Spiegel Media


SPIEGEL MEDIA is one of Germany’s largest news publishers, with over 1 billion impressions, 247 million visits, and 21.27 million unique monthly users in January 2018. SPIEGEL MEDIA was looking for ways to increase revenue from its premium ad inventory and maintain their high-quality ad standards, while also reducing the ad load and optimizing the user experience.

SPIEGEL MEDIA was convinced in header bidding as a proven monetization technique to increase competition for ad inventory. However, they knew they needed to select the right partner to ensure incremental value, while reducing latency and keeping publisher overhead to a minimum. SPIEGEL MEDIA selectively adds partners with differentiated demand, who can cut out unnecessary “middlemen” fees and quickly and effectively match inventory to advertisers across devices.


SPIEGEL MEDIA chose to use Criteo Direct Bidder in order to directly connect to Criteo’s ad spend from more than 18,000 global advertisers. Criteo Direct Bidder enables Criteo to see more impressions and gain equal footing when competing for premium audiences. Via a client-side integration, Criteo only needs to cookie sync once, so it can match more users and bid higher based on recent behavioral signals. Criteo then passes the full value of the impression to the publisher, without the bid first being reduced by SSP fees or auction mechanics. By allowing greater access to inventory and retaining the full value of impressions that Criteo buys, SPIEGEL MEDIA was able to increase revenue from Criteo by 41%.

How SPIEGEL MEDIA was able to increase yield with Criteo Direct Bidder:

  • First look access for Criteo’s 18,000 premium advertisers drives higher bids and enables publishers to capture more of large commerce marketing budgets
  • A client-side integration simplifies cookie matching, which enables Criteo to recognize more users in real-time, and bid higher based on recent user activity
  • Lighting fast responses to bid requests (from a partner that responds to 120B bid requests daily worldwide) minimizes latency
  • Kinetic Design preserves the user experience by determining the right ad design for every device, for every context, and for every stage of the shopper journey


  • 41% increase in spend YoY
  • 72% increase in average CPM YoY
  • 18% decrease in delivered impressions YoY, reducing ad clutter

“We chose to work with Criteo because of its demand from high-quality advertisers, as well as its commitment to transparency. The Criteo team worked closely with us to optimize set-up for Criteo Direct Bidder, and we saw immediate success. Criteo Direct Bidder has helped us to serve fewer, better ads to both improve the user experience and also drive significantly more yield.”

– Mark-Olaf Winter, Deputy Director Digital, SPIEGEL MEDIA


Increase in spend YoY


Increase in average CPM YoY


Decrease in delivered impressions YoY, reducing ad clutter