Supply Side Platform (© SFIO CRACHO /
Supply Side Platform (© SFIO CRACHO /

A supply side platform is a type of software that allows web publishers to sell and manage their advertising space. With this software, publishers can manage and sell advertising space on their websites using an impression-by-impression basis and maximize their revenue. In this article, we define supply side platform and explain how it works.

A supply side platform (SSP), also known as a sell side platform, is a type of software that allows publishers on the Internet to manage their inventory of advertising space, load it with advertisements, and earn revenue. With a supply side platform, web publishers can sell ad impressions to marketers through automated auctions, allowing them to get the best prices for their ad inventory. This software lets publishers both sell and manage their display, native, and video advertising inventory. Supply side platforms are a new technology that web publishers are using more frequently so that they can get the most out of their advertising space.

How do Supply Side Platforms Work?

Supply side platforms work similarly to demand side platforms that advertisers use to purchase digital advertising space. The difference between the two is that supply side platforms are intended to aide publishers in selling their ad impressions so that they can get the highest cost per thousand impressions (CPMs).

OpenPR-Tip: This software transmits potential ad impressions into an ad exchange. From there, demand side platforms can buy them on the behalf of a marketer. Essentially, the system allows web publishers to place their advertising space in front of as many possible buyers as possible, and buyers then bid on that advertising inventory.  This allows publishers to earn the maximum amount of revenue.

How Supply Side Platforms Make Use of Data

Not only do supply side platforms help publishers reach a larger audience of potential buyers, they also let publishers share pertinent data that pertains to their users’ ad at an ad impression level. When available ad impressions are made available through this software, demand side platforms and advertising networks (the buyers) will assess the content on the pages there the ad impression space appears. Additionally, they take into account the data a publisher has for a specific impression. This data can include a number of things, such as location, demographics, browsing history, and purchasing history. It then matches that data against the targeting criteria for an audience, which is set by purchasers. Should the data from the publisher and the targeting advertiser overlap, demand side platforms and ad exchanges will then place bids on an ad impression via a real-time auction (the moment the impression is made available). The highest bidder receives the impression.

Benefits and Opportunities of Supply Side Platforms

The main benefit of SSPs is that they allow publishers to earn as much revenue as possible for their available advertising space. Publishers can set a minimum price prior to an auction, which guarantees that ad inventory won’t be sold for anything less than what it is worth.

Additionally, supply side platforms make the process of selling advertising inventory faster and more efficient. Publishers don’t have to search for advertisers because the software does it for them. This allows publishers to avoid the disadvantage of empty space or inventory that isn’t sold on their websites.

Supply side platforms are also beneficial for advertisers. Through real time bidding, advertisers can decide how much they are willing to spend in order to get their ad out in front of a targeted audience. The pricing for ad space is also very clear, which is another major benefit. Lastly, advertisers can yield more efficient results than they would be able to if they relied on more traditional methods of display advertising.

In short, supply side provide significant benefits for both web publishers and advertisers.

Reputable Supply Side Platforms

There are several supply side platforms that publishers and advertisers can work with. Some of the most reputable SSPs include:

  • DoubleClick for Publishers
  • BrightRoll
  • Open X
  • PubMatic
  • LiveRail
  • AppNexus Publisher Suite


Supply side platforms are highly useful tools for publishers, as they reduce the amount of empty advertising space, allow for the maximum amount of revenue possible, and automate the process of selling ad space.

OpenPR-Tip: If you are a publisher, it is really in your best interest to forego the traditional methods that are used for selling advertising space and start taking advantage of the benefits that a supply side platform offers. You will likely see a significant return on your investment.


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