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As the new year begins and we’re getting back to our usual working days after the holidays, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re still up to speed with all the current terminology. As Digital constantly evolves with new terms being added to our advertising lexicons, we’ve created a handy guide to the common programmatic terms you and your team should be aware of as we move into 2022.  
With programmatic being part of the fast-paced growth of machine learning we’re seeing, it’s vital to understand exactly what “Programmatic Guaranteed” means, or what SSP stands for. This isn’t a quiz – but it is a great reference for our ever-evolving tech world.  

  • Buyer – An online buyer of programmatic advertising who chooses to purchase online inventory in an automated fashion through a DSP. A programmatic buyer can be an advertiser, an agency, or anyone representing the advertiser by buying on their behalf. 
  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP) – A software platform that automates and optimizes the digital media buying process. DSPs enable buyers to programmatically bid on available digital advertising spaces within exchanges and connect buyers to suppliers. 
  • Floor Price – The minimum closing price (aka the minimum accepted price) set by a publisher within their ad server. 
  • Header Bidding – Header bidding is a process that allows marketers a first look at inventory that publishers would normally hold back for direct bookings. If the publisher can make a better price selling an impression programmatically, then their ad server will make the decision automatically rather than fulfilling the direct booking first.
  • Open Auction – In an open auction, inventory prices are decided in real time through an auction platform. Any publishers or advertisers can participate.
  • Preferred Deal (PD) – The buyer and seller negotiate a price and terms for inventory that the buyer can optionally bid upon (non-guaranteed inventory) and the seller enters an “Estimated Quantity” for the line item’s impression goal. The buyer has an initial or “preferred” opportunity to secure the inventory at the negotiated price. However, if the buyer opts out of securing the inventory, the inventory is then released into the open auction. 
  • Private Auction – A private auction is very similar to an open auction, except publishers restrict participation to selected advertisers only.  
  • Private Marketplace (PMP) – Private marketplace deals are invitation-only, real-time bidding auctions where one or several publishers invite a select number of advertisers to buy their inventory.
  • Programmatic Guaranteed (PG), also known as Automated Guaranteed – The seller and buyer negotiate a price and terms for inventory that is reserved (guaranteed) for that buyer and does not involve RTB (see the next term). Inventory is designated for only that buyer at that price.  
  • Real-Time Bidding (RTB) – RTB is a protocol that enables the valuation and bidding on individual ad impressions in real time. The buying takes place through online media exchanges – basically media marketplaces – which connect sellers (publishers) and buyers (advertisers). 
  • Supply-side Platform (SSP) – This is an advertising technology platform that represents the suppliers of online ads (publishers). SSPs give publishers the ability to increase their website advertising revenues by engaging with multiple demand-side channels (ad networks, ad exchanges, and DSPs) through a single vendor. It’s commonly used by publishers. 
Lisa Levine

Lisa is Lineup's Digital SME, and is based in the UK. In her previous role as the Director of Digital of Ad Operations for a worldwide publisher, she was part of the project team that implemented Lineup Systems as a vendor partner, as well as working with her international team on a daily basis in Adpoint, she also trained users on the system. Lisa has over 20 years of Ad Ops experience and is our expert on digital bookings, ad ops processes, and Adserver integrations.