What is SSP

9 December 2015

We start series of materials about complex digital advertising terms in simple words. The first quetion-answer session is dedicated to what is SSP (Supply-side platform).

01 What is a supply-side platform?

SSP (Supply side platform) is the technology solution to sell automatically display, video and mobile ads on website through real-time auctions by the highest price. Through SSP publisher gets access to to multiple ad exchanges, DSPs, and networks at once. 02

Why publishers need SSP?

In addition to helping publishers get as much revenue as possible for their available space, supply side platforms help make the process fast and efficient. SSP opens up publisher’s inventory to a wide range of potential buyers, including those who would be hard to access directly. There is an option to sell all the inventory to several sources, so publisher does not need to have a sales manager to negotiate with, manage and support clients.
SSPs are sometimes referred to as yield-optimization platforms, because publishers can set “max revenue” as a top priority. In addition, SSP provides publisher with the opportunity to monetize residual and unsold inventory.
03

Ok, how does it work?

Publisher sets up price model, bid floor (the lowest price for each ad zone), priority and audience for the source. To monetize specific segment publisher adds targeting settings.
Real time bidding and programmatic buying have largely automated the process of buying and selling ads. When an SSP throws impressions into ad exchanges, DSPs analyze and purchase them on auction. The more in-demand users publisher has, the more revenue he receives.04

What’s the difference between SSP and Ad Exchange?

A supply-side platform is basically the solution for publishers, while Ad Exchange clients are DSP. DSP is used by media buyers. 05

Can publisher control which ads to deliver with SSP?

Yes, he can. Publisher can exclude brands and brand categories to be displayed. For instance, publisher has an exclusive contract with a brand, so publisher can exclude it from auction. Also publisher can exclude those categories, which are irrelevant to its content: it’s weird to advertise alcohol on websites with cartoons for children.
06

Can I run my direct campaigns through SSP?

No, you need a full-featured ad server for that.

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