Demand-Side Platform or a DSP, is a software used to purchase advertising. It is used by advertisers to buy ads. It is a system that allows buyers to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. Marketers can manage their bids for the banners/ads and the pricing for the data that they are layering on to target their audiences by using DSPs. DSPs connect to an ad exchange or SSPs (Supply-Side Platforms) so that publishers can sell inventory themselves.
The image below shows how DSPs fit into the whole picture.
Publishers make their ad impressions available through marketplaces called ad exchanges, and DSPs automatically decide which of those impressions it makes the most sense for an advertiser to buy. Often the price of those impressions is determined by a real-time auction, through a process known as real-time bidding. This complete process just takes a few milliseconds to run and hence, the entire process is real-time.
In the past, digital ads were bought and sold by human ad buyers and salesman. This involved a lot of negotiation. These middlemen were expensive and unreliable. DSPs have replaced this traditional method of buying and selling ads by removing the human interference. Hence, this process is now more cost-effective and reliable.
DSPs offer many features like –
- Wide access to inventory of ads
- Vertical and lateral targeting
- Real-time bidding
- Track and optimize ads
- One interface to perform multiple actions
Some of the major DSP platforms available today are –