RTB, DSP, SSP, WTF?

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

iMedia, 3/22/11

Today’s world is full of acronyms. And if, like us, the lexicography of ad exchanges and display buying leaves you all confuzzled, here are a few puzzling abbreviations we think are worthwhile explaining.

Most readers of the iMedia newsletter will have heard of ad exchanges. Slowly but surely the marketers and media planners at agencies are replacing non-transparent network buys with ad exchange buys. So, let me give you a brief overview of the history: back in 2005 an ad serving company called Right Media, developed into the first ad exchange with the idea to serve as a market place for unsold display media inventory. That was necessary because networks couldn’t cope with the explosion of available publishers, e.g. web 2.0 inventory. Also, it made life easier for publishers to monetise their remnant inventory on exchanges, selling it for the highest bidding price. Like an eBay really for display inventory.

The landscape in 2010 looks different, yet so familiar if you look across to search marketing: you find that Right Media was bought by Yahoo!, Google has an exchange based on the doubleclick technology they bought, and Microsoft just invested in a technology called AppNexus.

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