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Supply-Side Platforms: Reviewing The Basics

Updated: Mar 20

Supply-side platforms (SSPs) are a critical component of the digital advertising ecosystem, facilitating the selling of digital ad inventory on behalf of publishers to advertisers and demand-side platforms (DSPs).
Supply Side Platform; Reviewing the Basics

Supply-side platforms (SSPs) are a critical component of the digital advertising ecosystem, facilitating the selling of digital ad inventory on behalf of publishers to advertisers and demand-side platforms (DSPs).


In this high-level SSP primer we will explore their functionalities, benefits, and best practices, and provide insights into how publishers and advertisers can leverage them to maximize revenue and optimize advertising campaigns.


Understanding Supply-Side Platforms


At its core, a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) is a technology platform used by publishers to manage and optimize the sale of their digital ad inventory. SSPs enable publishers to connect with multiple demand sources, including ad networks, DSPs, and ad exchanges, to maximize the value of their inventory and generate revenue.


Key Components of an SSP


Ad Inventory Management

SSPs provide publishers with tools to manage their ad inventory efficiently, including ad placement, targeting options, and pricing controls. Publishers can set parameters for their inventory, such as ad formats, sizes, and targeting criteria, to ensure optimal monetization.


Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding (RTB) is a programmatic advertising process where ad impressions are auctioned off in real-time to advertisers. Advertisers bid on individual impressions based on targeting criteria and the value they assign to each impression. The highest bidder wins the auction, and their ad is served to the user in milliseconds, allowing for highly targeted and efficient ad delivery.


Header Bidding Integration

Header bidding is an advanced programmatic advertising technique used by publishers to sell ad inventory to multiple demand sources simultaneously before making ad calls to their ad servers. It allows publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSPs) simultaneously, maximizing competition and revenue potential for each impression. By integrating header bidding into their ad serving setup, publishers can achieve higher ad fill rates, increased ad revenue, and improved overall yield management.


Reporting and Analytics

 SSPs offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing publishers to monitor the performance of their ad inventory in real-time. Publishers can track key metrics such as fill rate, eCPM, revenue, and audience engagement, gaining insights into their inventory's performance and optimizing their monetization strategies accordingly.


Benefits of Supply-Side Platforms


Maximizing Revenue Potential

SSPs empower publishers to maximize their revenue potential by connecting them with a wide range of demand sources and optimizing the sale of their ad inventory. By leveraging RTB and header bidding technologies, publishers can ensure that each impression is sold at the highest possible price, increasing overall revenue.


Increasing Efficiency and Automation

SSPs streamline the process of selling ad inventory, providing publishers with automated tools and workflows to manage their inventory more efficiently. Automated processes such as ad serving, auctioning, and reporting minimize manual intervention, allowing publishers to focus on creating quality content while maximizing revenue.


Access to Diverse Demand Sources

SSPs offer publishers access to a diverse range of demand sources, including ad networks, DSPs, and ad exchanges. This diverse demand ecosystem increases competition for publishers' inventory, driving up prices and maximizing revenue potential.


Granular Control and Flexibility

SSPs provide publishers with granular control and flexibility over their ad inventory, allowing them to set pricing rules, targeting criteria, and ad formats according to their specific needs and objectives. Publishers can optimize their inventory for maximum revenue while maintaining control over the user experience and ad quality.


Best Practices for Leveraging SSPs


Choose the Right SSP Partner

When selecting an SSP partner, it's essential to consider factors such as technology capabilities, reach, reliability, and transparency. Choose an SSP that aligns with your business objectives and offers the features and support you need to maximize revenue and efficiency.


Optimize Your Inventory Setup

Take the time to optimize your ad inventory setup within the SSP platform, including ad placement, targeting options, and pricing controls. Experiment with different strategies to find the optimal balance between revenue and user experience, and regularly monitor performance metrics to identify areas for improvement.


Implement Header Bidding

Consider implementing header bidding technology to maximize revenue from your ad inventory. Header bidding enables publishers to offer their inventory to multiple demand sources simultaneously, increasing competition and driving up prices. Work with your SSP partner to implement and optimize header bidding for your inventory.


Monitor Performance and Iterate

Regularly monitor the performance of your ad inventory within the SSP platform, including key metrics such as fill rate, eCPM, and revenue. Use this data to identify trends, optimize your inventory setup, and iterate on your monetization strategies to maximize revenue and efficiency over time.




Supply-side platforms (SSPs) play a vital role in the digital advertising ecosystem, enabling publishers to maximize revenue from their ad inventory effectively. By connecting publishers with a diverse range of demand sources, optimizing the sale of ad inventory, and providing granular control and flexibility, SSPs empower publishers to monetize their content and drive revenue growth. By understanding the functionalities, benefits, and best practices associated with SSPs, publishers can leverage these platforms to maximize revenue, optimize advertising campaigns, and achieve their business objectives in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.


JTG Ventures offers brand advertiser, content publishers, emerging adtech platforms comprehensive support and expertise in navigating the complexities of the digital media landscape, both through its network of industry veterans and its in-house capabilities.


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