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5 Reasons Why White-Label DSP Beats Self-Serve DSP Hands Down [Quiz]

Jul 26, 20219 min read
Kate Novatska
Kate Novatska, Head of Content
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White Label DSP and self-serve DSP sound like twins and look alike. But just like twins have at least a small gap in their personalities, a WL DSP and a regular self-serve tool are also stuffed with a bit different toppings.

Being based on the same technology, white label and self serve demand-side platforms uniquely define the client's role in their ecosystem. The two platforms are best suited to distinct categories of advertisers and have their flaws and virtues. Still, the white label DSP solution ensures you an overall stronger position on the global ad marketplace, yet it turns out to be more costly for smaller advertisers.

This difference raises an important question: are you ready to leverage the superpower of a white-label or you'd better stick to effortless buying with a self-serve DSP?

In our previous article, we revealed what a white label DSP is and how it differs from other household names like ad servers and ad networks. That was your first class in the school of programmatic advertising. Today, we move on to the second grade to compare a white-label DSP vs. its self-serve analog and decide which one is your pick.

Defining White Label DSP vs. Self Serve DSP

A self serve DSP is a classic representation of what programmatic adepts usually call a DSP. It's a platform for automatic media buying based on a real-time bidding auction. In this auction, all advertisers bid for the impression at a time and the highest bidder always wins.

“Self-serve” in this tandem means that you don't involve any third-party professionals to take care of your campaigns. Instead, you trade ads and optimize campaigns on your own, utilizing the merits of transparency and control.

Signing up to a self-serve DSP is the easiest way to start trading ads programmatically. All you need to do is to make a deposit, upload your creative, adjust settings, and set your campaign off.

A white label DSP's setup is simple as well, but not as straightforward as in the case of a self-serve solution. “White label” means you buy (instead of signing up) a blank yet ready to use platform which you “paint” the way you want.

Freedom comes at a price, both literally and figuratively. If you are new to programmatic and don't know any SSPs to connect with, you can integrate, let's say, Epom ad exchange and start advertising outright. However, to experience the full potential of a white-label DSP solution, you might have to look for other SSPs and connect it on your own. And of course, you need to pay a technology fee on top of your ad spend.

But if your monthly expenses comprise tens of thousands, a white label DSP is undefeatable.

To find out why, keep reading or just watch a video below:

1. White Label DSP Cuts Up to 10-30% Monthly Expenses

Even though a self serve DSP doesn't involve a service fee, the marked-up price for each impression is still in force. Just like ad networks, DSPs earn 20-50% from your initial bid, and therefore you always pay more than the publisher receives. There is nothing wrong about it: this is how platform owners get rewarded for the platform's setup and maintenance.

A 20-50% margin is OK if you are an occasional self-serve programmatic advertising player and spend no more than a few thousand. But when your monthly ad spend exceeds, let's say, $30,000, this hidden fee translates into exorbitant $5,000-10,000 draining from your monthly budget into nothing.

Self-serve DSP and White-label DSP platform fee

In contrast to self-serve DSP owners, white-label DSP resellers charge you a technology fee. Let's imagine you pay $2,000 monthly or 5% of your ad spend, if this percent exceeds $2,000. So instead of handing $7,500 on avg. to middlemen, you put $5,500 or 18% back in your pocket.


A white-label DSP charges a platform fee but decreases monthly spend for big advertisers. A self-serve DSP doesn't charge you a platform fee, yet marks up prices for every bid.

2. White Label DSP Unites All Traffic Sources Under One Roof

Using a self-serve DSP, you have little-to-no control over your traffic sources. On the one hand, a lack of control has its convenience. A trusted DSP chooses the best-performing supply-side partners on its own. You don't fuss with SSPs integrations and enjoy easy ad management.

