Kevel Trackers Methodology

Chris Shuptrine
Chris Shuptrine
Kevel Trackers Methodology

What are the Kevel Trackers?

Previously called Ad Tech Insights, the Kevel Trackers are a suite of reports detailing Ad Tech industry trends. Currently it hosts two reports - CMP and HBIX. Every report is updated quarterly.

Header Bidding Industry Index (HBIX)

This tracks header bidding vendor usage across the Top 10 US sites.

Consent Management Platform (CMP) tracker

GDPR has prompted many publishers to use Consent Management Platforms for storing consent and passing that to programmatic partners. This tracker analyzes how many companies in the Top 10K US sites use either IAB-registered CMPs or other 3rd-party consent tools.

When you filter by 'publishers only', what does that mean?

We break down the adoptions graph into two buckets: all sites and just sites that show programmatic ads. Why? Because some sites would likely never show programmatic ads or care about collecting consent (say, Wikipedia.org). Therefore, it's more interesting to look at the adoption rates for just programmatic publishers.

This list is manually compiled by identifying sites that are making an ad ping to an exchange/network, that do header bidding, and/or have an ads.txt tracker.


Header Bidding Industry Index (HBIX) Methodology

Overview

The Header Bidding Industry Index tracks what vendors publishers are using, looking at the Top 10K US sites.

How we built the HBIX Tracker

  1. We first manually built a list of URL endpoints that signify the publisher is doing header bidding. This list includes over 1000 expressions.
  2. Next, we pulled the Top 10K US sites using Amazon Alexa's API.
  3. Finally, we load every site in the list and see if they are pinging one of the pre-identified endpoints.

Methodology Notes

Set-Up
  1. We analyze just the homepages. This will undercount usage slightly for sites that show ads on sub-pages versus the homepage itself.
  2. We also check the source content of the site's JS files.
Eligibility
  1. We considered a site to do header bidding if it made a call to one or more header bidding partners. We did not count sites that have header bidding code but were not actively making calls.
  2. Some sites only "do" header bidding via a network's JS code (networks include Disqus, 33Across, and SRAX). This is also called post-bid. Sites that do this are included in the report.
Other
  1. For S2S HB endpoints, it's not possible for us to know what bidders are being pinged on the backend.
  2. Multiple domains: Some sites in our list may redirect to the same place (such as Twitter.co and Twitter.com). Other sites may have different domains for different countries (like, CNN.com and CNN.gr). Due to the complexity of identifying duplicates, as well as the fact that a site with multiple country versions may use different products on different domains, the data does not de-dupe based on publisher name. Instead, we analyze adoption rate by URL and thus treat CNN.com and CNN.gr as two different sites.

Consent Management Platform (CMP) Tracker Methodology

Overview

The Kevel CMP Tracker looks at the Top 10K US to determine who uses IAB-certified Consent Management Platforms (CMPs).

How we built the CMP Tracker
  1. We first manually built a list of URL endpoints that signify the publisher is using a CMP and which one. This list includes over 500 expressions, including the IAB URL formatting, open-source code from Xandr and Axel Springer, WordPress plug-ins, and miscellaneous other vendors.
  2. Next, we pulled the Top 10K US sites using Amazon Alexa's API.
  3. Finally, we look at every site in the list using a French IP (via a VPN) to see if they are pinging any of the CMP endpoints and which ones.
CMP Definition

IAB-Registered Consent Management Platforms: these integrate with the IAB-list of vendors, enable company-level consent, and in general offer more complexity than other solutions. Most are 3rd-party vendors, but some are individual publishers/media groups that wanted to certify their in-house solution.

This report does not include any CMPs - whether homegrown or third-party - that are not IAB-registered.

Methodology Notes

  1. How we pull data: We scrape just the desktop homepages of the sites on the list. We run the tool once, using a French IP. The listener sits on each page for 60 seconds.
  2. Multiple CMP codes: Registered IAB vendors use a specific endpoint URL like 'quantcast.mgr.consensu.org'. However, in doing our research, we found that some of these IAB vendors had other CMP codes too (likely due to building their CMP before registering with the IAB). In compiling the data, we decided to group by vendor, not by endpoint, meaning that when we say a vendor is IAB-registered, some of their instances may come from endpoints that are not in the IAB format.
  3. Multiple domains: Some sites in our list may redirect to the same place (such as Twitter.co and Twitter.com). Other sites may have different domains for different countries (like, CNN.com and CNN.gr). Due to the complexity of identifying duplicates, as well as the fact that a site with multiple country versions may use different products on different domains, the data does not de-dupe based on publisher name. Instead, we analyze adoption rate by URL and thus treat CNN.com and CNN.gr as two different sites.
Chris Shuptrine
Chris Shuptrine

Chris has worked in ad tech for over fourteen years in a variety of roles - giving him customer support, PM, and marketing perspectives from both the advertiser and publisher sides. He's the VP of Marketing at Kevel.