Real-time bidding comes under programmatic advertising and is an emerging business model for online advertising in the age of big data. According to Statista (2020), 51% of RTB advertising spend was invested over the private marketplace.
In comparison, 41% was invested through an open exchange in the US alone. So, what is real-time bidding? How does it work? And what makes it a promising business model? Let’s find out!
What is Real-Time Bidding in Advertising?
RTB or Real-Time Bidding involves the practice of buying and selling ad impressions in real-time through an instant auction. First, RTB quickly identifies the characteristics and interests of the target audience in each ad impression using the large number of cookies generated by the internet users.
Then, it uses the same to deliver the best-matched ads and optimize their prices in real-time via an auction-based programmatic buying scheme. Ad exchange and Supply Side platforms (SSP) are used as supporting platforms in this process.
How Real-Time Bidding Works?
A bid request is sent to an Ad exchange when a user visits a website. This bid request contains user information like location, demographical data, browser history, etc. The Ad exchange then sends this bid request to different advertisers and buyers. These advertisers/buyers make bids in real-time, and the one who makes the highest bid wins the impression. Finally, the winner’s ad is served in front of the user visiting the website.
The whole process takes place in real-time and only a few milliseconds to complete. Moreover, the Real-Time Bidding process gets repeated every time for different ad units of the website.
RTB allows advertisers to fine-tune targeting and focus on the most relevant inventory. They can also adjust campaign budgets in real-time resulting in better ROI yields, higher eCPMs, and better campaign performance.
What are Real-Time Bids and Asks?
The real-time bid and ask refers to two different prices at which an ad inventory can be bought and sold in real-time. The real-time bid price is the maximum price a buyer wants to pay for an inventory. In contrast, real-time ask is the minimum price proposed by the seller for the same. The trade occurs when the buyer pays the best offer price, or the seller sells it at the highest bid.
What are the Top 5 RTB Platforms?
The best RTB platform depends on the needs and monetization solutions a publisher wants for his website. Here are the top 5 real-time bidding platforms providing different monetization solutions and benefits –
- Outbrain – This platform attracts user clicks by publishing content recommendations just below the main article, using catchy lines and images. Smart feeds, native advertising, and video optimization engine are some of the features of this platform.
- Imonomy – It has specialization in in-image advertising. It works best for publishers having more image-based content on the website. In-line, in-video, in-screen, and header bidding are some additional services offered by this platform.
- OpenX – It is best for publishers who feature high-quality content on their websites. This platform provides several ad formats to monetize, including image ads, linear video ads, flash ads, third-party HTML ads, and more.
- LiveIntent – It is primarily an email advertising platform that can help publishers place ads within the email content. This platform can help bridge the gap between the brand and users by allowing publishers to slip in advertisements with their weekly newsletters.
- Smaato – It is a publisher-centric platform that provides a publisher with an opportunity to monetize via in-app advertising. Additionally, it can offer services like a private marketplace, ad server for publishers, RTB ad exchange, and more.