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Supply Side Platform Advertising: How Does It Work

Supply Side Platform Advertising: How Does It WorkYuliia Khalimon
Tech Insights
Supply Side Platform Advertising: How Does It Work

The supply-side platform market is growing in a way never seen before. Why? Businesses are increasing their digital ad spending, while programmatic advertising is on the rise. The demand for better, more targeted, and personalized advertising is what motivates companies to learn about SSPs and become a part of the AdTech ecosystem. This shift in consumer behavior helps SSPs by supporting publishers and increasing their revenue potential. Therefore, this article will discuss the SSP programmatic advertising ecosystem, mention its key players, and explain how businesses can find the partner they have been looking for. 


What is a Supply Side Platform?

A Supply Side Platform (SSP) is essentially one of the key players in the digital advertising ecosystem. Its primary function is to help publishers (website owners, app developers, and other content creators) manage and optimize the sale of their advertising inventory. The term "supply side" refers to the sell side of the advertising marketplace.


Main Features and Components of SSPs

Key features and functions of a supply-side ad platform include:

  • Inventory Management: SSP providers help publishers manage and organize their available inventory or ad space, including display ads, video ads, mobile ads, and all sorts of other ad formats.
  • Real-time Bidding (RTB): SSP platforms usually support real-time bidding, a procedure where advertisers bid for ad impressions in real-time auctions. This strategy makes efficient and dynamic pricing possible based on the demand for specific ad placements.
  • Monetization: Supply-side ad platforms help publishers maximize their revenue by connecting them to a variety of demand sources, including ad networks, ad exchanges, and demand-side platforms (DSPs). This competition for ad space can lead to higher CPMs for publishers.
  • Data Management: SSPs often include tools for data management and audience targeting. Publishers can use data to understand their audience better, improve ad targeting, and increase the value of their inventory.
  • Reporting and Analytics: SSPs provide reporting and analytics tools to help publishers track the performance of their ad inventory. This includes metrics such as impressions, clicks, CPMs, and revenue.
  • Ad Quality Control: SSPs may incorporate features to ensure the quality of ads displayed on a publisher's site, such as filtering out inappropriate content or enforcing specific creative standards.

Read more: Join the Revolution: Axis's Webinar on Cutting-Edge Advertising Innovations


Benefits of a Supply-Side Platform Advertising

  • Maximized Revenue: SSPs allow publishers to connect with a wide range of demand sources, including ad networks, ad exchanges, and demand-side platforms (DSPs). This increased competition for ad space often leads to higher CPMs (cost per mile), maximizing revenue for publishers.
  • Efficient Monetization: SSPs automate the process of selling ad impressions, making it more efficient and less labor-intensive for publishers. Real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities enable publishers to sell ad inventory at the highest possible prices in dynamic auctions.
  • Access to Diverse Demand: SSPs provide access to a diverse pool of advertisers, including those using programmatic advertising. This diversity can result in a more varied and targeted set of ads for the publisher's audience.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: SSPs often include robust data management and analytics tools. Publishers can use these tools to gather insights into their audience, track ad performance, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their ad inventory.
  • Inventory Control: Publishers have greater control over their advertising inventory through SSPs. They can set rules and preferences, such as floor prices for ad impressions, ad formats, and frequency capping, to ensure a positive user experience on their websites or apps.
  • Automation and Streamlining: SSPs automate many aspects of the ad-selling process, reducing the manual workload for publishers. This automation helps streamline operations and allows publishers to focus on creating quality content.
  • Global Reach: SSPs facilitate connections with advertisers and demand sources on a global scale. This broad reach can attract advertisers from different regions and industries, expanding the potential for revenue streams.
  • Ad Quality Assurance: SSPs often include features to monitor and control the quality of ads displayed on a publisher's site. This can help maintain a positive user experience by filtering out inappropriate or low-quality ads.
  • Adaptability to Market Changes: The digital advertising landscape is dynamic, with market conditions changing rapidly. SSPs provide publishers with the flexibility to adapt to these changes by adjusting pricing strategies, targeting parameters, and other variables in real-time.


Supply Side Platform vs. Demand Side Platform

SSPs and DSPs are integral components of the programmatic advertising ecosystem. While an SSP empowers publishers to efficiently manage and monetize their ad inventory, a DSP facilitates advertisers in reaching their target audience by programmatically buying ad impressions. SSP providers focus on maximizing revenue for publishers through real-time bidding and diverse demand sources. In contrast, the DSP concentrates on optimizing ad campaigns by leveraging data and targeting capabilities. Together, they form a symbiotic relationship, enabling a seamless and automated marketplace for buying and selling ad space. 


How Does Supply-Side Platform Advertising Work?

