The Publisher Brief: Prebid 7

On June 8th 2022, the Prebid team released the next major version of the Prebid.js header bidding wrapper with version 7. In this edition of The Publisher Brief, we explain what publishers need to know about the latest update to the open-source header bidding solution. 

The Headlines

  • The latest version of the Prebid.js header bidding wrapper, Prebid 7, was released for download on Github on June 8th, 2022.
  • Prebid 7 is the first major update to the JavaScript header bidding wrapper since version 6 in October 2021. 

  • Prebid 7 brings with it a host of changes including the removal of the FLoC module, deprecation of support for TCF 1.0 consent management, and more. 

What is Prebid 7?

Prebid 7 is the latest major update to the Prebid.js header bidding wrapper, an open-source solution which enables publishers to request multiple demand partners to bid on their ad inventory almost in real-time. 

As explained by Patrick McCann, Committee Chair at Prebid, in their release update, the Prebid.js development team doesn’t hold back tentpole features for major numbered iterations like this. Instead, they focus big releases on so-called ‘breaking’ changes. These are essentially configuration or functionality updates which could potentially disrupt a publisher’s header bidding setup if they were to upgrade automatically. In this way, publishers can ensure header bidding continuity while they make the necessary under-the-hood changes to their ad stack to enable the latest major version of Prebid while still updating to minor versions as they’re released. 

Why should publishers upgrade to Prebid 7?

If you’re into the more technical side of header bidding, you can dig into the details with the Prebid 7 release notes or jump straight in and download the latest version of Prebid 7 via Github.

However, if you’re a publisher wondering why you should make the change to Prebid 7 right away – and what’s in it for you – we’ve got you covered. 

Here are the big takeaways that we think matter most to publishers with Prebid 7. 

Module deprecations

As we reported back in January 2022, Google has now sent FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) packing and replaced it with Google Topics. In order to keep the wrapper as lightweight as possible – and tightly focused on revenue drivers – the team has now deprecated the FLoC module in Prebid. 

Similarly, TCF 1.0 is no longer supported for consent management in Prebid 7, though updating this integration is something each publisher will need to discuss with their Consent Management Platform (CMP). 

Changes to device storage permissions

In line with industry shifts towards consumer privacy – and with an eye on bolstering publisher trust in Prebid.js – the way bidders can access device storage has now changed in Prebid 7. 

In short, bidders now need specific permission from the publisher to access storage devices. Each bidder now needs to submit a specific data or identity module if they want to work with a publisher's first-party data, leading to more transparency for publishers and how they measure the value of a bidder in regards to their data. 

The other part of this is that it essentially tunes up the performance of the bidding adapters, so that no side operations are being performed out of the bidding container once it’s loaded on a page. It’s a small change, but it’s still a step towards better efficiency.

Better handling of first-party data

When it comes to first-party data, the Prebid.js development team has been focused on aligning the OpenRTB object for some time. This takes another big step forward with Prebid 7.

The mechanics get quite technical, but the short version is that both third-party RTD (Real Time Data) taxonomies and publishers’ own first-party data (cohorts, contextual, keywords, page and slot parameters etc.) will now be passed via the oRTB 2 object (‘ortb2’ parameter) and not via the previous setConfig ‘fpd’ parameter. 

This change gives publishers the ability to streamline their data integration through Prebid and supports passing the data globally, rather than customizing it for each individual bidder. This means bidders will now benefit from clear ‘ortb2’ object format guidelines, which make it much easier to handle the data in the platform once enabled by the publisher.

To learn more about The MediaGrid’s support for this protocol, you can refer to our docs portal

What if you’re still running Prebid 6?

As we mentioned above, the Prebid.js development team releases major updates (i.e. ‘breaking’ changes) in a way which prevents disruption to publisher configurations. 

If you, like most publishers right now, are still running Prebid 6, the team will continue to release bug fixes and adapter commits on Github for 60 days following the release of Prebid 7. This ensures continuity while your ad ops team works to make the change to Prebid 7 – while also offering the reassurance that minor updates can still be merged without issue.

In terms of best practices, The MediaGrid team recommends that publishers not run a version of Prebid.js which is more than one major update behind. So, if you’re still running Prebid 5, it’s definitely time to think about the upgrade. 

If you’d like to learn more about Prebid 7, ask a question about your existing ad stack setup, or connect to an SSP which supports the latest header bidding changes seamlessly – get in touch with The MediaGrid today 

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