(real-time bidding)

A way to buy advertising space in real-time via an auction system at the moment the space becomes available (for example, while a website is being loaded).

How does it work?
The available ad space is auctioned automatically and in real-time via an automated system. This takes the user profile of the receiver of the ad and the publisher’s profile into account. The entire process is so short, less than a second, the receiver doesn’t notice any of it during the loading time of the website.


Imagine you are visiting a website, which triggers the display of an ad. You’ve accepted cookies which means your search behaviour has probably been tracked for a while. Based on this, the publisher is in possession of a user profile. This contains, for example, your gender, your location, the page you’re on and your search history. Your possible interests can be obtained from this information. This information travels from (the SSP of) the publisher to the website of an online auction site (the ad exchange), which presents it to several advertisers (through their DSPs), who can in turn place automated bids based on their own demands and preferences.

It isn’t always the highest bidder who wins the auction. Sometimes it’s the bidder who can, for example, generate more clicks, or the bidder whose brand values better match those of the publisher.