programmatic experts

Programmatic Direct VS Real-Time Bidding: What’s the Difference?

Programmatic Direct is nowhere near the same as Real-Time Bidding.

Programmatic Direct vs Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Definition

What is Programmatic Direct?

What is Real-Time Bidding (RTB)?

The Biggest Difference Between Programmatic Direct & Real-Time Bidding

Rules of Programmatic Direct

#1: The Process Must Be Automated

#2: The Sale Must Be Direct

#3: The Advertising Must Be Guaranteed

Types of Programmatic Direct

Type 1: Programmatic Guaranteed

Type 2: Preferred Deal

Elements of Real-Time Bidding

#1: The Advertisers

#2: The Publishers

#3: The Ad Exchange

2 Types of Real-Time Bidding

#1: Open Exchange

#2: Private Marketplace

To understand what type of Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is happening, ask the question – is it a public auction? If it isn’t, there are private deals in play.

4 Types of Programmatic Ad Deals

#1: Programmatic Guaranteed

#2: Preferred Deal

#3: Open Exchange

#4: Private Marketplace

What Have We Learned?

Programmatic Direct:

The direct sale of guaranteed advertising between a publisher and advertiser.

It must be an automated process.

It is a direct sell.

The advertising has to be guaranteed.


Real-Time Bidding:

Online ad inventory being sold and bought through real-time, automated auctions.

Made up of: Advertisers, Publishers and Ad Exchanges.

Ad buyers use a Demand Side Platform (DSP) to buy ad space.

Publishers make ad space available for purchase through Supply Side Platforms (SSP).

Advertisers (DSP) and Publishers (SSP) are connected through ad exchanges and real-time auctions are ran. Advertisers try to get the best ad space within their budget and the publisher gets the highest bid.

The main difference: RTB uses an auction model, whereas Programmatic Direct DOES NOT.


4 Types of Programmatic Ad Deals

Programmatic Direct and Real-Time Bidding combined makes up the 4 types of programmatic advertising deals.

Programmatic Guaranteed (Programmatic Direct): a direct deal where factors such as impressions, prices and positions are set in stone.

Preferred Deal (Programmatic Direct): another type of direct deal but has unreserved ad inventory. Price is set but the amount isn’t guaranteed. (this type is similar to Private Marketplaces, where advertisers get first access before reaching an agreement).

Private Marketplace (RTB): publishers offer premium ad inventory exclusively to select advertisers.

Open Exchange (RTB): an equal opportunity exchange public marketplace. This is where advertisers bid on ad impressions that publishers put in the auction.