Haver you ever think the ad on the website isn't just simply showing a image? Behind this image, there is profit you can't imagine.

You should see a lot of graph like this if you search on the Internet about ad tech industry chain.
You probably won't understand it, me too. I took a long time to understand them...

And this article will briefly introduce this product chain.

End points

First, there is two guys. One want to put his ad(advertiser/buyer), and one want to sell his place to put ad(publisher/seller).
Advertiser could be company like Nike and Adidas.
Publisher could be CNN, mobile game, amazon alexa who want to sell their ad slot.

So how do they meet each other in this Internet sea? Here comes some agents to help them.

Agent and Marketplace

Now advertiser start get in touch with DSP(Demand Side Platform) to find a suitable ad slots. Publisher start get in touch with SSP(Supply Side Platform), to find a good buyer. Then of course DSP and SSP can start negotiate the price. But you usually get a better price in an auction. So Ad Exchange shows up.

As time pass, there is more and more inventory in ad exchange. And you have no idea how good are they(yes, you do not know what you buy exactly). So PMP rise for premium buyer who have more buying power. In PMP, you will have more information about inventory you are going to bid.


Then now you may wonder, how can you trust inventory information. When you go to market and buy a product, you can trust the information on the tag, why? Because there is usually an authority to analysis and endorse it. Same in the ad tech, those authority are DMP(Data Management Platform). There are a lot of them so sometime buyer may explicitly point a DMP to trust. Without this specific DMP endorsement, inventory information mean nothing to them.

Talking to here, you should have a basic industry chain. Let me give you an example to chain them up.


First, YOU, yes, you in front of the monitor. When you are watching this web page, you are part of the chain. This website is a Publisher. And everything I said above has already been done before you notice it. Unless you have ad blocker...

When you click into this webpage, publisher and SSP will retrieve your information(from cookie, member login, etc) and send them to DMP to analyze. Then those information with DMP analytics will be send to Ad Exchange/PMP for auction. If you were looking at shoes website, Shoes company like Nike might be interested on you, and bid higher price for your ad slot you will be looking at. Everything will happened within about 300ms.

It just a brief introduction, in fact, current trend is the difference between those company are less. If you can work on SSP, why can't you work on PMP? No one want to do a big platform(Google)?

Ad Network: Expect put your inventory into SSP, you can also put it here. It will pack a lot of inventory and sell them, but there will be less configuration for you.

Ad Server: A place store your ad. For publisher, its a place to get ad faster. For advertiser, it's a place good for monitor their ad.

Hands on

Also, I had a project in my company call Ad Footprint. It is for publisher to understand the impact of their ad setup to webpage.

Here is link
It's a chrome extension, after install, turn on your chrome inspector by right click on page and select inspect.

Tutorial: ad_footprint