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If you are new to programmatic, all those three-letter acronyms might be a bit confusing. In this article, we will explain what supply- and demand-side platforms are, what they are used for and by whom, as well as the advantages they bring, and how they fit within the ad tech ecosystem.  What is an SSP? Supply-side platform, sell-side platform, or SSP, is a piece of software that is designed to help publishers monetize their ad space programmatically. They connect publishers to multiple ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs at the same time, thus increasing the number of bidders for their inventory and boosting yield. SSPs allow publishers to set price floors, determine rules for their inventory, create direct deals, collect and analyze campaign data. Benefits One of the main advantages of using an SSP is the better data that publishers get access to. Information such as which bidders participate in the auctions, what your best placements are in terms of profitability, can be used for improved yield optimization. Audience data analytics can help enhance targeting and package inventory to negotiate better deals with advertisers. Another important aspect of using an SSP is the granularity of control that publishers get over their inventory. Setting price floors for specific buyers and/or channels, blocking certain advertisers, or allowing only selected buyers to a specific portion of your ad inventory are just some of the options available to publishers.   Last but not least, the possibility to get so many ad exchanges, networks, and DSPs…

As programmatic opportunities are evolving, publishers have more and more ways to put their inventory on the market. We’ve looked into Preferred deals and Programmatic Guaranteed already and in this article, we’ll dive into Private Marketplace deals.  What is a Private Marketplace? Private Marketplaces are also known as PMPs, closed or invitation-only auctions, and private auctions. The concept is that a publisher, or a few of them, invite advertisers/demand partners to an exclusive real-time auction for their premium inventory. Publishers often package their inventory based on various audience and impression attributes, content type, etc., thus making it more attractive to buyers. PMPs are more transparent and safe than traditional open auctions as publishers are fully aware of who will be bidding and are upfront about the price they expect by setting respective floors. Advertisers, on the other hand, have the advantage to know exactly where their creatives will appear.    How do they work? Private Marketplaces combine the best of traditional direct deals and programmatic. Typically, PMPs involve a direct relationship with buyers, exclusive premium inventory that is only available at the specific private marketplace, transparency of the deal, as well as the efficiency of programmatic automation of the sales process, and the potential to optimize and target distinct audiences in real-time. All details of the deal are negotiated in advance between the publisher and the buyers, including price floors and type of inventory. To set up a PMP deal, the publisher’s inventory is directly plugged into the advertiser DSP (demand-side…

Display ads have been the king of digital advertising for quite a while. But then native advertising came into play and changed the game. Advertisers are always looking for ways to get to the user more efficiently and native ads offered a non-intrusive way to customers’ attention. While display ads still serve an important marketing purpose, they are now only one of the possible approaches. Thus, advertisers may be looking for both native and display ad inventory, depending on their goals, and publishers need to decide how to build their ad inventory in this ever-so-competitive landscape.  Display Advertising Often referred to as banner ads, display ads are still the most popular type of digital advertising nowadays. The rectangular boxes with advertiser message that links to a landing page are your typical display ads. They come in various sizes and formats, such as text, image, and video, some may even be interactive. Display ads have evolved over the years and offer more impactful ways of addressing the audience. Users, on the other hand, have become so used to them that they may often experience the so-called “banner blindness” – something advertisers are trying to fight. Enter native ads.  Native Advertising While typical display ads are easy to distinguish and pinpoint, native ads often look just like the rest of the content on the page. You can recognize them from their label – most often “Sponsored”, “Promoted”, or “Recommended”. Native ads are designed to blend with the elements on the website and…

Digital advertising and the whole ecosystem around it have evolved quite a bit over the years. Volumes have increased dramatically, and so has complexity. Publishers and advertisers alike need more tools and technology to manage campaigns efficiently, track results, plan, optimize, and achieve their revenue potential. Ad servers are one piece of the puzzle that we will explore in this article. We will cover what ad servers are, how they work and what types are out there, and finally how to choose one to best suit your needs.  What is an ad server? Ad servers are the piece of ad technology that is responsible for the management, serving, and tracking of digital ad campaigns. They are used by website owners, ad networks, ad agencies, and advertisers, and can be built in-house or managed by a third party. Often, ad networks and exchanges will offer them as part of their services. Ad servers are used to place ads on a website and make real-time decisions about what ad would be shown to which user, based on multiple factors such as targeting, budget, relevance, and revenue. They also collect data about user behavior related to the ad for further campaign analytics. How do ad servers work? Ad servers have a key role in digital advertising and are involved in most parts of the process of selling and placing ads, including further analytics. Once a user lands on a site (or mobile app) that is being monetized through ads, the ad tag(s) on…

