RTB  January 7, 2024

The Real Time Bidding market and its players

The Real Time Bidding market and its players

The Real Time Bidding (RTB) environment consists of a number of top players that provide a similar service allowing you to generate revenue for your website, but who are the best and who falls short? For a better understanding these top RTB players, it is easiest to split into are sorted six key categories:



This is advertisers using digital marketing to reach their audience online. Due to technical progress over the last couple of years, advertisers can “retarget” their customers on potentially any website which is using a RTB software. This decreases divergence loss by displaying the ad straight to customers who belong to a certain group of consumers, or those even searching for a certain product/service which is offered by the advertiser.

Some advertisers take care marketing themselves, however most are represented by marketing agencies that take care of advertisement placement for them.


Publishers/Publisher Network

Publishers offer free content online to the internet community. To monetize this content and generate revenue, there are different options available:

-          Publish prewritten articles or press releases by advertisers

-          Work with affiliate programs

-          Start selling products

-          Displaying ads on the website

The last option is by far the most common and stable way of generating revenue. RTB has become a very big step for publishers to generate constant revenue without taking focus off their core product; generating content. RTB helps them to monetize their content all year around without having to pay anyone to take care of selling their free ad inventory.

Depending on their size, publishers either work straight together with a Supply Side Platform (SSP) or become part of a publisher network which is connected.


Supply Side Platform (SSP)

The SSP is the link between publishers and Demand Side Platform (DSP); serving publishers with the technology needed to automate the selling of their ad inventory.

Publishers here have two options to sell their inventory:

-          Automate selling of direct campaigns and selling inventory via RTB; an efficient SSP helps the publisher to sell its inventory at the highest price possible using a fully developed *Yield Management.

-          Using SSP technology, the ad inventory of publishers are offered to thousands of advertisers in an online auction. The highest bidder will be accredited to display the ad for this particular ad inventory to a particular user who is just about to visit the publisher’s website.


Demand Side Platform (DSP)

The Demand Side Platform is the counterpart of the Supply Side Platform. DSPs and SSPs are connected with each other to make efficient allocation of ads via the auction process.

When an auction is completed successfully, the ad of the highest bidder is “handed over” to the Supply Side Platform, which places the ad on the publisher’s website. Demand Side Platforms directly work together with agencies, taking care of the advertisement quality with a sufficient amount of advertisers to serve publishers.

Data Suppliers

Very important players in the RTB ecosystem are the data suppliers that provide services to publishers and advertisers for an efficient targeting of consumers.

When users visit a website, their cookies are analysed with a focus on their search habits for certain products and services. This way target groups can be alienated and even single users are retargeted.


All these players work in the RTB ecosystem to provide each other and their customers with the best service possible. Based on increasing knowledge and expertise in the field of RTB, technology will improve and become even more efficient in future.


Source: Realtime Advertising Kompass 2014/15 by BVDW

* Yield Management is a pricing strategy, which helps businesses to maximize their revenue by varying their prices, based on their consumers buying behavior. The demand with the highest willingness to pay, is served first.


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