Mobile App Terminology

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

What is a demand-side platform (DSP)?

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a type of service that enables online advertisers to buy ad inventory from various vendors on mobile, search, and video platforms. (Looking for ad inventory to buy is the “demand” in Demand-side Platform.) Unlike some ad networks that only allow you to purchase ads on a single platform, for example Google Ads, DSPs facilitate the purchase of advertising inventory across various real-time bidding (RTB) networks.

On the other side of this ad inventory exchange are supply-side platforms, which constitute the sellers of ad inventory, for example app publishers with available ad space. Together demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms enable ad networks to facilitate programmatic advertising.

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What are the uses of demand-side platforms?

Demand side-platforms are used by advertisers that are looking to purchase ad inventory from sellers across various real-time bidding networks. As HubSpot highlights:

The main benefit is that you can manage all your digital ads across many networks on one interface.

It’s important to note that DSPs are independent of individual ad networks and instead allow buyers to purchase inventory from sellers across various networks. For example, purchasing ads from Reddit Ads accesses ad inventory on precisely one platform: Reddit. DSPs, on the other hand, are services that allow buyers to purchase, manage, and analyze ads from multiple ad networks and platforms in a single location.

DSPs are used by advertisers in several ways: firstly, they use them to upload ad creative, define their audience targeting, and set their ad budgets for the campaign. After an advertiser has created the campaign, the DSP’s software looks through its network of publishers for ad inventory that matches the advertiser’s criteria. Once a suitable website or mobile app is located, the DSP makes a bid for the placement on behalf of the advertiser, which is sent to the ad network. If the advertiser wins the bid, the ad is automatically placed by the DSP and payment is reconciled.

It’s important to note that this entire exchange between DSPs, ad networks, and supply-side platforms happens in a matter of milliseconds.


Looking to maximize DSP performance?

Learn how Singular analytics and attribution can help

How Singular works with demand-side platforms?

While DSPs facilitate the placement and management of ad buying across various networks, optimizing the performance of these campaigns can be quite challenging.

Singular solves this challenge for advertisers by working with all parties in the adtech ecosystem in order to enhance their marketing analytics, attribution, and reporting. In particular, Singular connects to all the major DSPs and provides the following solutions to advertisers:

  • Marketing analytics: Our marketing analytics platform allows you to take a scientific approach to advertising by identifying optimization opportunities with in-depth performance insights.
  • Cost aggregation: With our cost aggregation suite, this provides advertisers with unified marketing data across various ad networks. The platform collects, transforms, and analyzes ad spend to provide a real-time view of your marketing budget across various channels.
  • Fraud prevention: Whenever purchasing inventory ad networks there is a strong likelihood of fraud in the network that must be combatted. In order to prevent fraud and ensure that your ad spend is going to real users, Singular’s uses proprietary cybersecurity techniques to block fraudulent activity before it occurs.

In summary, Singular works with advertisers, ad networks, and DSPs in order to ensure that marketers can optimize their campaigns, increase ad performance, and achieve the highest ROAS possible on their marketing budget.



Related Terms

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