Best Header Bidding Networks for 2023

April 26, 2023

Let’s review the top header bidding networks of 2022 for programmatic advertising. We evaluated the top networks using various criteria based on our data analysis from the last year. It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to header bidding.  The networks you choose will depend on your traffic and revenue goals.

Consider the specific criteria that drive your business, such as device, location, and verticals, when evaluating each network. In this article, we provide an assessment of the header bidders that were utilized on over 1,000 sites over the past 12 months.

Google Adx (and Google OB) have been excluded from our analysis, to allow us to focus on what else is available. This is the dominant component of a strong header bidding stack. Our analysis is broken down by the selection criteria that should guide your decision-making process.

Top Networks by Device – Desktop, Mobile, CTV, Tablet

Compared to previous years, there is much greater revenue distribution across a wider range of networks. Traditionally there were one or two that dominated and now we see that network leads are relatively slight. This means you’ll be looking to add a few more demand partners to optimize your stack.

In the past 12 months, Amazon has taken the lead in overall market share from AppNexus/Xandr. For Desktop web pages, Amazon and Verizon have a slightly higher percentage of the overall share. Look to also include MediaNet, Appnexus/Xandr, and Rubicon for strong coverage.

For Mobile, you will want to include MediaNet, Sovrn, Verizon, and Amazon. If your site has a lot of Tablet traffic include Amazon, AdaptMX, Verizon, and MinuteMedia to have a strong stack. 

For CTV, Elemental should anchor your demand stack as it leads in market share. Adding Pubmatic and Appnexus will further fortify your foothold.

In the in-app world, you can’t miss Criteo, TheMediaGrid, and TripleLift. Of course, having Adx and Google OB is a must. 

Top Networks by GEO

The above charts reference worldwide traffic. When we break it down by Geo things shift a bit depending on the market. Looking at US traffic, MediaNet, Amazon, Verizon, and Sovrn cover a good part of the market share. 

European sites should start with Seedtag, Appnexus/Xandr, Onetag and consider Amazon and Rubicon to round out your stack.  In Italy, Seedtag is particularly strong, while Appnexus/Xandr leads in France and the UK.

In Asia, publishers should run Appnexus/Xandr, RichAudience, and Verizon. These networks have edged the traditional stack of Pubmatic, AdaptMX, and OpenX. Australia’s prime stack is similar to that of the US, just remember to add AdaptMX and IndexExchange. 

Best Network for Video Inventory

Video header bidding has taken off and proved to accelerate publisher yield. The leading players in the header bidding video stack are Appnexus, Pubmatic, and IndexExchange.  

What about Client-Side Header Bidding and Server to Server?

The benefits of header bidding are numerous. And we recommend a hybrid header bidding setup as the best practice, so you’ll need to consider network selection accordingly. 

The hybrid capability is built into Merlin™, our custom wrapper. A hybrid setup solves page latency issues and ensures a more efficient ad delivery. Plus, demand is optimized and user experience is protected.

Generally, the client-side setup takes the bulk of ad impressions and delivers higher CPMs. For S2S, Appnexus and Pubmatic offer the strongest share of revenue. 

Utilizing both client-side and server-side header bidding improves competition to find the highest bidder.  This drives CPMs while improving overall site performance and page load.

Who are the AMP Leaders?

AMP only runs S2S so you can only run the enabled prebid bidders, so the mix will be different. If you are interested in these, please contact us.

Top Network Vary by Verticals

There are tons of options here, so you’ll need to hone in on the advertisers in your vertical. There is a lot of variance in the networks by advertiser segments. If you need assistance with this, we can always provide a customized report for your vertical. 

Conclusion – Optimizing Your Header Bidding Stack

To optimize your monetization, it’s crucial to understand your users and top-demand partners when building your stack. Most publishers by now have implemented header bidding so the key is to amplify the results. Evaluate the ad exchanges that work best against the criteria that drive your revenue.

Adapex recognizes the uniqueness of each site’s content and audience, so we’ve developed a revolutionary tech suite that can be easily implemented and customized to meet your specific needs. With over 1,000 successful partnerships, we’ve consistently helped new clients achieve significant revenue growth ranging from 30-520%. If you’re interested in gaining insight into the best header bidding solution for your site, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Blog Categories
Featured posts
Recent posts



Join the Adapex community to receive future posts, offers, guides and more