History of Digital Advertising .pdf
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A Brief History of
Direct to Publisher
In the early days of digital advertising, buying direct from a publisher was the only
way to access online inventory. An insertion order would have to be sent to each
publisher, resulting in reams of paperwork for advertisers. Marketers were only able
to target an audience by matching the publisher’s context with their own audience.
However this led to high amounts of waste.
Ad Networks are Born
As the internet scaled and more and more ad space became
available, publishers found they were left with much of their
inventory unsold. Ad networks sprang up to take advantage
of this. The publisher would make their unsold ad inventory
available to ad networks and the latter would attempt to sell
the ad space to advertisers.
Ad networks soon found they were encountering the same
problem as the publishers – too much unsold inventory. As a
result they set up yield optimisers (or Sell Side Platforms as we
now call them), employing advanced bidding technologies to
Advertisers Get in on the Act
At this stage, the ability to target audiences was still very much on the supply side of
the market. Demand side platforms (or DSPs) were born in order to allow advertisers
and agencies to gain access to non-direct inventory and buy impressions of their
It is this automated system and process of buying and selling inventory
which we now understand to be programmatic trading.
Want to learn more about how programmatic can help your business?
Download our Guide To Programmatic >>
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