What is a Demand-Side Platform (DSP)? 

Digital marketing is the most efficient way for engaging with users in today’s world. Demand-side platforms (DSPs) have become an integral part of this marketing strategy.

A DSP is a software tool that enables advertisers to buy and manage digital ad space. 

DSPs are systems that allow marketers to buy digital ad space from various networks. These networks can be anything from mobile, video, and social media.

It is possible through real-time bidding (RTB). RTB is a kind of auction where marketers place real-time bids on ad impressions.

A DSP is an automated system that enables advertisers to buy advertising inventory. It’s a tool that enables them to reach desired users through programmatic advertising.

It means we can use it to buy and sell ad impressions using real-time using algorithms and analysis.

In the past, advertisers would bargain with publishers to buy ad space on their websites. This can be time-consuming resulting to reach a limited number of users.

As digital advertising has grown and evolved, the use of DSPs has become more popular in this sector.

Demand-Side Platform

Functioning of demand-side platforms(DSP)

DSPs enable bidding and networks through automated platforms in real time. In, general advertisers target customers considering various factors. This includes location, interests, budget, and much more help to identify targeted users.  

Once the DSP has identified the most suitable ad inventory, it will bid on the ad space in real time. These bids can be competing against other advertisers for the same inventory. DSPs streamline ad buying by making it faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

If the DSP’s bid is the highest, it wins the auction then that ad can display to the target audience. This entire process completes in milliseconds, enabling advertisers to reach their desired audience. Integrating with many ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs) to access ad inventory. The DSP uses data and algorithms to analyze each ad inventory and determine the optimal bid.

Why do you use a DSP?

Using a DSP offers several advantages over traditional ad-buying methods. Let’s explore it in detail:

DSPs automate the ad-buying process, reducing the time required to buy ad inventory. Advertisers can set up campaigns to understand and for optimizing ad performance.

DSPs offer transparency into ad performance and costs. Advertisers can view the performance of their ads through data analytics. So, advertisers can make adjustments according to it. It enables advertisers to reach a larger scale of audience across various platforms.

One of the benefits of using a DSP is the ability to track and analyze campaign performance. DSPs use real-time bidding to buy ad inventory, which can be saving money for advertisers. Advertisers can only pay for the ad impressions that reach higher users. They can avoid paying for ad space that doesn’t reach their desired users.

DSP provides access to a vast network of publishers and ad exchanges. This involves giving the ability to target their campaigns across various channels. This enables marketers to reach a broader audience. They offer retargeting, to target users who have interacted earlier with your website. That results in getting the return on investment (ROI) for their advertising spend.

What distinguishes DSP from SSP?

DSP stands for Demand Side Platform and SSP stands for Supply Side Platform. Both are advertising technologies in mobile apps, but they serve different purposes.

A Demand Side Platform (DSP) is a technology used by advertisers to buy mobile ads from a range of ad networks. It allows advertisers to buy ad space in mobile apps by targeting users. It manages and optimizes its ad campaigns using sophisticated algorithms. 

A Supply Side Platform (SSP) is a technology used by publishers to sell their ad inventory to a range of ad networks. SSPs are responsible for connecting publishers’ ad inventory with various DSPs. That helps to maximize the revenue earned from ad impressions. It allows publishers to set up floor prices, manage ad quality, and track ad performance.

In simpler terms, advertisers use DSPs to buy ad space from publishers who sell it through SSPs. DSPs help advertisers to find the right audience at the right time. Meanwhile, SSPs help publishers to monetize their ad inventory.

What distinguishes DSP from Ad Networks?

Ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs) both play a role in digital advertising. But, there are some key differences between the DSP and Ad networks. 

An ad network connects advertisers with publishers to sell ad inventory. Advertisers can buy ad space on the network’s publisher sites. This network manages the ad delivery and reporting.  It simplifies the process to buy an ad inventory without dealing with each publisher. It acts as a mediator between advertisers and publishers. Ad networks charge a markup on the inventory they sell. 

A DSP is a platform that allows advertisers to buy and manage ad space through various channels. Advertisers can use DSPs to access a wide range of ad inventory by targeting specific users. They can optimize their ad campaigns in real time.

In short, ad networks provide access to a specific set of publisher ad inventory.  But DSPs provide access to a broader range of ad inventory sources and offer specific users.

What do you mean by Programmatic Advertising? 

Programmatic advertising uses software to automate the buying and selling of digital ads. It is possible through sophisticated algorithms to target specific users. That makes displaying relevant ads for the desired people.

Rather than manually negotiating with publishers and advertisers, programmatic advertising uses real-time bidding. It helps in automating the process. Advertisers can set their budget, and target audience, the software handles the rest. It also provides more transparency and data-driven insights for both parties.

How do you pick the right demand-side platform?

To choose the right demand-side platform, you should consider various factors. Those include the platform’s target, reach, transparency, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness.

It’s also important to research and compares different platforms and read reviews. This helps to consider specific goals before making an optimal decision.


Ques 1. What is a mobile DSP?

Ans. Mobile DSP (Demand-Side Platform) is a software that allows buying mobile ad inventory.  This involves various ad exchanges and supply-side platforms in real-time.

Ques 2. Is Google a DSP?

Ans. Yes, Google has a DSP called “Display & Video 360.

Ques 3. What are Amazon DSP features?

Ans. These features include audience targeting, real-time bidding, cross-device advertising, and in-depth campaign reporting. 

Ques 4. What is the best demand side platform?

Ans. There are many best platforms, result can vary based on the specific needs and goals of an advertiser.

Ques 5. Is Facebook a DSP?

Ans. Facebook meta’s Ad Manager is a DSP(demand side platform).

Mani Pandey
Mani Pandey

Mani Pandey is an app marketing expert with over 5 years of experience in the industry. She has extensive knowledge about App Store Optimization (ASO) and loves to share all her expertise by writing informational content.She is passionate about helping businesses reach their true potential and maximise their ROI. She also loves to travel around the world to explore different cultures and meet new people.