Serve and Pubmatic OpenWrap can significantly impact a publisher’s success.
With its advanced infrastructure, simplified onboarding, extensive customization options, and comprehensive reporting tools, Prebid Self-Serve presents a compelling case for those looking to optimize their advertising efforts.