A Look at the Top DSP, SSP, and RTB Companies

A Look at the Top DSP, SSP, and RTB Companies

The world of advertising is changing fast. As technology evolves, so do ad platforms. One of the areas that’s seen the biggest evolution is ad tech and the programmatic advertising world relating to RTB companies!

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What’s that, you ask? Ad tech is an industry term used to refer to progressive online advertising technologies such as real-time bidding.

These revolutionary technologies help publishers to better manage their inventory and boost their revenue. Advertisers also benefit from increased targeting options and easy campaign management.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the top SSP, DSP, and RTB companies.

What Is Real-Time Bidding?

Simply put, real-time bidding (RTB) refers to the buying and selling of online advertising space in real-time. It is a crucial part of programmatic advertising, which automates the process of buying ad impressions online.

The RTB process is an auction that takes place between a publisher and several advertisers who are bidding for ad inventory. RTB is a new concept that has revolutionized the world of online display advertising.

In the past, publishers and advertisers would sit down and try to work out a deal. Once they came to an agreement, both parties signed an insertion order. The publisher would then display the advertiser’s ad creatives on their website.

This process was lengthy and inefficient. Often publishers would not be able to see all their inventory, and because of this, they were losing money. Advertisers were also unable to generate a good ROI on their advertising as they had no way to target their impressions. 

Real-time bidding came as a solution to these problems.

RTB allows publishers to open their ad inventory to multiple buyers and auction off placements in real-time. Advertisers bid against one another for ad space, with the highest bidder winning the impression.

Publishers love RTB as it allows them to auction off all of their inventory for the best price possible. Advertisers also benefit from RTB because it allows for highly targeted advertising.

The Meaning of ‘Real-Time’

The auction and the subsequent serving of the winning creative take place within a split second. This all occurs in the time it takes for a user to land on the publisher site.

That’s why the technology behind RTB is so revolutionary. Many RTB companies have integrated their platforms with AI solutions. This allows for greater flexibility and less human involvement in the process.

Types of RTB

There are two main subsets of RTB. The first is mobile RTB, which involves the selling of mobile ad space in real-time. This can include web-based inventory and app-based inventory.

When it comes to buying app inventory, targeting is tricky. Why? Because cookies cannot be stored or tracked over apps. Although as time goes on, organizations are finding more and more innovative ways to target users through mobile apps.

Another subset of RTB is video RTB. Video ads have become popular in recent times as they are an effective marketing tool. Publishers can make more profits from selling video inventory because it’s worth more to advertisers.

Types of Ad Inventory

There is a range of advertising inventory that can be bought through real-time bidding. The most common is banner ads. This includes standard web sizes like 300x600px.

Banner ads are typically displayed above the content on the page or on either side of it.

Advertisers can also buy native ads, which are ads that display within the content of a web page and come in a range of sizes.

Video placements are also auctioned over RTB. For video inventory, advertisers provide a VAST tag (also called a video as serving template). VAST gives publishers control over how to play the video.

Mobile inventory, including web and in-app, is also available for purchase over RTB.

What Is a DSP?

A DSP or ‘Demand Side Platform’ is a critical component of the real-time bidding network. But what are they and what do they do?

DSP companies assist advertisers in creating programmatic advertising campaigns. DSPs are software platforms that allow for the buying of ad space online. They also assist advertisers with user targeting.

DSP platforms connect to numerous publishers and ad exchanges, allowing advertisers to buy various kinds of impressions. This includes video, mobile, and display (banner).

DSPs act as intermediaries between advertisers and publishers. They do not transact ad inventory. Instead, they make it easy for buyers to find and purchase the ad space that they want.

Another advantage of using a DSP is that they make it easy to build and optimize campaigns. DSPs offer advertisers detailed reporting facilities to help them tweak their campaigns for optimum performance.

Many DSPs integrate with other platforms called Data Management Platforms (DMP), which allow for more detailed targeting.

DMPs collect user data through cookies, which they feed to DSPs. Advertisers can then use this data to target people based on income bracket, interests, and other factors.

What Is an SSP?

While a DSP assists advertisers with buying ad space, an SSP assists publishers with selling their ad space. An SSP or ‘Supply-side Platform’ enables publishers to manage their ad inventory, auction it off, and receive revenue.

SSPs help publishers to maximize their revenue. Both platforms use similar technology, but they function on different ends of the programmatic network.

Real-Time Bidding Process

The entire RTB process happens in the blink of an eye. It begins as soon as a user loads a web page. 

When this happens, an ad request is sent off, which contains the details of the impression. These details include the web address, ad location, and banner size. It also includes user data such as location and device.

DSPs receive the bid request and respond with a bid amount. The bids from several advertisers are then evaluated, with the highest bidder winning the impression. 

The winner then gets their creative ad shown on the publisher’s website once the page fully loads.

Advertisers set up their campaigns beforehand, and the system handles all incoming bid requests. RTB is an automated process. It’s also a rapidly evolving technology, and it’s exciting to ponder how it will continue to change advertising in the future.

