RTB explained | Real Time Bidding became pretty much the most exciting development in online advertising, simply because Google invested staggering $1 billion in RTB since 2009. Google is pulling all possible strings to stay ahead of the pack, including the acquisitions of AdMeld, Invite Media and others. But Google follows self-imposed restrictions and therefore will never be able to cover the entire online ad industry. Atomx started its beta version of an openRTB based ad exchange in November 2014. One year later the exchange opened up to everybody. The Atomx version of OpenRTB boosts transparency and efficiency in display advertising and facilitates the healthy growth not just for so called brandsafe ads but also for gambling, dating, download offers …

How does Atomx OpenRTB work?

Atomx’ OpenRTB-enabled display advertising ecosystem aggregates ad impressions from multiple publishers and sends a bid request to connected DSPs and connected direct advertisers. A bid request contains crucial information, e.g. banner size and URL of the source of this ad request. It also brings the user’s IP address and cookie ID to the table. A DSP will now check its advertiser side via bidding algorithms to make two decisions:

a) whether to bid this ad impression or not. If there is a match, DSP will place a bid.
b) after DSP made up its mind, it will decide, what’s the maximum bidding price (max. dCPM) for this impression it is interested in: DSP sends back a bid response to Atomx.

The Atomx ad exchange manages the auction after all bid responses from participating DSPs are in. If a DSP wins an auction, the advertiser’s ad will show up on the user’s device.

Things you should know about RTB

  • Bidding on ad slots happens in realtime, but the targeting isn’t always as fresh as one might wish. While they might be targeting the right users, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s at the right time.
  • The number of demand-side platforms continues to grow. Owing to the rapid growth of RTB adoption among advertisers, everyone’s trying to get in on the action. Just in the United States alone there are currently more than 30 standalone DSPs.
  • Not all publishers are fans of real-time bidding. The more bidders fight for an ad spot, the longer it takes to win the war. Brand safe publishers also feel uncomfortable when giving so many different “unknown” bidders a chance to show their advertisements. The potential reward of getting the most money for an impression might be outweighed by the risk of showing a slippery dating ad.
  • Retargeting is a driving force for RTB. Real Time Bidding helps identifying and targeting new customers, but a growing portion of impressions gets traded to re-approach existing ones, and those users that just visited advertisers’ sites without making a purchase yet.