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Demand-side platform (DSP)

A software platform that allows advertisers to manage data exchange accounts and multiple ad exchange accounts through one interface. DSPs are an effective marketing automation tool because they enable advertisers to buy high-quality impressions at scale with minimal friction.


What are demand-side platforms?

Advertisers use demand-side platforms to purchase and manage ad inventory, such as video, mobile, and search ads – by providing a marketplace with the available ad inventory from publishers.

DSPs allow you to manage the advertising across numerous real-time bidding networks instead of just one. Along with supply-side platforms (the software publishers use to list their available advertising inventory), they enable programmatic advertising.


How do demand-side platforms work?
DSPs employ AI and machine learning to guide advertisers to the best place for their ads at the best price. At the same time, these ads target people who are most apt to click and convert.

Before DSPs and the programmatic advertising ecosystem, advertisers had to manually negotiate with publishers and platforms, meaning that their audience and ability to adapt were constrained by the limits of their human workforce. 

Now, with programmatic advertising and DSPs, ad placement is done automatically.

In essence, DSPs facilitate the relationship between advertisers and publishers. The functionality of the DSP allows advertisers to purchase impressions across a variety of different publisher sites, which are all targeted to specific users, and based on the users’ key online behaviors.


DSPs and SSPs

SSPs (Supply-side platforms) is the inverse of DSPs. SSPs are used by publishers with ad space to sell (the supply). While, as we know, DSPs are used by advertisers who want to buy ad inventory (the demand).
DSPs and SSPs connect via ad exchanges, where DSPs bid on ad inventory in an automated, auction-style transaction. DSPs allow advertisers to purchase across several ad exchanges at once, and SSPs allow publishers to sell their ad inventory across various ad exchanges.

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