Want to Know How a Supply Side Platform Works?


The world of online advertising is changing.

When the first banner ad appeared in 1994, advertising took a massive leap forward into a completely new medium. From the evolution of targeted ads right through to the rise and fall of pop ups, digital advertising has gone through many changes in the last 2+ decades.

In this guide we want to focus on technology called Supply Side Platforms.

how does SSP work

If you have never come across this term before then you are probably scratching your head. Don’t worry though, we’re going to show you what an SSP is, how they work and why they are important for online advertising.

By reading this short guide you will find out:

• What a Supply Side Platform is
• How a Supply Side Platform works
• Some of the main SSP’s that are available now
• Why an SSP is useful for ad publishers


What is an SSP?

Ok, so first thing first – what is a Supply Side Platform?

Basically an SSP is software that has been developed to sell advertising online. Rather than an advertiser and a publisher (someone with a website for example to display ads) communicating directly and in-person with each other, an SSP does the job for you.

In the old days if you wanted an ad displayed on a website you’d have to use an ad network. Now, ad networks are still around however back in those days it would be a team of people acting as a middle man between the publisher and the advertiser.

These days this is all done via an SSP.

Difference between DSP and SSP

Before we get into the technical aspects of how SSP advertising works, is it actually different than a DSP?

DSP stands for Demand Side Platform. The key difference between a DSP and SSP is that DPS’s are used by advertisers to purchase ad impressions while an SSP is used by publishers to get the maximum amount that they can for their impressions.

The tech that they both use is very alike but they serve different parts of the online ad buying and selling process.

How exactly does an SSP work?

So, let’s get into the details of SSP advertising works. The actual tech that an SSP uses is complicated however we are going to make the explanation of how it works as simple as possible.

The whole point of a Supply Side Platform is to allow a publisher to connect their inventory to several ad exchanges at once. Their inventory is the digital space that they have to put ad’s on. An SSP puts the available impression into a DSP and ad exchanges and then they are automatically bought up by marketers based on certain criteria like their location, audience etc…In a way, it is removing the human element from the middle of the process.

This means that a publisher can get as high a price as possible for their inventory. Because it is being sent out to as many advertisers as possible in a real-time setting, publishers can boost their revenue as high as possible.

This doesn’t indicate that human sales teams are completely obsolete. Far from it. In fact, many cases SSP’s are selling inventory that has been left unsold by a human sales teams. While SSP’s are a valuable tool they are not going to completely replace the human aspect to buying and selling online ads.

Who are the Supply Side Platform companies?

Finding the right SSP for what you need isn’t always easy considering that there are quite a few out there.

Some of the main Supply Side Platforms that are available now include:

• Google Ad Manager
• Open X SSP
• Rubicon
• Pubmatic
• App Nexus
• Smarty Ads

You can find more about their pros and cons here.

Are SSP’s worth it for advertisers?

Supply Side Platforms serve a vital purpose in the online advertising world.

Effectively it cuts out negotiating with a salesperson to buy or sell ads. It acts as a middleman but in a programmatic way.

With the use of this technology is makes the process much more efficient. Some may argue that the programmatic nature of the system can actually lower the price of publishing ads however an SSP allows those with digital space to promote ads the means to reach many people and many ad networks at once.

Supple Side Platforms offer a vital method for publishers to make money from ad impressions. They cut out the manual work and while they aren’t perfect they provide the means to generate income from displaying ads on your website.

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