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demand-side platform (DSP)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A demand-side platform (DSP) is software that allows an advertiser to buy inventory from ad exchanges and manage advertising campaigns. A DSP accesses data from multiple sources and performs real-time analytics to evaluate impressions as they are offered and place bids accordingly. The DSP can connect to multiple ad exchanges and data exchanges.

In a real-time bidding (RTB) system for programmatic advertising, a DSP automates decisions, bids and purchases in real time, while a user’s requested web page loads. The advertiser can select criteria for targeted ads and access huge numbers of available impressions.

DSPs also connect to multiple supply-side platforms (SSP). SSPs, the counterpart to demand-side systems, allow publishers to offer their available inventory to ad exchanges and DSPs.

Vendors of DSPs include Adchemy, BRANDSCREEN, DataXu, Invite Media, Lucid Media, MediaMath, Triggit, Turn and X+1.

Watch an introductory tutorial on display advertising basics:

This was last updated in February 2017

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