FlightAware is the world’s largest flight-tracking data company providing over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies, and over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight-tracking solutions.

The Brief

FlightAware was looking for a header bidding solution that could address their increasing user base and falling fill rate.

Prior to working with Freestar, FlightAware was on an iframe-based serving solution backed by a traditional waterfall ad serving solution. They wanted to switch to a header bidding solution that could provide the following:

  • Automated reporting – FlightAware wanted the flexibility to test more partners who could quickly quantify performance and eliminate their “one-month test run” syndrome.
  • Demand partners – FlightAware wanted a solution that included an extensive list of existing connections to make it easy for them to onboard more partners than they would traditionally have the resources to manage.
  • Ad quality – Since mobile web redirects and noisy video ads are difficult to track down and block, FlightAware wanted to work with an ad quality team to devise a malicious ad reporting system that tracks a user’s ad history, provides their team with the tools needed to log reported occurrences, and closes the feedback loop with Freestar for logged and found times.

"Freestar has allowed us to effortlessly introduce more demand partners while shortening performance validation for an overall higher operational efficiency. It’s the most instrumental tool we have in our day-to-day ad ops kit."

Vishan Persaud

Ad Operations

The Approach

We onboarded FlightAware with Publisher Ad Server implementation to increase their overall productivity.

Our team worked closely with FlightAware for several months to further optimize ad units and address their falling fill rate. The header bidding solution included introducing new demand partners and targeting special ad units which led to an increase in fill rates.



The Results

Working with Freestar, FlightAware now sees continually steady levels of CPM, ad revenue, and viewability. Freestar’s solution reduced FlightAware’s time to conduct new demand partner tests by 90%, from one month to only a few days.

Using Freestar’s solution (which is comprised of Freestar’s header bidding container, access to Freestar’s demand partners—including Freestar’s own server-to-server differentiated demand—and Freestar Analytics), FlightAware had the ability to quickly quantify performance against other partners and reduce the amount of time it took them to test and build connections that they otherwise wouldn’t have had the capacity to do.

With Freestar’s ad quality team, FlightAware was able to develop a system for dealing with malicious ad reporting that provided FlightAware’s customer service team with the proper tools to address malicious ads.

With our solution, FlightAware has increased their overall efficiency in terms of testing, partners, and ad quality.