FAQ – definitions and terminology

What is the difference between Real Time Bidding (RTB) and Programmatic Advertising?

RTB is a type of programmatic advertising, but not all programmatic advertising uses RTB. Some “programmatic” or technology-driven ad platforms let publishers sell their inventory in advance for a fixed price, as opposed to auctioning it off. This is sometimes referred to as programmatic direct or programmatic guaranteed.

How does Real Time Bidding (RTB) improve targeting?

Historically, advertisers used websites as a proxy for their ads. If they wanted to reach sports fans, they would buy ads on a sports-related site, the advent of RTB has enabled them to target their ads to specific users.

Why is Real-Time Bidding good for advertisers?

In a word ‘Efficiency’. Thanks to real-time bidding, ad buyers no longer need to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate prices. Using exchanges and other technologies, they can access a huge range of inventory across a wide range of sites and choose only the impressions they deem most valuable, not only cutting down the number of impressions wasted on the wrong users but also minimising staff costs.

Why is Real-Time Bidding good for publishers?

As publishers gain experience  with ‘exchanges’ and ‘supply-side platforms’ they are realising that they get to control the minimum prices at which their inventory is sold, often called price floors. This enables publishers to open their ads up to an auction, but to set a reserve price that must be met in order for a transaction to take place.