What is a DSP (Demand Side Platform)?

DSP stands for “Demand-Side Platform,” a digital advertising technology to automate online ad inventory buying and selling. A DSP is a tool that allows advertisers to purchase digital ad impressions across different ad networks, websites (publishers), and other digital media outlets, all through a single interface.

In this article, we understand what a DSP is, how it works, and the advtanges of using a DSP. Let’s go!

How does a DSP Work?

A DSP works by

  • integrating with ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs)
  • accessing inventory from a range of publishers
  • using algorithms to evaluate and bid on each impression in real-time based on various targeting criteria and other factors.

Through a DSP, advertisers can set specific targeting parameters for the ads they want to purchase, such as

  • user demographics,
  • behavior,
  • location,
  • interests,
  • or target specific websites or apps.

This enables advertisers to reach their target audience more effectively, optimize their ad spend, and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Advantages of using a DSP

The rise of programmatic advertising and the adoption of DSPs has improved the lives of advertisers in many ways. In this section, let’s take a look at some of these advantages.

Avoiding Manual Inventory Purchasing

Without DSPs, advertisers would have to purchase ad inventory manually, which would be time-consuming, inefficient, and often ineffective. This includes negotiating ad placements and pricing.

Increase in Transparency

Direct deals with publishers can result in a lack of transparency, as publishers may not be forthcoming about how much they charge for ad space.

Ease of Campaign Management

Without the help of a DSP, advertisers must deal with multiple publishers individually, making managing campaigns across different channels difficult. It is undeniable that DSPs have made it easier for advertisers to manage and optimize their campaigns in real-time.

Furthermore, DSPs allow advertisers to reach their target audiences more effectively and efficiently by exploiting the ability to access inventory from multiple sources in a single interface.

Real-Time Bidding Capabilities

Another significant advantage of DSPs is allowing advertisers to access real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities.

  • RTB is a process where advertisers bid on ad inventory in real-time, which allows them to purchase inventory at the best possible price.
  • This means advertisers can achieve better ROI on their ad spend, as they only pay for impressions relevant to their target audience.


Advertisers can set specific targeting parameters for the ads they want to purchase. This enables them to reach their target audience more effectively, optimize their ad spend, and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

demand side platform

Popular DSPs

Before we wind up, let’s take a look at some popular commercials DSPs:

  1. Google Ads – Google Ads is a popular DSP that allows advertisers to target users based on search queries and other behavioral data. Advertisers can bid on keywords related to their product or service and create text or display ads that appear on Google search results on pages or on websites that partner with Google.
  2. The Trade Desk – The Trade Desk is a DSP that allows advertisers to access inventory from multiple ad exchanges and target users based on various factors, including demographics, location, and behavior. The platform offers real-time bidding and advanced reporting features to help advertisers optimize their campaigns.
  3. Adobe Advertising Cloud – Adobe Advertising Cloud is a DSP that offers cross-channel advertising capabilities, allowing advertisers to reach users across various devices and platforms. The platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize ad placements and improve performance over time.
  4. Amazon Advertising – Amazon Advertising is a DSP that allows advertisers to target users based on their shopping behavior and other Amazon data. Advertisers can create display and video ads that appear on Amazon-owned properties, such as Amazon.com and Twitch, as well as on third party websites and apps.
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DSPs have transformed the advertising industry by providing advertisers with the technology and tools they need to reach their target audiences more effectively and efficiently.

By automating the media buying process and leveraging data and targeting capabilities, advertisers can maximize the ROI of their advertising campaigns and achieve their marketing goals.

Without DSPs, advertisers would struggle to compete in today’s digital advertising landscape, and the industry would be far less efficient and effective.

If you are interested in ad-tech, be sure to check out OTTVerse’s adtech tutorials –

krishna rao vijayanagar
Krishna Rao Vijayanagar

Krishna Rao Vijayanagar, Ph.D., is the Editor-in-Chief of OTTVerse, a news portal covering tech and business news in the OTT industry.

With extensive experience in video encoding, streaming, analytics, monetization, end-to-end streaming, and more, Krishna has held multiple leadership roles in R&D, Engineering, and Product at companies such as Harmonic Inc., MediaMelon, and Airtel Digital. Krishna has published numerous articles and research papers and speaks at industry events to share his insights and perspectives on the fundamentals and the future of OTT streaming.

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