The state of desktop header bidding in Romania in October 2019 – market analysis

After header bidding market analyses for Poland from June 2019 and Bulgaria from July 2019 time has come for another one. This time we focused on the Romanian market – the second biggest in CEE with one of the highest rates of economic growth in Europe. Just like in previous iterations, the hypothesis says that prebid.js-based header bidding has a positive impact on publishers automated sales and therefore they should be likely to implement it.

Methodology

This time we used the same proprietary crawler as previously and scanned desktop websites against ads.txt and prebid.js. We ran it on a list of 996 domains obtained from Alexa ranking for Romania. Again, we cleared the list in order to make sure it does not include any search engines, social media and corporate websites as we wanted to be 100% sure that the analysed sample was limited to publishers only. In practice, we only took into consideration domains our crawler reported as having implemented ads.txt file. As this IAB standard was created for the sell-side of the advertising market, everything that came without it was automatically filtered out. The final list included 435 desktop domains. Obviously we are aware of the fact that there might be some publishers who do not use ads.txt yet, still we believe their number is not significant and wanted to avoid false positives first.

Afterwards, we scanned the cleared list against prebid.js in order to verify how many domains already onboarded this header bidding standard. As a next step we analysed demand partners included in prebid.js files and ranked them according to their popularity. Since Google Ad Manager is not prebid.js compliant, we also scanned websites against direct GAM implementation.

Results can be found below.

Ads.txt

Around 44% out 996, ie. 435 of analysed domains belong to publishers and not to other kind of business, which are out of scope of this analysis.

Prebid.js

Found across 15% of top 435 publisher domains and across 17% of top 87 (top 20%) publisher domains.

Demand Partners/SSPs

Diagram for post

The most popular SSPs working through header bidding in Romania

Conclusions

The level of prebid.js adoption in Romania is still very low given the potential of this solution. 15% is lower comparing to Poland, where it is 46%, but also lower than in Bulgaria, where its adoption rate is 18%. As oppose to the other markets, bigger publishers are not necessarily more likely to implement prebid.js as only 17% out of top 20% domains are working on this standard. To compare, it is 48% of top 20% domains in Bulgaria and 75% of top 20% of domains in Poland. While answering the question about the reason of such situations would require more in-depth analyses, we can assume that:

  • publishers in Romania are less advanced in terms of programmatic in general, including big players;
  • direct sales still dominate on this market and have priority over programmatic;
  • there is a big chance there is not enough sources of knowledge available for Romanian publishers and the lack of widely recognized best practices.

The list of most popular demand sources is not very surprising. The biggest player out there is Google, just like in Poland and in Bulgaria, the other strong platforms are Xandr (former Appnexus), Rubicon Project, Index Exchnge, Pubmatic and OpenX.

Want to know more about header bidding?
E-mail us at [email protected]

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