Demand-Side Platforms

Best Demand-Side Platforms include:

MediaMath and SmartyAds DSP.

Demand-Side Platforms Overview

What are Demand-Side Platforms?

Demand-side platforms, or DSPs, allow advertisers, brands, or individuals to bid and purchase advertising space via a marketplace. This includes ads such as banners that optimize clicks on retail websites, paid search engine ads, video ads on platforms like YouTube, etc.

The DSPs acts as a marketplace where different publishers and retailers/bands auction advertising space for advertisers to bid on. This provides advertisers with an easy way to see all available advertising placement opportunities and purchase the ad space that would work best for their business. Typically, advertisers can adjust their bids and can see a snapshot of the market demand for each item purchased.

DSPs were created as a response to real-time bidding for ad space. Rather than buying digital ads through physical salespeople, the process became more automated and accurate without having to manually adjust certain percentages and numbers. Demand-side platforms differ from ad exchanges in that they are meant to serve the interests of advertisers rather than the public.

The two main types of demand-side platforms include completely self-serve and managed demand-side platforms. Self-serve, as the name insinuates, allows advertisers to manage their own ad campaigns through the platform dashboards. Managed demand platforms use a team hired by the DSP company to oversee the ad campaign.

Demand-Side Platform Features

Some of the most common demand-side platforms include:

  • API customization
  • Ad serving capabilities
  • Campaign dashboard & optimization
  • Customized reports
  • Bulk editing
  • Reach
  • Alerts & notifications

Demand-Side Platform Comparison

Some important things to consider when choosing a demand-side platform include:

  • Amount of ad space: Depending on your business or individual goals, you may be looking for a platform with a larger selection or variety of ad space available. Different vendors may have different types and amounts of ad space, therefore be sure you choose to work with a DSP that has the type of advertising placement you’re looking for.
  • Ease of use: Another important factor is how difficult or easy the platform is to use. Be sure your vendor offers a user-friendly interface with a small to no learning curve.

Pricing Information

Most DSP vendors don’t offer pricing information publicly. Interested buyers should contact vendors directly for customized pricing options. Some vendors will allow you to register an account with them for free prior to purchasing.

Demand-Side Products

(1-8 of 8) Sorted by Most Reviews

The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk is the eponymous flagship product from the company headquartered in Ventura California, a demand-side / data management hybrid platform (DSP / DMP).


MediaMath is a demand-side platform that offers off-the-shelf and custom capabilities for brands to reach and influence customers and prospects on any screen. Powered by the company's Brain algorithm which predicts performance and optimal price for bids.

SmartyAds DSP

SmartyAds DSP is a demand-side platform for ad serving.

Retail Media by Criteo

Criteo Retail Media for Brands (formerly Criteo Sponsored Product) is presented by the vendor as an all-in-one self-service platform for buying retail media at scale. Alternately, Criteo Retail Media for Retailers supports growing ad revenue and enhancing relationships with brands.…


Splicky runs a demand-side platform (DSP) for mobile and DOOH campaigns, a trading platform upon which advertisers and media agencies can bid on digital ad spaces for their ad media via a single interface. Thanks to the underlying real-time bidding technology, this booking process…

illumin, powered by AcuityAds

AcuityAds headquartered in Toronto offers a self-serve programmatic advertising platform.

AdColony, from Digital Turbine

AdColony is a mobile video advertising platform and now part of Digital Turbine since the February 2021 acquisition from Opera Software, to whom the company belonged since the June 2014 acquisition.

Adform FLOW

Adform FLOW

0 reviews

Adform, headquartered in Copenhagen, offers an independent and integrated advertising platform built for modern marketing. Its enterprise technology – Adform FLOW – harnesses user experience and a scalable, modular and open architecture, to enable management of the whole campaign…

Frequently Asked Questions

What do demand-side platforms do?

Demand-side platforms (DSPs), are a digital alternative to buying and bidding on online advertising space. For example, paid search ads, ads on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, or video ads on platforms like YouTube. DSPs allow advertisers to self-serve and purchase ad space on their own and then monitor ad campaign success from within the DSP.

What are the benefits of using demand-side platforms?

By automating bidding on advertising space, demand-side platforms help avoid manual errors and save time. They also provide advertisers with a high degree of autonomy when it comes to purchasing ad space and monitoring their own campaigns.

How much do demand-side platforms cost?

Most of the vendor’s pricing information is not displayed publicly. Be sure to contact them directly for your customized quotes and be sure to check if registering with them for free is an option.