Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace which supports publishers in monetising their content using header bidding is set to launch in Europe as the e-commerce retailer continues to innovate its digital ad strategy.

The header bidding product allows several ad buyers at once to bid on ad space on Amazon’s servers; with the technology being cloud-based, publishers don’t have to input codes from ad buyers into their website, speeding up page load times.

Amazon also said the product will offer greater transparency, enabling publishers to see which companies are bidding and who won the auction.

“When we started offering header bidding several years ago, we quickly saw there were clear publisher, advertiser and customer benefits in moving ad calls to the cloud and giving publishers full visibility into who’s bidding on their impressions, who’s winning, and why,” said Matt Battles, vice president of ad technology at Amazon.

“Another battle”

Amazon’s header bidding product is being launched in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain as the e-commerce giant continues to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook, while attracting publishers who are looking out for those bidding and winning ad space.

However, there’s speculation that this move is just an attempt to sway publishers to one side in “another battle” among large tech companies.

“The focus of the technology on transparency and ensuring publishers know who is bidding and winning ad space (and why) is designed to win publisher hearts and minds – though some may question why this isn’t already the standard in programmatic buying,” commented James Collier, CEO of Prism

Collier also criticised “FATBAG” (Facebook, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu, Ant and Google) for penetrating and influencing the internet beyond advertising as insights gained has greater value across their wider portfolios.

“This data is one weapon publishers have in their arsenal that means the big six have to make a concession towards publisher revenues, and this latest development is Amazon’s strategic move to get publishers on side as the war continues.” he concluded.

On a more balanced view, Matt Byrne, UK director at FastPay expressed that any ad solution which “simplifies or shortens” the payment chain from advertiser to content owner is a positive sign for publishers.

“Amazon’s marketplace solution could help to simplify content monetisation for publishers who are struggling with the management of multiple demand partners and direct clients, or those with currently long payment terms that could be shortened,” said Byrne.

“However, overreliance on one SSP partner can bring its own challenges, especially from the perspective of potential investors and lenders who typically prefer businesses to have more diversified revenue streams.”