RTB on fingers

RTB (Real Time Bidding) the mechanism of monetization of traffic by more highest price or selling the traffic which the ad network can’t monetize itself. It could be compared with the big auction where one ad network is the auctioneer all other is participants. The auctioneer to announced the lot, some participants make a bid, and the bid with the highest price wins the lot.



The type of interaction with external networks when you try to sell advertisement places is called SSP (Supply-Side Platform)


The easiest way to imagine it as the application with the pool of the connects to several databases. Every database has the common interface to interaction and can return you standardized response format. And when you ask your application to give you the information what should be displayed on the specific place it sends requests to each database to find the most suitable information to display.


The interaction could be inverse, and mainly there is no any difference with SSP except one, the original request comes from other network, not user. The type of this integration called DSP (Demand-Side Platform).

Problems with this type of integration:

  1. The system has a limited type of response, so if the application sends the request to other external databases (Networks) response could too slow.
  2. Reselling of the traffic always have a discrepancy. Sometimes discrepancy could be until 25-30% what increase the start price of the lot.

Existing solutions

To sell/buy traffic many campaigns at the beginning had the custom implementation of they own protocols. It brings many problems in integration with several external networks. Because for any new partner network the company has to implement the new absolutely different protocol.

To solve this problem was invented OpenRTB standard by AIB which cover most cases of traffic exchange. However, it’s not the strict standard, and in the protocol, the content response could be any type. That’s why there is exists common agreement about advertisement response format.

I haven’t mentioned about other protocols because technically they are not standards. And I haven’t mentioned about VAST, VPAID and VMAP because they are used in conjunction with OpenRTB.

In conclusion

The simple idea brings many technical problems, but if the architecture of the system is good then any problem could be solved even if you support hundreds of custom protocols. Thankfully there are very few such that ad networks, and most of them support OpenRTB.



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