Programmatic Direct provides publishers with an automated way to directly sell and/or negotiate their inventory. There are three types of deals within this category: Preferred Deals, Programmatic Guaranteed, and Private Auction. They each have their specifics and are used to meet various seller and/or buyer needs. In this article, we will take a closer look at Preferred Deals, their advantages, and disadvantages, as well as their differences from Programmatic Guaranteed and Private Auctions.  What is a Preferred Deal? Preferred Deals are direct deals within which the publisher agrees to provide exclusive first-look to specific inventory in exchange for a predetermined CPM rate. The terms are negotiated via Google Ad Manager and the price is fixed, no auction takes place. The advertiser is not obligated to buy the impressions, hence the alternative name of this type of deal: “programmatic non-guaranteed”. If the advertiser decides he is not interested in the inventory, it goes to an open or a private auction. The publisher can initiate the negotiations with a single advertiser via single or multiple buyers. He can decide to seal the final deal with one or more of those buyers.    Advantages of Preferred Deals Predictability: Publishers get to select the buyers they negotiate with and set a price for the deal they are comfortable with. In this way, they can make much more precise revenue expectations and plan accordingly.   Security: Having the option to choose the advertisers for this type of deal creates a transparent and secure environment where the risk…

Everything you should know about Google AdSense is one of the few ad tech platforms that still operates under second-price auctions. However, that’s about to change till the end of 2021, as Google recently announced. In this article, we’ll cover what exactly is going to change, why it’s happening, and what it means for publishers. What’s happening? Google will switch AdSense auctions to first-price by the end of the year in order to streamline processes and simplify how buyers purchase your inventory. The move will apply to AdSense for Content, AdSense for Video, and AdSense for Gaming. There will be no changes to AdSense for Shopping and AdSense for Search. First-price auctions are expected to “make it easier for buyers to purchase your ad space sold on AdSense”, as per Google’s announcement. But how exactly do first- and second-price auctions differ? Let’s take a look. First-price vs second-price auctions For quite some time, the most common way that actions for digital inventory worked was the second-price model. With that method, buyers paid whatever the second-highest bid was plus one cent. First-price auctions, on the other hand, mean that the final price would be whatever the highest bid in the auction was. This brings more transparency to the process as the so-called “ad tech tax” cannot be manipulated through the murky fee structure of second-price. Why is Google making the change? AdSense is one of the last remaining platforms to still be utilizing the second-price auction model and it was a…

Back in 2015, Google launched the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project for a faster, open mobile web. In 2018 the project moved to an open governance model and then in 2019, it joined the OpenJS Foundation Incubation Program. Today you can use AMP to build a number of things, including websites, web stories, ads, and email. This article will focus on AMP ads – what they are, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as a few best practices if you decide to give AMP ads a shot.  What are AMP ads? AMPHTML ads, also known as AMP ads, combine the technology of the standard HTML ads with that of AMP. This results in very flexible, fast, light, and safe ads that can be delivered on both AMP and non-AMP pages. AMPHTML ads are created only with predefined HTML, CSS, and JavaScript libraries from the AMP Open Source Project, eliminating the possibility for running obscure JavaScript codes and improving security through auto-verification. Three of the more popular AMP ad formats are carousel (ad with more than one image in a carousel, auto-plays when in view), video parallax (a video displayed on top of a banner, the ad plays only on user click), and lightbox (ad expands only on click, uninterested users get more of the website content in view). Publishers interested in video advertising can serve both in-stream and out-stream video ads in AMP.  Advantages  AMP ads come with multiple advantages. Let’s see what they are, starting with the most…

With programmatic digital advertising on the rise in the last few years, the opportunities for publishers and advertisers alike are getting more and more robust. There are several types of deals that fall under the “Programmatic Direct” deal type: programmatic guaranteed, preferred deals, and private auctions. In this article, we will be unfolding the ins and outs of Programmatic Guaranteed. What is Programmatic Guaranteed? Programmatic Guaranteed is an attractive type of campaign to both publishers and advertisers. The sellers get a guaranteed revenue stream, whereas the buyers lock in the exact audience they want to reach. Both sides get predictable results from the deal and mitigate uncertainty. Programmatic Guaranteed allows publishers to negotiate with a buyer the price and terms for specific inventory that would be reserved only for that buyer at a fixed price. Audience targeting happens through device ID or cookies and advertisers get a very precise match to what they are looking for. The deal includes impression volumes and price, frequency capping, what ad sizes and formats will be used, as well as the campaign timeframe. All of this is coded into the Deal ID and handled fully automatically (this is why Programmatic Guaranteed is often confused with Automated Guaranteed, which, however, does not use Deal ID, but rather displays the ads via an ad server API). For Programmatic Guaranteed to work, publisher and buyer Data Management Platforms (DMPs) need to first sync. This allows advertisers to find the right audience and then offer a guaranteed price…