What is the Difference between Demand Side and Supply Side Platforms? – Digital Nugget #8

Sep. 21, 2015 // Jeff Cracolici

In the world of digital advertising, there are two major types of platforms that are used to buy or sell display, video and mobile advertising: Supply-Side Platforms and Demand-Side Platforms. While they both share the common goal of automating transactions between advertisers and publishers, the key difference is who “owns” the platform. Here is the breakdown:

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What is a Supply-Side Platform?

Supply side platforms, known as SSPs, are used by publishers to automate the selling of advertising space on their website. The goal of the SSP is to maximize the price in which publishers can sell their ads for without human involvement. In many SSP platforms, publishers can set price floors and restrictions to make the most of the ad spaces on their website.

Ultimately, SSPs help the “human” ad sales team sell more ads in a more effective and efficient manner.

What is a Demand-Side Platform?

Demand side platforms, known as DSPs, are used typically by advertisers and agencies to automate the purchasing of adverting space across one, or multiple websites. For advertisers, using a DSP greatly simplifies the purchasing process across dozens, if not thousands of websites. DSPs can buy ads in bulk or by utilizing Real-Time Bidding methods. When used by an advertiser directly, a DSP can help eliminate the need for a media buying agency.

Ultimately, DSPs help advertisers buy more ads, at lowers prices in a more efficient manner.