Server-side (s2s) integrations have existed in programmatic advertising for nearly a decade, has been the preferred method of integration between DSPs and exchanges during that span. Yet this integration type is only now being considered for header bidding, and quite tentatively at that. The obstacle that has challenged the industry in its shift from client-side to server-side header bidding has not been technology, but trust. With s2s being a more opaque integration, exchanges were previously hesitant to cooperate within an environment that lacked the transparency inherent in client-side header integrations.
A recent shift towards s2s by larger tech giants has to an extent normalised this integration, and incidentally paved the way for independent exchanges to partner together to embrace s2s, and create a new choice for publishers hoping to enhance user experience and monetisation without sacrificing transparency and fairness.