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What is a DSP?


In short, DSP stands for Demand Side Platform. This term is commonly used by the advertising industry and describes an essential piece of the programmatic ecosystem.

In this article, we’ll explain what a DSP does exactly, and why it’s so important. 

How does a DSP work? 


Understanding Programmatic Ad Buying 

In order to understand what a DSP really does, you need to first have a baseline knowledge of programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising is a way of bringing buyers and sellers together into one platform where transactions can take place in an automated way. Parameters are set on both ends, across demand and supply, and then the technology is able to activate an ad in the right place at the right time. 

Where a DSP Fits Within Programmatic Media

In a programmatic ecosystem, a DSP is used by those on the buy side of the transaction - typically brands, agencies and traders. The DSP provides marketers with access to a wide array of advertising placement opportunities. When you log into a DSP, you can set up your audience and targeting parameters, budget restrictions, and other specifications. From there, the DSP will help automate the bidding and buying of your ad placements. Many advertisers enjoy this type of transaction because it is quick, effective and data-driven. DSPs may also unlock access to inventory or ad slots with partners who you might not have previously had a relationship with. 

Specifically, how does a DSP work in the out-of-home industry? 

Programmatic buying, and the use of DSPs, began in the online space. However, through technological breakthroughs and recent advances, companies like Vistar Media are now able to bring the same level of automation and precision to the out-of-home world. 

Through an out-of-home DSP, brands and agencies can access an open exchange that includes several different digital signage venue types. For example, if a buyer is trying to reach an audience that values health and wellness, they can select those parameters in the DSP, and then have their ads displayed at gyms, spas, salons, and other contextually relevant locations. The programmatic technology will also enable ads to be shown at the most optimal times, based on how people move throughout their days. Overall, programmatic out-of-home ad placements purchased through a DSP can be an incredibly effective way to reach specific audiences at scale. This can be in place of, or in addition to, traditional forms of out-of-home buying. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Vistar Media’s best-in-class DSP, you can view our informational page here, and contact our team for a free demo.

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