Supply-side platforms (SSPs) are perhaps the most undervalued and inherently powerful links in today’s digital supply chain, and yet their current offerings do not fully reflect this strength. It’s high time that SSPs evolve their business models to become more than mere plumbing in the elaborate media-buying ecosystem. Doing so promises to deliver enhanced value not only to the SSPs themselves but also to the publishers and advertisers that they serve.
We’re already starting to see some of the largest platforms in the marketplace acknowledge that this transition is overdue. Thanks to their direct relationships with publishers, SSPs are uniquely suited to expand their responsibilities to include the following:
- Filtering inventory based off of viewable impressions and other parameters
- Minimizing ad fraud
- Filtering audiences on a single publisher or across multiple publishers based on first and third-party data
- Minimizing queries per second that are sent to DSPs by only passing through traffic that fits the exact targeting parameters for the campaigns that the DSP is running
Of course, expanded responsibilities would enable SSPs to increase the revenue that they derive within the supply chain. But it would also greatly improve the media-buying landscape for publishers and advertisers. Let’s take a look at the key benefits for each group:
The Benefits of Empowered SSPs for Publishers
SSPs have the opportunity to help publishers more effectively monetize their inventory by not only enabling publishers to leverage their first-party audience data as a filter, but also by overlaying third-party data on top of a publisher’s inventory. For a great example of this, consider Telaria’s recent integration with Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) solution, which delivers enhanced inventory intelligence to publishers. Such third-party data integrations enable publishers to offer audience-driven buys that still maintain contextual brand safety.
Furthermore, when SSPs transform their basic pipes into intelligent networks with deeper functionality, they enable publishers to establish stronger one-to-one relationships with advertisers. The benefits of this are twofold: for one, publishers are able to better protect their data by limiting the number of partners through which it must pass. Likewise, publishers are able to work with advertisers to devise more direct, performance-oriented campaigns, as opposed to just higher-level branding initiatives.
The Benefits of Empowered SSPs for Advertisers
When SSPs assume more responsibility within the supply chain, DSPs benefit too. Right now, a DSP only listens to a fraction of the total Queries Per Second (QPS) a SSP offers. If the DSP has an advertiser’s campaign targeting DeviceID123, but inventory associated with DeviceID123 is not being delivered within the filtered QPS from the SSP, then there is potentially not enough inventory for the DSP to fill the audience-driven campaign. However, if the SSP were able to filter audiences, the DSP’s QPS could be optimized to include only relevant bid opportunities for the live campaigns. As a result, the DSP can also minimize server costs associated with higher QPS volumes and the need to throttle any analysis of more bid requests.
The digital supply chain has become a cluttered headache for many publishers and advertisers, and SSPs have the opportunity to both simplify and enhance the value of media-buying on both sides of the equation. It’s time for them to step forward and assume the responsibilities inherent in their deep relationships with the publishing community.