What Is a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) and How Does It Work?

Publishers do not sell advertising space as they did some decades ago in the era of online advertising. Advertisers are increasingly adopting demand-side platforms (DSPs) and exchanges to buy online ads, but what about publishers? What is the purpose of supply-side platforms? 

Here in this article, we will discuss what is SSP advertising and what is the purpose of supply-side platforms.

What is a Supply Side Platform (SSP)?

Supply-Side Platform

Source: appsamurai.com

A supply-side platform (SSP) is a type of adtech software that allows publishers and other advertisers to automate the management, selling, and optimization of ad inventory (audio, video, display, and mobile) on their websites and mobile apps. A sell-side platform is another name for SSP.

Publishers used to sell ad space manually, which they still do in some circumstances for premium ad space. Publishers required a solution to expand their ad sales processes and ensure that ad space was not left empty while increasing ad impression pricing.

When supply-side platforms first became popular, they were primarily used to fill unsold inventories at lower prices. The SSP is now in charge of programmatically selling all ad inventory.

How Does It Work?

Supply-Side Platform

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Manual placement is no longer efficient due to enormous audiences and the growing number of digital marketers all competing for the same ad space.

SSPs now work with demand-side platforms (DSPs) to evaluate advertisers, take inventory of publishers’ total inventory, define the bidding range, and then make suggestions for the best fit for each space.

Publishers can use SSPs to filter digital ads based on the advertiser, ad type, target audience, and other factors, as well as establish various pricing for different ad spaces.

Throughout the digital advertising supply chain, the process occurs in a series of micro-transactions. The SSP can sell inventory directly to buyers or through ad exchanges, demand-side platforms, and agencies.

A pixel code is placed on a publisher’s page once the terms have been agreed upon to measure audience data and visitor behavior. The code provides anonymous information about visitors and their behavior. It’s set up to give publishers the most value for the money when an ad is shown.

Here’s a quick rundown of how publishers sell inventory through supply-side platforms.

An SSP is where a publisher makes their ad inventory available.

An ad query is sent to various ad exchanges and, in certain cases, demand-side platforms every time the publisher’s webpage loads, either directly from an SSP or via the publisher’s ad server.

Various DSPs would submit bids on the impression being offered by the publisher in the event of RTB media buys.

The winning bid is subsequently sent to the website and shown to the visitor via the SSP.