Publishers integrate SSPs into their digital platforms, offering ad inventory for sale. In real-time auctions facilitated by SSPs and ad exchanges, advertisers, often through Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), bid for impressions based on user data and targeting parameters. For example, if a user visits a sports website, an SSP may trigger an auction for sports-related ads. The highest bidder secures the ad placement, optimizing revenue for the publisher. Advanced SSPs employ machine learning algorithms to dynamically price impressions, enhancing efficiency. Data-driven insights enable publishers to refine inventory strategies, providing a seamless and targeted advertising experience while maximizing revenue in the evolving landscape of programmatic advertising.


The SSP Programmatic Advertising Ecosystem

The SSP programmatic advertising ecosystem is a streamlined marketplace involving publishers, ad exchanges, advertisers (via DSPs), and technology platforms. Publishers integrate SSPs to manage and optimize ad inventory, while ad exchanges facilitate real-time auctions, ensuring fair pricing. Advertisers use DSPs and data to target audiences, with Real-time Bidding (RTB) playing a fundamental role. Advanced SSPs employ machine learning for optimized pricing and ad quality control. Detailed reporting empowers publishers to refine strategies, creating a seamless, data-driven process for buying and selling digital ad inventory.


How to Choose the Right Supply Side Platform Advertising?

If you want to find an SSP platform that perfectly suits your expectations and will inevitably contribute to your business growth, here are a few things you need to check before officially partnering:

  • Inventory Monetization Features: To manage and monetize your ad inventory effectively, look for an SSP that has a lot of functionality. To optimize income, this provides support for header bidding, real-time bidding (RTB), and a variety of demand sources.
  • Ad Quality Control: Ensure the SSP has effective tools for monitoring and controlling ad quality. This includes ad verification mechanisms to filter out inappropriate or low-quality ads, maintaining a positive user experience.
  • Data Management and Targeting Capabilities: Choose an SSP with strong data management tools. This enables you to leverage audience data for better targeting, enhancing the relevance of ads, and increasing their value.
  • Global Reach and Demand Partnerships: Think about the alliances and reach of the SSP. In addition to giving you access to a wide range of advertisers, a platform with a large network of demand partners, such as DSPs and ad exchanges, can also increase competition for your inventory.
  • User Interface and Ease of Use: Evaluate the user interface and overall user experience. An intuitive and user-friendly interface can streamline your workflow and make it easier to manage your ad operations effectively.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Look for an SSP that provides comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. Access to detailed performance metrics, such as impressions, clicks, and revenue, is crucial for optimizing your ad strategy and making informed decisions.
  • Ad Format Support: Ensure that the SSP supports the ad formats relevant to your platform, whether it's display ads, video ads, mobile ads, or other emerging formats. This flexibility allows you to cater to diverse advertising needs.
  • Technical Support and Integration: Consider the level of technical support offered by the SSP. A platform with responsive customer support and easy integration processes can save time and resources during implementation.
  • Compliance and Transparency: Choose an SSP that adheres to industry standards and regulations. Transparency in the auction process, fee structures, and reporting is essential for building trust and ensuring a fair and transparent partnership.
  • Scalability and Future-Proofing: Select an SSP that can scale with your business as it grows. Ensure the platform is adaptable to changes in the digital advertising landscape, including emerging technologies and industry trends.


The Best SSP Platforms on the Market in 2024


Amazon Publisher Services (APS)

APS offers a comprehensive suite of solutions for publishers, including header bidding and server-to-server connections. Leveraging Amazon's vast ecosystem, APS provides access to a wide range of demand partners and advanced analytics.


Index Exchange

Index Exchange is known for its transparency and strong commitment to fair and efficient programmatic advertising. Their technology focuses on providing a reliable and user-friendly platform for publishers to maximize revenue through real-time auctions.



TripleLift is recognized for its native advertising solutions, providing a platform for programmatic native ads. The platform emphasizes creativity and engagement, offering visually appealing ad formats that seamlessly integrate with content.



Magnite, formed through the merger of Rubicon Project and Telaria, is a prominent SSP offering solutions for both publishers and advertisers. Magnite emphasizes unified auctions, helping publishers manage multiple demand sources seamlessly.



Pubmatic is a global SSP that emphasizes programmatic advertising solutions. Their platform offers features like header bidding, real-time analytics, and audience insights to help publishers optimize their ad inventory and improve monetization.


Xandr Monetize 

Formerly known as AppNexus, Xandr Monetize is part of AT&T's advertising and analytics business. Xandr Monetize provides publishers with a comprehensive platform for programmatic advertising, including real-time bidding and audience insights.



It is known for its focus on programmatic advertising and digital media solutions. The SSP platform offers features like header bidding, ad quality control, and real-time analytics to help publishers enhance their revenue streams.



ShareThrough specializes in native advertising and programmatic solutions. Their platform focuses on delivering non-intrusive, visually engaging native ads that seamlessly blend with a publisher's content, aiming to improve user experience.



As they say, demand creates supply. The SSP and DSP collaboration ensures a dynamic and competitive landscape, ultimately benefiting both publishers and advertisers in achieving their respective goals within the digital advertising realm. If you want to learn more about how the programmatic advertising world works, contact Axis and talk with experts who know how to improve your advertising game. 



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