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US Publisher Programmatic Revenues 2019

A new study from Roxot, an ad-tech company that develops monetization and analytics tools for digital publishers, offers an overview of the sell-side programmatic market, including market trends, key demand channels for digital publishers, top-performing demand partners, and adoption rate of ad monetization technologies.

The following research is based on the Roxot Prebid Analytics for Publishers and Roxot Revenue Lift data from more than 7 billion display ad auctions for the US users on both Desktop and Mobile devices collected from March 1st to May 31st, 2019.

Roxot Prebid Analytics users can now access data about major SSPs performance on different programmatic markets around the world using Roxot Market Watch, the newest Prebid Analytics feature. Find more information about our latest release here.
Executive summary
What are the most widely adopted demand channels?
Almost every publisher participated in the research (95%) use client-side header bidding as one of the demand sources.

Often, publishers are adopting multiple server-side and client-side header bidding wrappers. For example, 85% of publishers using Google's Exchange Bidding also work with Amazon UAM/TAM. Publishers may be forced to combine multiple technologies as they lack solutions integrated with all demand sources.
What are key programmatic demand channels for publishers?
According to our data, Google AdExchange generates the most programmatic revenue for US publishers at 56% of the total. Client-side (prebid.js) and Server-side (Exchange Bidding and Amazon UAM/TAM) header bidding are estimated to generate almost identical percentage of programmatic revenue at 22% of total each.
What is the most dominant server-side technology?
Google's Exchange Bidding has the biggest share of overall server-side impressions at 70%. This translates into 14% of total programmatic revenue. In comparison, Amazon UAM/TAM wrapper generates 6.6% of publisher's revenue.

However, more publishers use Amazon wrapper. 55% of publishers participated in the study run Amazon UAM/TAM vs 33% run Exchange Bidding. The difference between the revenue generated and the level of adoption is explained by the size of publishers using these technologies.
Who are the leading SSPs in client-side header bidding?
According to Roxot Prebid Analytics data, AppNexus is the leading client-side header bidding SSP with 27% of total Prebid revenue.

AppNexus has the highest market penetration rate thanks to the popularity of Prebid.js - an open-source header bidding wrapper developed by AppNexus. However, with client-side header bidding adoption reaching its peak, AppNexus is expected to slow down its growth. In turn, Rubicon and Index Exchange will try to grow their market share by offering managed services on top of the wrapper technology.
Who are the leading SSPs in Google's Exchange Bidding?
Index Exchange, Rubicon, and OpenX have almost identical shares of Exchange Bidding impressions and together generate almost 70% of total Exchange Bidding revenue. While AppNexus dominates in the client-side environment, Exchange Bidding feature gives Index Exchange and Rubicon additional opportunities to bid on premium impressions from top-tier publishers. As a result, AppNexus, Index Exchange, and Rubicon have a similar share of the US sell-side programmatic market - approx. 5% each.

Considering that AppNexus is predominantly used in Prebid.js wrapper which is used by 95% of publishers participated in the research, Index Exchange and Rubicon are expected to increase their market share with the growth of Exchange Bidding.
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Full report
Programmatic demand channels adoption rate
Programmatic demand channels adoption rate was measured by comparing the number of publishers using a particular demand channel with the total number of publishers participated in the research. Only publishers using primary Google AdExchange account participated in this study.
Almost every publisher participated in the research use client-side header bidding as one of the demand sources. 61% of publishers use a combination of client-side and server-side header bidding. However, no publishers switched completely from client-side header bidding to server-side header bidding.
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Often, publishers are adopting multiple server-side header bidding wrappers. 85% of publishers using Google's Exchange Bidding also work with Amazon UAM/TAM. Most probably, publishers are forced to combine multiple technologies as they lack solutions integrated with every demand source. For instance, AppNexus and Amazon aren't available in Google's Exchange Bidding and Amazon discontinued their Prebid.js integration almost 4 years ago.
Demand channels market share
Google AdExchange generates the most programmatic revenue for US publishers at 56% of the total. Client-side (Prebid.js) and Server-side (Exchange Bidding and Amazon UAM/TAM) header bidding are estimated to generate almost the same percentage of programmatic revenue at 22% of the total each.
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Amazon wrapper's 6.6% of Total Programmatic revenue may seem counter intuitive as more than half of publishers use this technology. But the difference between the revenue generated and the level of adoption is explained by the size of publishers using the wrapper. With a self-serve UAM, Amazon attracts smaller publishers. In turn, Google's Exchange Bidding is currently available mostly for bigger publishers. We expect the growth of server-side technologies as more Google Ad Manager users get access to Exchange Bidding feature.
Leading SSPs in client-side header bidding
According to Roxot Prebid Analytics data, AppNexus is the leading client-side header bidding SSP with 27% of total Prebid revenue. AppNexus has the highest market penetration. They are exposed to 73.5% of all ad requests coming from Prebid.

Index Exchange and Rubicon are the second and third top-performing client-side SSPs with 10% and 8% of Prebid revenue respectively. Index Exchange participates in 65.6% of client-side auctions but often bids higher than competitors which makes them as efficient for publishers as AppNexus.
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You find more insights into SSPs performance on different programmatic markets around the world (how often they bid for traffic from a particular country, what their CPMs are, and more) using Roxot Market Watch, one of the newest Roxot Prebid Analytics features. With Roxot Market Watch, you can compare SSP's performance on your websites with their average performance on the market and easily find the most optimal for your traffic mix of demand partners.
AppNexus has the highest market penetration rate thanks to popularity of Prebid.js - an open-source header bidding wrapper developed by AppNexus. However, with client-side header bidding adoption reaching its peak, AppNexus is expected to slow down its growth. In turn, Rubicon and Index Exchange will try to grow their market share by offering managed services on top of the wrapper technology.
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Leading SSPs in Google's Exchange Bidding
Index Exchange, Rubicon, and OpenX have almost identical shares of Exchange Bidding impressions and together generate almost 70% of total Exchange Bidding revenue.
As more Google Ad Manager users get access to Exchange Bidding, SSPs directly integrated with Google are expected to grow their market share as they will be exposed to more premium inventory. The growth of Exchange Bidding may become an advantage for Index Exchange and Rubicon over AppNexus that is predominantly used in Prebid.js wrapper.
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About Roxot
Roxot develops monetization and analytics tools for digital publishers: Roxot Prebid Analytics, Roxot Revenue Lift, and Roxot Header Bidding Manager.

Roxot Prebid Analytics takes tedious reporting & analytics tasks off publisher's plate so they have more time to work on direct improvements of their ad stack.

Roxot Revenue Lift protects publisher's inventory value in the first-price auction environment with dynamic price floors in Google Ad Manager (Unified Pricing Rules).

Roxot Header Bidding Manager is a demand agnostic Header-Bidding-As-a-Service solution. It allows you to set up, update, analyze, test, and optimize your header bidding without editing the code or waiting for site releases.

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