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The Supply Side Platform

The goal of this blog is to help those who are new to ad tech to get a layman’s understanding of how ad supply and demand is bought and sold. For all you industry vets, this will be a review read! Don’t worry, we’re happy to have a deeper conversation as well!

Isn’t it nice to turn on your phone, laptop, TV or other device and get an array of free content. There is always a cost associated with creating and delivering free content, and publishers mainly fund this by serving ads to their users. This is all done programmatically through a series of real time transactions – often billions occuring every second!

Publishers and developers rely on SSP technology to ensure a steady stream of revenue. Understanding what SSPs are and how they work is needed for any content publisher who wants to turn their content into a business. They embed code into their website or app, making each available impression available for ad buyers as users visit their site.

How it Works

SSPs allow publishers to connect their inventory to multiple demand source platforms (DSPs) and networks at once, expanding the range of potential buyers for their traffic. Publishers integrate their ad inventory through the SSP, API, or more commonly these days, through integrating the SSP Java Script tag into their site’s header bidding container. If your property is a mobile app, you would integrate the SSP’s software development kit (SDK) into your back end – enabling you to sell your in-app ad impressions in real time.

SSPs typically provide a suite of real time reporting and payment functions to help publishers understand how much revenue they’re generating by serving ads. Additionally, SSPs can control what types of ads, the sizes of the ads, and even the price of the ads for each visitor. The caveat is that buyers need to deem your inventory valuable enough to pay those costs. With a wide array of supply and a wide collection of buyers across DSPs, prices are set by the market. This allows buyers to pay the real price of an ad impression and sellers to receive the full value of their traffic for ads served.

SSPs operate in a host of niches and integration methods. Depending on if the ad is a banner, video, audio, pre-roll or other kind of ads, there may be multiple SSPs integrated into a site or app. SSPs connect publisher ad supplies with buyers, enabling fast and simple digital ad purchases.


The Benefits

SSPs eliminate the need for direct selling – or connecting offline with advertisers who would want to buy your ad space. Integrating your site with an SSP or multiple SSPs allows you to access thousands of buyers at any time. Human buyers are no longer needed to negotiate inventory prices for inventory over a long period of time. Connecting an SSP that is integrated with DSPs allows competition and demand to set and drive the prices of your ad space.

Easily executed control of your site and how it’s monetized – SSPs give you control over your site and how it is monetized by setting price floors or minimum price for your inventory when selling to specific buyers or through particular channels. The software also allows you to dictate who can and can’t buy your inventory – ensuring that your site or app experience is completely aligned with how you want it.

SSPs are integrated into your everyday life. Every time you engage an application, a site, a video, a song, or anywhere an ad is served, you are interacting with an SSP.