What is SSP in advertising?

  • 17 / 10 / 2022
  • Patrycja Gumola
What is SSP in advertising?

In the past, publishers cooperated with multiple selling teams to manually assign proper advertisements to corresponding ad spaces or did it simply by themselves with varying degrees of success. And it wasn’t an easy task as certain ads should be designated to the particular ad inventory, so the results of transactions are satisfactory for both parties – publishers and advertisers. However, the time came when manual ad selling process wasn’t relevant anymore. As you’ve probably guessed, the system it was replaced with is SSP (Supply-Side Platform) – so let’s find out more about it!

The rising number of users and advertisers competing over the same ad inventory forced publishers to look for advanced technology to replace arduous manual work and shorten transaction time. Nowadays, SSP uses programmatic technology, which improves ad space selling considerably. The new solution helps to find advertisers, establish the auction range, and finally propose recommendations to fill the ad inventory with best-fitting ads. No wonder why SSPs were primarily called “Network Optimizers”.

What Suppy-Side Platforms really are?

SSPs are platforms that offer ad technology (AdTech) which aids the supply side of digital transaction making. They facilitate publishers in selling ad space and, most of all, delivering and distributing ad inventory. When it comes to the digital ad ecosystem, SSPs are one of the leading players who are responsible for RTB transaction processing. Shortly speaking, Supply-Side Platform enables connecting to and managing multiple ad networks. It connects with Demand-Side Platforms through even multiple ad exchanges to sell ad inventory on behalf of publishers.

Yield optimization platforms

Besides being called “Network Optimizers”, Supply-Side Platforms are often referred to as “Yield optimization platforms”. You might wonder why this alternative name is used. The answer is simple: SSPs play a pivotal role as publishers’ allies that “take care of” selling publishers’ goods (impressions) at the highest price and analyzing old data. Yield optimization is all about that! In the SSPs world, this is mainly achieved through data analysis, improving fill rates, and setting floor prices. Now, let’s see what the processes automated by SSP are composed of!

Processes automated by SSP

RTB Transactions – Supply-Side Platform sells publishers’ ad inventory to Demand-Side Platform through the agency of Ad Exchange. You can find more information about that in the article describing real-time bidding, which is fully dedicated to that particular topic.

Selecting ad impressions from chosen regions – thanks to SSPs and DSPs, publisher is ensured that only partners from intended countries participate in the transaction processes. Some regions are simply too distant, making cooperation ineffective or even worthless due to the distance between transactional partners. The biggest problem, in that case, is diminishing market availability. All these countries that aren’t chosen are excluded from cooperation possibilities.

Frequency capping – both Supply-Side Platform and Demand-Side Platform often synchronize and adjust cookies to limit the number of ad impressions. It means that the system monitors and records the frequency of a given user’s visits, and on the basis of that, it sets restrictions for the next ad impressions, so the person doesn’t see the same ad creation over and over again. This obstacle in showing ads concerns all websites that are supposed to display an ad from a given DSP campaign.

Ad network optimization – SSPs frequently use historical data and algorithms to make real-time decisions about which ad network to send an ad impression to. Among the factors considered are the specific requirements of the ad networks. The whole process benefits publishers, as decisions are made quickly, and maximization of the publisher’s profits is achieved through reaching an optimal balance of CPM and fill rate. What’s more, after identifying the advertisers who pay for their ad space, publishers can make informed adjustments to their ad requests.

What’s the difference between DSP and SSP?

The easiest way to explain the differences between those two, is to establish that SSP is an inverse of DSP and vice versa. While DSPs serve advertisers, SSPs sell ad inventory on behalf of publishers. Both platforms work in the same interest of transaction making, on the shared marketplace, but on opposite sides. DSP enables advertisers to buy ad inventory from several Ad Exchanges simultaneously. Whereas, Supply-Side Platform allows publishers to sell ad inventory also across different Ad Exchanges. Generally, the whole point of SSPs is to simplify transactional processes and ensure that publishers get the best deals possible and thus, maximize their profits.

source: https://giphy.com/

What advantages do SSPs have?

Transactions automatization

  • Publishers’ ad inventory is sold automatically without any manual work. This includes a display, video, and native ads on both desktop and mobile devices. However, it’s essential to mention that some platforms demand publishers to have a minimal number of ad impressions as a requirement to meet before joining.

Access to many entities

  • Supply-Side Platform can connect you with many ad networks, Ad Exchanges, and DSP platforms, opening the marketplace to as many sellers as possible. Allowing big groups to bid over impressions in a real-time auction offers publishers much better deals, and thus, higher revenue;
  • SSP platforms remove the problem of lowering ad inventory values by enabling many ad networks to join bidding processes. Thanks to it, even though there are not enough bidders, there is always a chance to find different ones;
  • Moreover, publishers can also cooperate with many SSPs at once, which gives them a competitive advantage concerning the number of potential auctions, ad campaigns, and the rising ad formats’ availability to choose from. This is specifically important for publishers who have traffic from multiple different countries.

Prices optimization

  • Thanks to the Supply-Side Platform, publishers have more considerable control over their prices. The reason for that is the existence of the so-called “floor price”, which ensures that ad inventory is not allowed to be sold under a certain charge;
  • Some SPPs and Ad Exchanges have started introducing a new hybrid-style price policy that combines soft and hard floor prices and juggles between first-price and second-price auctions. Due to that, there’s a greater possibility that an advertisement will appear on a website, which inevitably leads to higher revenue for publishers.

SSP example – Google Ad Manager

A prominent illustration of a tool that functions as an SSP is, without a doubt, Google Ad Manager. Additionally, it’s essential to recognize that it’s also an ad server. This multipurpose platform designed for ad management is perfect for monetizing all ad types of ad inventory – from mobile apps to websites. What’s also worth mentioning is that it has a premium, paid version called Google Ad Manager 360.

A useful feature of GAM is Google Ad Exchange, better known as AdX, a marketplace where ad space buying and selling takes place. AdX is commonly recognized as one of the top SSPs available in the market. While initially designed for publishers with over 5 million pageviews, it is also accessible to those achieving lower numbers through third-party partners, such as Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP).

Shortcut to satisfactory ad revenue

In brief, SSPs are instruments that help publishers get the highest return on their ad inventory. Essentially, Google Certified Publishing Partners share a similar goal – to ensure that digital content creators’ monetization efforts will be profitable, safe, and straightforward! As a matter of fact, optAd360 is a Premier GCPP, which means that we provide our publishers with the highest quality of support in terms of their content monetization. Don’t wait – get familiar with our requirements and start earning more!

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