What are demand-side platforms, or DSPs?

Demand-side platforms, or DSPs, are a platform that manages multiple ad exchanges through a single interface to facilitate the buying and selling of digital ad inventory. In the mobile marketing world, this inventory lives inside apps and is a fixture in the programmatic ad buying landscape. As opposed to traditional ad networks, DSPs automate the mobile ad-buying process, often yielding strong results for advertisers.

How do demand-side platforms work?

DSPs use a process called real-time bidding (RTB) to buy ad space. App publishers make their ad inventory available on ad exchanges via supply-side platforms (SSPs), and through the RTB process, DSPs set prices and bid on ad space as soon as it becomes available. In milliseconds, DSPs process requests for ad space, choose the best impression, bid on it, and then the ad is served in an app.

How are DSPs different from traditional ad buying?

In the past, ad buying required a lot of people and process. With programmatic technology, it now takes less than a tenth of a second for a DSP to determine the value of an impression to a specific advertiser based on their targeting parameters and secure the ad space.

DSPs can target based on several different anonymized factors — demographics, geography, the type of device being used, browsing behavior, and more. DSPs have advanced performance tracking capabilities, allowing advertisers to optimize their ad spend more efficiently and automate purchases over a huge selection of publishers’ ad inventory. 

Read more about demand-side platforms.

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