The Adjust Mobile Measurement Glossary

Glossary Programmatic Media Buying

Programmatic Media Buying | Definition

What is programmatic media buying?

Programmatic advertising is the use of automated technology for media buying (the process of buying advertising space), as opposed to traditional (often manual) methods of digital advertising. Programmatic media buying utilizes data insights and algorithms to serve ads to the right user at the right time, and at the right price.

To understand programmatic media buying, you must know the terminology related to this process. Firstly, programmatic media buying can be categorized into three different types:

  • Real-time bidding (RTB): Also known as open auction, RTB is when inventory prices are decided through an auction in real time. As the name suggests, this is open to any advertiser or publisher. RTB is considered to be a cost effective way to buy media with a large audience.
  • Private Marketplace (PMP): These are similar to open auctions, but PMPs have restrictions on who can participate. Only selected advertisers have access to PMPs on an invite-only basis. However, in some cases publishers may have a selection process which allows advertisers to apply for an invitation.
  • Programmatic Direct: This is when a publisher bypasses auctions, selling media inventory at a fixed cost per mille (CPM) to an advertiser (or multiple advertisers).

The programmatic ecosystem also involves three main components:

  • Sell-Side Platform (SSP): This is software that allows publishers to sell display, mobile and video ad impressions to potential buyers automatically in real time. This includes ad exchanges, networks and DSPs (see below). This gives publishers greater control of their inventory and CPMs.
  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP): This is software that enables agencies and advertisers to buy ad inventory cross-platform.
  • Ad Exchanger: This is how the supply-side feeds inventory into the ad exchange. The DSP connects to the ad exchange, enabling advertisers, agencies, networks and publishers to buy and sell ad space. Inventory prices can then be agreed upon through the bidding process.

Ad inventory is usually bought via a real-time auction. Using programmatic channels, advertisers can buy per impression, thereby targeting the right audience. Since the process is automated, programmatic media buying guarantees speed and efficiency that is not matched in the traditional media buying.

Why is programmatic media buying important?

The traditional media buying process involves a lot of manual work, typically with several requests for proposals (RFPs), human negotiations and manual insertions of the orders (IOs), which makes it slow and inefficient. Additionally, ads are purchased in bulk and advertisers have little control over the inventory and placement.

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Programmatic media buying and AppLift

AppLift is a leading demand-focused mobile ad tech company and our mission is to fuel mobile advertiser’s growth by connecting their products to the right audience through technology, data and services. AppLift’s programmatic platform, DataLift 360, enables advertisers to launch their apps as well as grow and retain quality users from one interface. With DataLift 360, app marketers can programmatically access all major mobile ad inventory worldwide and control their campaigns through a single proprietary technology platform, which provides advanced data integration as well as extended targeting and audience management capabilities.