What is RTB?

Real Time Bidding is the essential component within an online auction process, in order to determine which advertiser will be allowed to display their ad within available space on a website.

There are several key elements in the RTB system; Buyers, Exchanges and Publishers to name just a few.


Viewspotter is an example of a Buyer, or Advertiser which wants to serve an ad to a select audience within a given website. A Buyer typically connects to the RTB system using what’s called a DSP, or Demand Side Platform. This enables easy management of the campaign parameters, audience targeting, handling of creative assets and more.


The exchange is the middle ground between all parties, handling the millions of actual real time bidding auctions. Both Buyers and Publishers plug into the Exchange, of which there are many different options. Perhaps the biggest being DoubleClick, owned by Google, AppNexus and OpenX.

Sellers or Publishers

The vast majority of the websites you browse on a daily basis will be connected to an advertising network and/or directly to an exchange. These are the Publishers which have advertising space throughout their web pages, ready to be filled with your ads.

What Does the Process Look Like?

As a user enters a website a bid request is sent to its nominated Ad Exchange, signaling the opportunity for an impression. Different advertisers will assess this request, along with the information it contains about the user, what age they, where they’re located, etc. If it matches with the campaign details they will offer their bid. The impression and ad space then goes to the highest bidder, with each subsequent available space also triggering a real time bidding auction.

Why Should Brands Use Real-Time Bidding Technology?

  • There’s no need to liaise or meet with a whole host of different publishers and individual websites. You can set your targeting parameters, and bid and away you go.
  • You can access the largest advertising networks around the world, with billions of potential impressions.
  • With partners such as Viewspotter, you can also ensure your audience targeting is highly relevant and driven by rich data.

Interested in getting started with Real Time Bidding? Send us any questions you might have below!

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