What is the difference between DSP and SSP?

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  • Post last modified:April 24, 2020

The definition and purpose of DSP and SSP is something that many marketers find challenging to understand. Unfortunately, the results on the internet can be a bit complex, and after research, you feel like you just developed a migraine.
This article will differentiate the terms with the simplest terms possible.

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

The DSP concept’s origin is Europe. It’s a modern way of purchasing ads from web owners. They are mostly used by marketers and agencies, which allows them to display video, mobile, and search ads.
DSPs provide buyers with real-time bidding across various sources of inventory.
DSPs are designed for buyers, so they avail them with multiple publishers that they can choose from.
Before DSPs, selling and buying ads was handled by salespersons, which made it ineffective and costly. DSPs made the process easier and cheaper by automating the process and reducing the human resource required because the process doesn’t need negotiation.
DSPs allows marketers to buy impressions form various publishers, based on their target audience. It’s possible to determine the target market by analyzing the behavior and location of web visitors. 
Now there obviously need a medium through which impressions can be exchanged by the buyers and sellers, which brings us to an ad exchange. Web owners avail their products through an ad exchange, and then the DSP decides which ones are best suited for the buyers.
The price of an impression is determined through real-time auction, also known as real-time bidding. This removes the necessity of a salesperson to negotiate as the ad space goes to the highest bidder.

Supply Side Platform (SSP)

An SSP is the web owners’ equivalent of a DSP. While the latter is used by advertisers to buy impressions effectively, at the lowest price possible. The SSP is designed for publishers to do the exact opposite; sell their impressions to the right buyers at the maximum price. Similar technology powers the SSP and DSP.
The supply-side platform is a supplier platform for publishers. It helps the online media in advertising their impressions with their costs, expanding their online trading platform so that their cash flows.
Thanks to the SSP, the publisher can get the highest price, and at the same time, avoid having an empty ad space.
The four advantages of an SSP include.

  • Higher revenue
  • Use of effective data to control your site
  • Everything is automated
  • Access to intelligent delivery

Ad Exchange

This is a large pool of impressions. Web owners put their ad impressions into the marketing place, hoping advertisers will buy them. Marketers then buy the ad space that’s efficient for them using technologies such as DSP. The decision of the DSP is based on the previous behavior of a web user an advert is being placed for, device type, ad position time of the day, and more. 
The ad exchange is a marketplace that allows the publisher and advertiser to buy and sell ad space in real-time bidding. They’re often used to sell video, mobile ad inventory, display, and video. 
Do You Want to Know More About DSP and SSP?
This may feel a little overwhelming if you’re only hearing it for the first time. With that said, as a marketer or business owner, it’s your responsibility to stay updated with all new trends in the market. 
What we discussed here are just the basics of SSP and DSP, if you want an in-depth version of the two, visit our blog.

What is the difference between a DMP and DSP?
What Is a Demand Side Platform (DSP) and How Does It Work?


Alvin is the Founder and CEO of MobileAds.com. He is a go-getter, and adventurous guy who believes in working smart to gain success in his business ventures and in life. He also founded RichMediaAds.com and MobileLanders.com.

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