What Is a Supply-Side Platform?
Selling ad space on some of your web properties can require a big time investment. And it’s not only that you might be forced to wait a while for the right offer, but you will also have to spend time keeping your finger on the pulse and reaching out to individual advertisers on your own.
If you don’t want to do that then you basically have two solutions:
- hire a human contractor who’s going to negotiate the rates and find advertisers on your behalf, or
- sign up with a supply-side platform, also known as an SSP.
Should Affiliates Be Concerned?
The most likely situation in which you might look into ad space selling as a business model is if the angle you’ve taken in a niche gives you very limited options when it comes to offering standard affiliate products.
What’s an SSP?
From a technical point of view, an SSP is a piece of software / a tool that handles the process of selling ads on your site in an automated fashion.
This means that you no longer need a human representative to negotiate the deals. It’s all handled by algorithms and procedures.
SSP can also be explained in an alternative way; it’s simply the publisher’s equivalent of a DSP (Demand-Side Platform).
How Does an SSP Work?
Once you’re a part of an SSP, you can connect your ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges, DSPs, and ad networks.
Your inventory will simply be listed by the SSP and will become available to whoever might be interested in it. As a result, this allows you to reach a huge audience of potential buyers who wouldn’t have known of your existence otherwise.
Additionally, your ad space is often available via real-time auctions, which maximizes the amount of money you can make on a single transaction.
This is a huge advantage over trying to sell your ad space individually, scattered across various platforms. In such a case, you will never get a bird’s-eye-view on your inventory and the potential money you can make with it.
An SSP can also help you manage relationships with existing advertisers and offer them new deals on a regular basis. You can set what’s called “price floors,” which regulate the minimum prices for which your inventory can be sold to specific buyers.
This, for example, gives you the possibility to entice new advertisers by offering them prices that are slightly lower than what an existing advertiser sees.
There are surely many reasons to look into SSPs if part of your business is built on the advertising model, or if you’re facing some problems monetizing your site via standard affiliate offers.
Currently, some of the companies that offer SSP software are: Google, OpenX, AppNexus, AOL.