PubMatic Native Advertising FAQ

Document created by catherine.racette on Sep 29, 2017Last modified by catherine.racette on Oct 2, 2017
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What are the benefits of PubMatic’s native advertising offering? 

PubMatic’s native advertising solution provides a scalable solution across direct and indirect channels, multiple screen formats (mobile, tablet, display) in a single platform. PubMatic unifies publisher’s native advertising needs with those of media buyers to improve customer engagement and monetization. 


Which screen formats does PubMatic support? 

Supported formats include:

  • Mobile Web 
  • In-App 
  • Tablet 
  • Desktop 
  • (OpenWrap availability TBD) 


Which native assets does PubMatic support? 

Supported assets include: 

  • Title 
  • Description 
  • ICON Image 
  • Cover (main) Image 
  • Logo Image 
  • Video 
  • Data assets, including: 
  • Ratings 
  • Likes 
  • Downloads 
  • Price 
  • Sale Price 
  • Phone Number 
  • Address 
  • Display URL 
  • Call to action 

Is PubMatic compliant with IAB’s OpenRTB protocol for native advertising? 

Yes, PubMatic’s native advertising solution fully supports IAB OpenRTB 2.3. OpenRTB 2.3 enables native ads to be targeted, optimized, and transacted programmatically, reducing workload on publishers and advertisers alike. OpenRTB 2.3 allows publishers to define the fields that are available and required to assemble the native ad.  

Note: OpenRTB 2.1 API is also supported, however additional development is required from the DSP to be able to send native demand to PubMatic and have their extension object recognized.   

OpenRTB 2.3 protocol includes: 

  1. Native ad placements included directly in the impression object specification, and passed through the bid stream by the publishers. 
  2. Native specification present under the impression object specification that enables the publisher to offer the same impression as banner, video and/or native ad placement. 
  3. Metadata in native requests, including: 
  • Title  
  • Images 
  • Data 
  • Video 


Does header bidding support native ads? 

No, header bidding only supports banner ads. Neither video nor native is currently supported in header bidding. 


Does PubMatic provide analytics for native advertising? 

Yes, PubMatic analytics are available for its entire product line, including native advertising. The PubMatic analytics module provides insights across different ad formats and channels, enabling publishers to continuously evaluate performance of impressions through advanced metrics. Expected future enhancements include native-specific reports such as social shares, follows, etc. 


What types of demand are available through PubMatic? 

PubMatic provides native inventory through: 

  • Native direct campaign support. PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server (UAS) enables you to create direct campaigns using either standard IAB native templates and/or customized native ad units. 
  • Programmatic demand. PubMatic is integrated with programmatic demand partners such as TTD, BidSwitch, BlinkX and Zemanta. 
  • Mediation network support. PubMatic’s Native SDK supports integrations with mediation networks for writing custom adapters. 


Does PubMatic assemble native creatives for publishers? 

It depends on the type of publisher. 

  • API Publisher: We do not know the page format of API publishers, therefore, PubMatic will pass the asset (title + image URL) to the API publishers without assembling it. In this case, the native ad format is created as Publisher Rendered in PubMatic, meaning that PubMatic does not render the creative. 
  • Tag-based Publisher: In this case, publishers create the tag as PubMatic Rendered ad format, meaning that PubMatic will assemble and render the creative. A normal ad tag receives one call from the publisher’s page to the PubMatic API (not OpenRTB 2.3) and one call is sent from PubMatic to the DSP through OpenRTB 2.3 protocol. The publisher selects the ad placement of the ad unit on the page and PubMatic renders the creative in that location on the page. 
    Website qualifications for using the tag-based method include: 
  • Don’t require login or session management. 
  • Allow crawling and scraping. Websites that block IP addresses, have custom JavaScript, use Captcha, or don’t allow scraping and crawling, cannot use the Publisher Rendered method. 
  • Have a predefined set of HTML tags on the page so PubMatic can clone it. Websites without a predefined set of HTML tags, like div, span, and others, cannot use the PubMatic Rendered method. 


Can tag-based clients use Publisher Rendered ad formats?  

No. Only API clients can use the Publisher Rendered tags. Tag-based clients can use the PubMatic Rendered tags so that PubMatic can render creatives for the publisher. 


What is the difference between PubMatic Rendered’ and ‘Publisher Rendered’ ad formats? 

Publisher Rendered  means that PubMatic does not know the URL of the page where the native ad will be placed and therefore, PubMatic cannot assemble the creative. This is the format used by API publishers since they do not have PubMatic tags on their page. 


To use this ad format, the publisher can generate ad code for an adtag to integrate. When the adtag is configured, it saves the HTML template in the system using the slot selected. When this tag code is integrated on the publisher’s page, the script will render the creative on the publisher’s page using the saved HTML template. 


PubMatic Rendered ad format means that PubMatic does have knowledge of the page URL and because PubMatic’s ad tag is on the publisher’s page, PubMatic can render the creative. This method is used by tag-based publishers. 


Using the PubMatic Rendered ad format, the publisher must integrate PubMatic’s adtag code using PubMatic’s API/OpenRTB. The publisher can call PubMatic’s adserving API and retrieve the JSON response of the assets, which they will need to assemble the assets for and render the ad. The publisher cannot use the adscript generated (it will fail). PubMatic’s native adscript looks for an HTML template in the system, which will not be present for those using Publisher Rendered format. 


The publisher can implement the tag on their page based on the HTML element of the page (e.g., <div>, <li>, etc.). 

EXAMPLE: Integrating adtag code on a page with a div HTML element, the publisher needs to add it where the JS tag is expected to render creatives. 

<div id="pubAdI_PPPPP_MMM"></div>

PPPPP = pub_id 

MMM = slot id (default = 001)
Slot id is used when the 
AdTagid is used for different adslots. In this case, slotid can be 001, 002 etc. e.g. native ad slots could be:


Tag Example:  

<script type="text/javascript"> 
var pubId=PPPPP;
var siteId=SSSSS;
var kadId=AAAAA;
var kadwidth=1;
var kadheight=1;
var kadtype=12;
var pubnativeconfig = {
nativeadslots : "pubAdI_PPPPP_MMM"
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>


Can publishers use PubMatic Rendered tags through the API instead of the UI? 

No. Because we need to have information about the HTML and CSS components of a page to create a tag based on those components, publishers cannot create a PubMatic Renedered tag through the API.


Does passback work for Publisher Rendered tags? 

Yes. In Publisher Rendered tags, we send the error response, “2.” 


How does a seller set the size for a native ad? 

Native does not have an ad size parameter. The publisher uses a template to pass the ratio (width x height), maximum size for title, description, etc. A template can be created in PubMatic by selecting the PubMatic Rendered option when creating an Ad Tag in PubMatic. 


Can a publisher who uses the MoPub ad server use the PubMatic Rendered ad format to send us native? 

Currently, there are discrepancies between impression counts for MoPub and PubMatic. We are currently working on related bug fixes 


Are there best practices for native creatives? 

Yes, the following guidelines are recommended: 


  • Use images that feature people, as they can drive engagement on both desktop and mobile.  
  • Make sure your logo is visible and prominent. Larger logos deliver recall, action, and longer fixation across platforms.  
  • Brand mentions, while not as powerful as logos, have a strong impact on performance. Include them in headlines of ads.  
  • Ensure that you have a seamless mobile experience in place for the consumer post-click. When users engage, you want them to understand next steps easily. 
  • Pricing: native eCPM is closer to video than display.