4 differences between direct ad buys and real-time bidding (rtb)

One of the easiest ways of thinking about how these two pricing models differ is to use an analogy like produce. Buying ad inventory directly from publishers is like buying a bag of potatoes. You pay a set price for each bag, and the quality of each potato varies in the bag.

With RTB, you are bidding for each impression (potato) based on its distinct qualities. Even though with both processes you’ll still end up with the same amount of potatoes, the total cost of the second situation is based on how much you paid for each impression/potato – eCPM.

If that analogy didn’t do it for you, here are four ways direct buys differ from RTB.

  1. The move from buying impressions in bulk to auctioning each independently to the highest bidder.
  2. How certain it is that your campaigns will receive the volume you want or need. With RTB, it’s a dynamic environment and the ad inventory isn’t guaranteed due to the stock-exchange-like volatility.
  3. The workflow. RTB is programmatic and driven by technology, less with phone calls and contracts.
  4. How the inventory is priced. Because each impression is priced individually (and a cost-per-impression metric would not be practical), the standard metric for RTB pricing is effective CPM or eCPM.

We recently re-launched the digital media planning tools in SRDS.com to include the industry's first objective database of over 150 Digital Networks & Ad Tech companies in addition to the 20,000 websites that users can already find, consider and understand for direct-to-publisher buying.

That’s right, all of your options for direct buys and third-party digital media buying are in SRDS.com!

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