Wednesday Marketing Series

What is Supply-Side Platform (SSP)?

Supply-Side Platform (SSP) is a platform that helps publishers (website owners or app owners) sell ad impressions using real-time bidding. With the help of an SSP, publishers can open up their advertising inventory for bidding to buyers on different ad exchanges or ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs).A supply-side platform interfaces on the publisher side to advertising networks and exchanges, which in turn interfaces to demand-side platforms (DSP) on the advertiser side. Ad impressions are made available to buyers using an auction (RTB) which attracts a large number of buyers that drives up bids and yield higher CPMs.

Many of the larger web publishers of the world use a supply-side platform to automate and optimize the selling of their online media space.

How this works?

  • SSPs connect publishers to connect their inventory to multiple ad exchanges, ad networks, DSPs.
  • When an SSP makes an ad impression available, DSPs analyze and purchase them on behalf of marketers depending on certain attributes such as where they’re served, and which specific users they’re being served to. Purchase is done through Real-time bidding.

SSPs are often referred to as Yield-Optimization Platforms because publishers can maximize the revenue they receive for their inventory by making the impressions available to a large number of potential buyers. In addition to this, they offer publishers to set Price Floors, which dictate the minimum prices for which their inventory can sell to specific buyers. SSPs can also be used to dictate which advertisers can and can’t purchase inventory.

SSPs use similar technology to DSP. The difference between the two lies as explained below –

  • While DSPs are used to purchase ads, SSPs are used to sell ads.
  • While DSPs are used by marketers or advertisers, SSPs are used by publishers.
  • While DSPs are used by marketers to buy ad impressions that are as cheap as possible, SSPs are designed to maximize the prices their impressions sell at.

Some of the major SSP platforms available today are –

Adform

OpenX

AppNexus

DoubleClick

Smaato

Rubicon Project

ExoClick

YuMe

SpotXchange

CPXi

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