Thought Leadership

The Challenges of Prebid Mobile, A Hot Take with Alex Smith

March 27, 2019
By Ryan Christopher

Why Should Developers Adopt Prebid Mobile?

It’s no secret the ad tech industry is constantly racing towards better performance, and Prebid mobile has emerged as one of the best ways developers can continuously update their configurations without needing to re-deploy their app each time they do so.

Benefits like reduction in ad ops burden, lower latency, and easier integration with many demand sources ensures that Prebid mobile offers a clear path towards a transparent open source header bidding solution.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges to implementing Prebid mobile tools in order to actualize in-app header bidding in publisher apps.  

We spoke with Rubicon Project product manager, and chairperson, Alex Smith to get her take on some of the challenges of adopting Prebid mobile and how Rubicon Project is attempting to solve for them.


Hi, I’m Alex Smith, I’m a product manager at Rubicon Project and one of my focuses is Prebid mobile.

What are some challenges with Prebid mobile?

The biggest challenge with Prebid mobile, is that Prebid wasn’t developed as a mobile-first solution, and there are many incumbents in the mobile space, so I think that breaking through and getting to those mobile app first developers to really prove that, you know, Prebid is a great solution and that you should be doing in-app header bidding – is kind of one of the issues.

Another issue is demand sources.  Right now all of the demand plugged into Prebid server, which is really the demand you would see in Prebid mobile, is not really mobile first and there’s not a ton, so I think that as we start to see more mobile first demand and more demand plugged into Prebid server, I think mobile first developed publishers will really start seeing the value of Prebid.

SDKs are hard to install.  It’s not just plug and play and header bidding is not plug and play – an SDK requires a lot of work to install, and, also, there’s a substantial amount of work to optimize the integration.

How is Rubicon Project solving for these challenges?

So, what Rubicon Project is doing is helping publishers install that SDK and get all the configurations kind of ironed out server side, and then once we’re live iterate – and make sure that the implementation is as healthy as possible.

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