Amazon Unified Ad Marketplace, or UAM, is Amazon’s entry into the header bidding space. Like prebid based header bidding, Amazon UAM provides a mechanism for multiple bidders to place bids on the same ad request. Unlike prebid, UAM runs server-side rather than in the user’s browser client side. This has disadvantages in terms of cookie-matching, but is faster than handling the auction server-side.
As UAM runs server-side it is often compared with Exchange Bidding / EBDA. However, unlike Exchange Bidding, UAM is usually run outside of the ad-server with just the winning bid passed in. In this way, it is more similar to Prebid header bidding.
Should I use Amazon UAM, Prebid or Exchange Bidding?
Which of the three main header bidding approaches would perform best on any given inventory will be dependent on both the set-up and the audience. However it is safe to say that if only one is used then Exchange Bidding is likely to give the best result in most situations due to it including demand for Google Ad Exchange.
That isn’t to say that it is best to ignore UAM and Prebid and focus on Exchange Bidding. Thankfully there is a better option.
Running client side and server side together
All three solutions work perfectly well together and will generally bring a better result than picking one or two to work with. This is certainly the solution that we encourage users to test. When using UAM together with Prebid header bidding and EBDA, you can maximize exposure to bidders, which helps secure the best final price.
This “triple-threat” set-up effectively gives you three auctions, each with their own mix of demand. The winning bids are passed into Google Ad Manager from UAM and Prebid as line items. Exchange Bidding is then given the opportunity to outbid those lines through dynamic allocation. This looks something like this:
Like all things in publishing, there are pros and cons. In this case we see two possible drawbacks:
Speed : Adding UAM into the mix will create some additional latency. However it is a server-side solution so this is minimal and approximately comparable to adding a single additional bidder into Prebid.
Complexity : If you are a publisher managing your own ad-stack, then an additional auction does of course add complexity both in terms of set-up and management/maintenance.
The easy way to get running with Amazon UAM, Prebid and EBDA in one go
For publishers who want the advantage of this type of actively managed set-up, but don’t want the work of managing it themselves, there is OKO. We offer managed website monetization that combines Amazon UAM, Prebid header bidding and Exchange Bidding with Google Ad Exchange. We handle set-up, management and all the bidder relationships and provide publishers with a single dashboard and monthly payment. Learn more about OKO website monetization here.