DSPs and SSPs: The engines powering digital advertising.

Written by: Phillip Nones

DSPs and SSPs – they’re more than just acronyms.  Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) give advertisers the ability to purchase ads on-the-fly through a process known as real-time bidding.  They’re popular because they allow advertisers to reach their intended targets seamlessly and instantaneously.

In simple terms, DSPs enable you to purchase ads by bidding on incoming impressions within the milliseconds it takes for a web page to load.

Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) are the publisher’s counterpart.  They start the process by sending information about the incoming impression to an ad exchange – along with data including what the ad unit is, where it’s located, when it will appear, plus relevant demographic and geographic information associated with the impression.

If it’s a good match with your requirements, the DSP will place a monetary bid on the impression – determined based on a variety of factors.  SSPs then select the bid that’s the highest and serves the ad accordingly.

It all happens in the blink of an eye – and yes, it requires advertisers to have faith in the veracity of the system.

Many digital advertisers find DSPs to be an essential tool because they remove so much of the human negotiation out of the ad buying process.  They also support digital ad buying across multiple channels – display, mobile, video, social and search.


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