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Role of DSPs in Digital Advertising

In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) play a pivotal role. They serve as the bridge between advertisers and a plethora of ad inventories available across various exchange partners. Today, let’s dive into how DSPs work and spotlight some key exchange partners like OpenX, Rubicon, PubMatic, App Nexus, Twitter, Instagram, Nexxage, MoPub, and Pulsepoint.

OpenX, Rubicon, PubMatic, and App Nexus: These platforms are powerhouses in the ad exchange world. They offer vast inventories across numerous websites, giving advertisers the flexibility to choose where their ads will be most effective. Their real-time bidding systems ensure that advertisers get the best value for their ad spend.

OpenX: OpenX is an innovative independent supply-side platform known for offering a better ad selling and buying experience. They emphasize demand addressability, transparency, and sustainability in their operations. OpenX provides omnichannel targeting capabilities across all channels, including Connected TV (CTV), and is interoperable with any data set and identity type. This allows clients to reach their audiences at scale. As an independent technology company, OpenX has cultivated a fair and transparent exchange between sellers and buyers since 2008. They are noted for being the first Net-Zero verified and CarbonNeutral® certified programmatic platform, with a 100% cloud-based infrastructure​​. The platform boasts over 130,000 active publisher domains, mobile apps, and CTV apps, and works with over 100,000 advertisers and 250+ data providers​​.

Rubicon Project: Founded in 2001 and headquartered in California, Rubicon Project, commonly known as Rubicon, is a digital advertising infrastructure company that automates the buying and selling of advertising. It is one of the largest supply-side platforms (SSPs) in the industry, employing around 500 people. Rubicon optimizes digital advertising revenue for every impression, offers access to top brands, and provides a high level of security for ad scanning. It boasts a significant infrastructure, including over 25,000 CPUs and 2.4 PB of data processing capability, managing billions of transactions a month. Rubicon has a global reach with around 600 million unique users and 40% of the ComScore 100 websites using its services​​.

PubMatic: PubMatic is a customer-specific solution provider in programmatic digital marketing, offering an omnichannel sell-side platform. This platform leverages specialized infrastructure built for scalable and flexible innovation, helping clients realize the full potential of their digital advertising strategies. As an independent technology company, PubMatic provides inventory, data, and insights needed to drive results, giving clients control over the success levers for their business. The company has been a champion of the open internet since 2006, focusing on transparency and building solutions for the industry’s most pressing problems​​.

App Nexus (Now Xandr, part of AT&T): AppNexus, which is now a part of AT&T’s Xandr, provides an online auction infrastructure and technology for data management, optimization, financial clearing, and support for directly negotiated advertising campaigns. It features both demand-side platform (DSP) and supply-side platform (SSP) functionalities, as well as ad serving capabilities. AppNexus integrates with various advertising sources, including Google’s “Authorized Buyers” ad exchange, Magnite, Pubmatic, and other aggregators. The company operates multiple data centers worldwide, including a significant presence in Amsterdam serving Europe and the Middle East​​..


 Nexxage, MoPub, and Pulsepoint: These platforms are notable for their mobile and video ad inventories. As mobile usage continues to surge, they offer targeted opportunities to reach audiences on their smartphones and tablets.


    • Nexxage offers a mobile advertising platform that includes private and public exchanges, data enrichment, and real-time targeting solutions.
    • The platform is at the forefront of two major trends in digital advertising: the strategic role of mobile and the critical role of programmatic technologies.
    • Nexxage was the first to market with several innovations, such as mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB), mobile private exchange, and an exchange-based data solution called Nexage Connect.
    • Nexage Connect provides a powerful and efficient data model that delivers various types of data (behavioral, contextual, location, identifier, and privacy data) to buyers and their agency clients. This enhances targeting and retargeting capabilities while also increasing the value of publishers’ audiences​​​​.


MoPub is a mobile monetization platform that helps publishers drive more revenue from advertising and mobile transactions.

      1. As a division of Twitter, MoPub is rethinking mobile app monetization by enabling publishers to understand ad performance and user engagement.
      2. The platform was founded by ex-Google and ex-AdMob engineers and product managers, bringing a wealth of expertise to the mobile advertising space.  MoPub’s solutions include a range of features designed to optimize mobile ad performance and maximize revenue for publishers​​​​.


Pulsepoint is an advertising technology company that specializes in directing, disseminating, and optimizing digital healthcare content.

    1. It simplifies marketing for publishers aiming to reach healthcare customers through its uniquely dimensional data set.
    2. Pulsepoint offers exclusive, targeted demand that can lead to significant increases in yield and inventory value for publishers within their network.
    3. The platform supports header bidding, custom programmatic modeling, and multiple ad formats, along with providing unified analytics from a single, accessible interface. This makes it particularly effective for publishers in the healthcare sector​​.


The synergy between DSPs and these exchange partners creates a dynamic ecosystem that empowers advertisers to launch sophisticated, targeted, and effective campaigns. By leveraging the strengths of each platform, advertisers can craft campaigns that resonate with their desired audience, driving engagement and ROI.