What Is Supply Side Platform And How Does It Work?

The supply-side platform is a marketing technology platform utilized by the publishers to handle, sell and optimize the available inventories on their sites and mobile apps in an automated and efficient manner. By utilizing an SSP, publishers can show video, display, and native ads to their visitors, and monetize their apps and websites.

Over the years, supply-side platform SSP s have grown their functionalities, with many now including the ad-exchange mechanism, permitting the publishers to connect to demand side platforms instead of connecting through ad exchanges.

It may sound a lot like a demand-side platform to many. That is because it is. A supply-side platform is generally the publisher equivalent of a demand-side platform. DSP’s are utilized by the marketers to purchase ad impressions from the exchanges as efficiently and cheaply as possible.

SSP’s are designed by the publishers for doing the opposite: to increase the prices their impressions sell at. Similar technology influences both the demand-side platform and sell-side platform.

So, how does SSP’s work?

Well, like everything in ad tech, it is complicated. The simple answer is that SSPs allow the publishers for connecting their inventory to several ad exchanges, networks and DSP’s at one stretch. This allows a wide range of potential purchasers to buy ad space- and for the publishers to attain the high possible rates.

When an SSP throws impressions into the ad exchanges, DSP s check and buy them on behalf of the marketers based on certain attributes like where they are served, and which certain users they are being served to.

The basic idea is that by opening certain impressions to as many potential purchasers as possible-most often through real-time auctions-publishers can increase the revenue they get for their inventories. Due to this, SSP is at times referred to as yield-optimization side platforms.
Here is a brief overview of how the publishers utilize supply-side platforms for selling their inventories during the RTB:

· A publisher makes its ad inventory available on the SSP
· Every time the webpage of publishers loads, an ad request is sent to several ad exchanges, and there are times demand side platforms, either directly from the SSP or to SSP through the ad server of publishers
· In the case of RTB media purchases, different DSPs would place the bids on impression being provided by the publisher
· The winning bid is delivered to the site through the SSP and showed to the visitor

What features and benefits do the SSP s offer publishers?

SSP s provide large numbers of benefits.

1. Automated selling of the inventories: Publishers can sell all their inventories to publishers, including video, display advertising, and native ad space on both the mobile and desktop. DSPs (on the advertiser’s end) and SSPs assist to streamline the procedure of purchasing and selling inventories by removing the manual work completely from the procedure.

As machines handle all the transaction, publishers of different sizes can utilize SSPs for monetizing their apps and websites; a supply-side platform can sell five impressions on a small eCommerce website and sell millions of impressions on the website of a large publisher. However, some SSP s must have a minimum number of impressions or site traffic to utilize their platform.

2. Reporting: SSP s provide publishers details on who is bidding, how much their inventories is being purchased for, and how much individual purchasers are purchasing. This provides deeper insights regarding the value of their inventories for advertisers.

3. Accumulation of several networks: SSP s assist to combat the issue of driving the value of inventory down if there are not many bidders coming from a single ad exchange or ad network. SSP s (by joining to several networks, ad exchanges, and DSPs) permit more purchasers to participate in real-time bidding procedure, and probably attain improved yield.

4. Yield optimization with the price floors: It’s no surprise that the publishers are trying to recover some of the lost revenue that is caused by reduction (the difference between bid price and clearing price) in the second-price auctions.

SSP s not permit the publishers to provide their inventory to more purchasers, but also provide them better pricing control. “Price floors” make sure that their inventories are not sold under a fixed price. Some of the SSPs and ad exchanges are starting to implement a combination of hard and soft price floors, significantly converting the auction into the hybrid between first and the second price auctions.

Ways to choose the right Supply Side Platforms

What you require will depend on a certain use case, but there are certain things that you must keep in mind. The platform must be robust, it must have all the controlling features that you require and must offer accurate and real-time reporting numbers regarding the ad sales. You must also check if the SSP permits you to get involved in your current demand and partnerships, as this might be invaluable to a current publisher.

Think about support- An enterprise supporter might have high entry needs and might not be able to offer you the type of personalized support than a smaller, ad tech firm might be interested in.

Ultimately, how complicated or simple is the setup procedure? Is the user-interface instinctive or does it have a learning curve? All these should be factors that will affect your decision-making procedure while choosing an SSP.

Choosing the wrong ad-tech platform can affect a business in different ways. Apart from losing revenue, a wrong selection can even harm the brand. You must ask the following questions before you choose any SSP.

A) Does the company own the platform?
Establishing a supply-side platform can consume time and can be costly. There are several companies that play the role of middlemen by white-labeling the SSPs created by other firms. As a publisher, based on such companies can be risky.

The market keeps on varying. As you are involved with data, there are several risks involved in this. You must choose an SSP that keeps updating itself depending on fluctuations. For this, it is better to ensure that the firm you have selected is the owner of the platform.

B) Does SSP include brand safety tools?
There are several threat publishers who face when providing their ad space to the bidders. Some advertisements might mimic website navigations, whereas others might serve as an absolute negative experience to your audience. Your SSP must have essential features for blocking such promoters or should be integrated with tools that provide such protective steps.

C) What is the geographical strength of SSP?
While all the SSPs want to be worldwide, this is a rare case. In Programmatic advertising, it is very significant to have an SSEP that is powerful in areas where your impressions come from. Ensure that you are clear as to where most of your audience belongs to.

D) What type of features are available?
All the SSPs will include an “open exchange” feature that allows all to bid on your big data ad inventory. However, if you want a large number of features, it is better to inquire prior. For instance, features like “private exchanges”, where some advertisers attain access to the ad inventory before the public for a high price, are the best options to improve revenue.

E) How simple is it to use?
It is true that, with practice, any kind of platform can finally become simple to use. However, in programmatic advertising, even a small operation might need you to work with several interfaces for collecting data and several other things. You don’t require a platform that includes complexity. The best method to understand the ease of utilization is by cross-checking the data-management platforms yourself.

F) Do the SSPs have 24/7 support?
A trustworthy supply-side platform always comes with immense support. You must check if the provider provides 24/7 support; things can go wrong anytime. You must have access to a support system that is responsive and should be able to resolve technical problems that may take place. One of the best ways to know this is by checking different review websites.

Supply-side platforms offer a programmatic method to deal with the ever-growing array of AdTech platforms and variables in the programmatic ecosystem. Altering the fill rates, price floors, yields, and brand safety- all this would not be possible without an automated platform.

If you want to learn programmatic advertising or how SSP s work in detail then, join Streamlyn Academy, the best digital marketing institute in Bangalore. We provide training in digital marketing and programmatic marketing. Our skilled trainers are professionals of Streamlyn Media who teaches the basics of digital marketing, SEM, SEO, and programmatic advertising. For a demo class, contact us today!

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