Most of us are aware of the huge evolution from traditional mass media advertising to digital advertising. However, what few of us realise is that, even within the digital advertising landscape, there have been some drastic shifts.
However, the rapid digitalisation of advertising as a whole has resulted in the formation of numerous different companies, each one offering a unique product or service that adds value to the link between the publisher and advertiser. Hence, the digital advertising ecosystem has had to evolve significantly from the much simpler model of days gone by, in order to take into account the new players in the ecosystem. This has meant that a much more complex model.
According to the IAB, “The digital environment that connects websites that live on the Internet together, and with people, is done with such precision that to map it out for people makes it look like something bright, blinking and living, and straight out of a sci-fi movie.”
To make things simpler, here is our own simplified diagram to help you.
These are some simple definitions to help you understand each player in the ecosystem.
Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of their clients.
A Trading Desk, as we’ve mentioned before, is a service committed to helping advertisers and agencies buy online advertising. This is done through real-time bidding (RTB), enhanced with data. An example of this is The Media Trader.
An online advertising service provider often with proprietary technology, that helps marketers run display advertising campaigns across various sources of online inventory, for example Google, Yahoo.
Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs)
A DSP is a tech platform that enables buyers to evaluate and bid for online media using RTB, for example MediaMath, Turn, Data XU.
Data Management Platforms or DMPs, as we’ve already mentioned, are platforms that allow marketers to manage and understand the vast amounts of data that is constantly being generated by consumers, who are digitalising at a ridiculous pace, for example Krux.
Ad Exchanges are online auction marketplaces that facilitate the buying and selling of inventory across multiple ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs), for example Doubleclick (by Google, Right Media, Facebook Exchange, OpenX).
Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
SSPs are tech platforms that help publishers to maximise ad revenues when managing and selling inventory on ad exchanges and networks, for example Rubicon and PubMatic.
It is important to note that, although the lines that separate the various functions appear to be clearly drawn, in reality this might actually be far from the case. This blurring of the lines is largely due to the ongoing consolidation in the AdTech industry, a trend that experts like Ciaran O’Kane have identified.
First of all, there is a rise in the number of market makers, who work for both the buy-side and the sell-side. Krux is an example of such a company, working with publishers, marketers, agencies, DMPs, as well as SSPs. Additionally, many companies are starting to offer their clients an integrated solution. For example, Rocket Fuel has a Programmatic Marketing Platform, providing its clients with both a DMP and a DSP.
The Media Trader is an independent trading desk and we are specialised in programmatic buying, using RTB and enhanced with data. We know the digital advertising system may seem like a complex place, but we are here to simplify this for our clients. We thrive in the ecosystem and can help clients to navigate it as it evolves.
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