What Is a Real-Time Bidding?

Instantaneous Auctions for Ad Impressions: How RTB Revolutionizes Ad Placement

Written by AryelLast update 17 days ago

Real-time bidding (RTB) is a digital advertising process that allows advertisers to bid on individual ad impressions in real-time, as they become available. This automated, auction-based system takes place in mere milliseconds, typically in the short time it takes a webpage to load. The winning bid gets to display their ad to that particular user. 

Here's how the process typically works:

1. When a user visits a webpage that uses RTB advertising, an ad request is sent out with information about the user and the context (e.g., the user's location, device type, browsing behavior, the content of the site, etc.).

2. The ad request is sent to an ad exchange, which initiates a real-time auction among various advertisers who want to display their ad to that user.

3. Advertisers, through their DSPs (Demand Side Platforms), will evaluate the ad request information and decide, based on their own criteria and algorithms, how much that particular ad impression is worth. They then place a bid accordingly.

4. The highest bidder wins the auction and earns the right to display their ad to the user.

5. Once the winning bidder is determined, the ad exchange informs the publisher's platform, and the winning ad is loaded onto the webpage. 

All of this happens in the blink of an eye, usually in less than 100 milliseconds.

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