Glossary of Mobile Advertising Terms
DSP (Demand Side Platform) is a technological platform (piece of software) that enables advertisers and agencies to purchase ad inventory across multiple ad exchanges through real-time bidding. DSPs are generally connected to several ad exchanges or ad networks and they allow the buyers of digital advertising inventory to bid on mobile, video, display, and social ads.
With DSPs, advertisers can purchase ad inventory from a range of publisher sites, which are selected through various parameters (for example, their location). Demand Side Platforms have similarities with ad networks as they also have wide access to ad inventory and the ability to serve, optimize and track ads.
To put it simply, DSPs work like this. First, with the help of ad exchanges, publishers make their ad impressions available and then DSPs decide which of those impressions is the best for an advertiser to buy. The price is usually determined through real-time bidding, which means the highest bidder wins.
Another “feature” of DSPs is that the advertisers and agencies can use their own targeting data. Not all DSPs are the same because they all have different attributes (targeting, algorithms, etc.) and some are also better suited for mobiles. One of the most common uses of DSP is retargeting.