Top DSP Companies

There are several DSP companies out there that offer services for RTB customers. And in truth, not all DSPs are equal. Each platform has different features and functionality.

Here are some of the hottest DSP companies revolutionizing the programmatic space.

Avocet

Describing itself as the ‘innovation DSP,’ Avocet is a DSP company headquartered in London, UK. 

Avocet is an ‘indy’ DSP. In other words, it’s a new startup with a small but intelligent team. Avocet was founded by three former AppNexus employees who saw an opportunity to innovate.

The Avocet platform is progressive and user-friendly. It incorporates several impressive features that make it stand out from the crowd.

The first of these features is view-duration. This allows advertisers to target ad placements based on how long a user will see their ads for. This enables brands to optimize their advertising based on how much attention their ads get.

With view-duration targeting comes cost per second bidding and a whole new attribution method. According to one study, ads viewed for more than 5 seconds achieved double the amount of clicks than those viewed for 1-5 seconds.

AppNexus

One of the biggest DSPs in the game, AppNexus, is trusted by numerous agencies as a solid media buying platform. Appnexus aims to give advertisers more control over their ad spend.

With this level of control over the bidding process, advertisers can focus on optimizing their campaigns for peak performance. The AppNexus console makes it easy for advertisers to buy impressions through RTB and direct deals.

When it comes to deliverability, audience reach, and performance, AppNexus doesn’t disappoint.

MediaMath

The MediaMath DSP claims to be the leading programmatic company for digital marketers. 

MediaMath was founded in 2007 and is trusted by the majority of the Fortune 500 companies. MediaMath also has partnerships with thousands of agencies around the world.

The MediaMath platform guarantees brand safety for marketers. It also offers refunds for ads run next to inappropriate content.

MediaMath is big on transparency, and because of this, all users have full access to their data. They also have teams of experts to help brands with campaign setup, troubleshooting, and optimization.

DoubleClick DSP

The DoubleClick DSP is owned by Google. And it is now packaged under the ‘Google Marketing Platform.’

The DoubleClick DSP is an ad technology platform and allows advertisers to create highly effective marketing campaigns. The platform is popular among agencies and individuals alike. 

DoubleClick is a giant in the programmatic space. Along with Facebook, Google owns the most user-data and insights regarding the public.

Due to recent data privacy scandals involving both Google and Facebook, many advertisers choose to support smaller DSPs instead.

LiveRamp

LiveRamp is an Acxiom company with a focus on people-based marketing. LiveRamp ties data back to real users, which allows for a people-based approach to marketing.

LiveRamp’s offering aims to improve the relevancy of digital marketing (including programmatic advertising). Using LiveRamp, buyers can better connect with their target audience.

Recently, LiveRamp has announced the launch of a new technology venture. Their focus is on providing advertisers with high-performance programmatic capabilities.

Top SSP Companies

When it comes to the sell-side of real-time bidding, there are several SSPs out there that publishers love. Here are a few of them.

Google AdX

Along with its DSP offering, DoubleClick, Google also has an SSP called AdX. Google acquired the company in 2011 when it was called ‘Admeld’.

Adx offers its users a comprehensive package of advertising tools. Publishers like Adx because it allows them to pinpoint new opportunities while controlling how their inventory is sold.

The Adx platform allows publishers to sell inventory in real-time, helping them to maximize revenue.

OpenX

The OpenX platform maximizes revenue for publishers by linking to profitable ad exchanges. It creates programmatic marketplaces for publishers and app developers to sell advertising space.

OpenX is a global leader when it comes to real-time bidding technology. Their SSP offering fuses RTB with ad network demand. It drives up the price by increasing competition, increasing the yield for publishers.

OpenX remains focused on creating highly effective publisher tools and expanding its SSP offering. Their platform is efficient and delivers a smooth user experience.

Rubicon

Another global leader in programmatic technology, Rubicon is one of the top SSPs. Rubicon helps publishers and app owners connect with premium buyers.

Rubicon allows publishers to manage RTB as well as direct deals within one platform. 

Recently, Rubicon has merged with Telaria, another programmatic company. With this merger, they are forming the largest ever independent SSP. This new platform is now called ‘Magnite’.

The aim of Magnite is to offer a global alternative to the other ‘walled-garden’ programmatic platforms. Magnite believes in keeping tech transparent, and this is reflected in their offering.

Sovrn

The Sovrn SSP provides publishers with an all-round solution to their programmatic needs. The Sovrn platform supports RTB, analytics reporting, and other useful features.

Sovrn claims to maximize the revenue of each unique visitor. They also offer a managed service tailored to publishers’ goals and needs.

These Are Some of the Top RTB Companies

Real-time bidding, or RTB for short, is a process that takes place between a buyer and a publisher. It involves valuing and bidding for ad inventory in real-time. 

There are several platforms involved in the process, including DSPs and SSPs. Demand-side platforms help advertisers set up and optimize their programmatic campaigns. SSPs function on the publisher-side and make it easy for sellers to manage their ad inventory.

You should now have a solid understanding of the top RTB companies in the programmatic space. If you’re looking to run programmatic advertising campaigns for your business, get in touch with our expert team today.

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