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What is a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) ?

A demand-side platform, often abbreviated to DSP, is a programmatic advertising platform that allows advertisers and media buying agencies to bid automatically on display, video, mobile and search ad inventory from a wide range of publishers.

A demand-side platform can automate the decision-making process on how much to bid for an ad in real-time. DSPs make the ad-buying process significantly faster, cheaper and more efficient.

The key feature of demand-side platforms is that instead of buying inventory on publishers, what you buy is the ability to reach specific audience segments based on the DSP targeting capabilities, across a range of publisher sites.

Demand-side platforms are an evolution of ad networks, which have been incorporating capabilities like real-time bidding into their offering as well.

How Does a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) Work?
Demand-side platforms are used by advertisers to replace manual ad buying with an automated, real-time bidding platform. The whole process can be summarized in the following steps:
● The advertiser selects their target audience and uploads the ads they want to publish.
● Publishers make their ad inventories available on the DSP through ad exchanges and supply-side platforms.
● These platforms offer the ad impression to the DSP, which makes a decision to send a bid to buy the impression based on relevance to the targeting criteria.
● The advertiser competes with other advertisers for the ad impression placing bids in real-time.
● The demand-side platform buys the impression and the ad is shown on the publisher’s website. This whole process is conducted in milliseconds when someone visits the publisher’s site