Google claimed the measure is geared toward ushering in transparency in the often-ambiguous world of programmatic media trading. Others, however, see it differently, taking it as a major sign that second-price auctions in media trading are on the way out.
Will Doherty, evp global marketplace development at Index Exchange—one of the early advocates of the model—said Google’s move would make pricing transparency more uniform across the industry, thus furthering competition. “First-price auctions are truly the only way to make auctions transparent to buyers in a header bidding environment,” he added.
Second-price auctions—whereby the auction winner only has to pay marginally above the bid submitted by the second-highest bidder—were the default means for publishers to monetize remnant ad impressions in the early days of programmatic.