This, however, does not favor cost- and time-efficiency of your campaigns. Chasing diversity, advertisers use multiple DSPs at the moment, granting themselves access to different traffic sources. Yet, traffic sources will inevitably repeat, as no self serve advertising platform will partner with a 100% unique set of SSPs. Ironically, this means you start bidding on the same impression through separate platforms and compete with your own bids.

Competition between your bids

To avoid this cruel doppelganger joke, you might want to choose only one demand-side platform and manage all campaigns in a single dashboard. Ideally, the one which retains all valuable sources as well as their diversity. The only way to implement it for sure is to buy a white-label DSP platform and connect it to custom SSPs and ad exchange.


A self-serve DSP platform unifies your media buying, but only with pre-defined inventory suppliers chosen by a DSP provider. A white-label DSP solution allows you to select SSPs on your own and eliminates the need to use several demand-side platforms.

3. White Label DSP is Customizable for Your Brand

A self-service DSP is a third-party SaaS tool you use as a company's client. In the case of Epom Market self-serve DSP, you apply for an account, get an advertiser's access to the platform, and start trading ads. Platform rebrand is out of the question — here you only a visitor in a guesthouse. You can use all the amenities, but you can't change the overall look of the premises.

Things are different for a white-label DSP platform. You PURCHASE the product and therefore become a rightful owner of the technology. You can apply your own brand logo, change URL and tailor it to your business identity. This redesign opportunity is more of a psychological advantage, but who wouldn't like to buy ads like a boss?


A self-serve DSP is a non-customizable piece of software that you use as a customer of a regular SaaS platform. A white-label programmatic DSP is rebrandable and belongs to you.

4. White Label DSP Enhances Targeting with Bidstream

Both self-serve DSP & white-label DSP guarantee 100% data transparency. Unlike ad networks that often conceal most of the advertising data, you get every bit of information about your ad campaigns. You always know which creative underperforms, why does it happen and act accordingly. Still, the self serve platform can hide the real name of the website where traffic comes from, so you may see only the ID number of the source.

When it comes to targeting, you can't utilize all the data received from the website along with a publisher request. This type of data is called bidstream and may contain up to 50 attributes like ad placement, mobile carrier, type of internet connection, metro code, screen resolution, and more. These parameters typically aren't sent to your self-serve DSP.

With a white-label DSP, the access to bidstream data is axiomatic. Nothing is concealed from you, the demand-side platform collects every available attribute that characterizes every user that sees your ad. This happens even in the case when you don't win the impression. What else does this mean? You get the obscenely large amount of data for free, which can be used for further campaign optimization.

Example: Let's imagine you place ads in a popular photo-editing app, but the winning bid for the app is $20. That's too expensive. Obviously, that's not the only app your leads have on their smartphones. What you can do is to extract user ID from the app you placed an ad. Then, use these IDs to find your audience in other apps. And finally, advertise to the same and similar users in other apps with cheaper inventory.


A self-serve DSP is transparent in terms of your performance but still doesn't bring all the data to your dashboard. A white-label DSP gives you access to all publisher's data available.

5. White Label DSP Allows You to Give Accounts to Advertisers

A regular self serve demand-side platform is software to which you have only user's access. This means that you can only advertise your own business or buy inventory for other companies as a media buyer. If you are an individual advertiser, that's fine. But if you are planning to create your own advertising agency, like a social media or podcast advertising agency, it will significantly limit growth of your new-minted business.

As mentioned above, you'll overpay for each impression by 20-50% from the initial CPM. Moreover, you will have to run your client's campaign on your own, even if they don't mind to take part in this process. No other options available, as you have only one account from which you launch campaigns.

A white label DSP belongs to your business. This means that besides buying media on your own, you can create and assign individual accounts to other users, just like any provider of a self-serve DSP does. As far as your advertising business grows, you'll likely encounter clients who are interested in a self-service solution rather than in a full-service. And having a white-label demand-side platform at your fingertips, you'll able to grant their requests.


A self serve DSP enables creation of only one account per agency or per advertiser. A white label DSP allows for creation of multiple accounts, which can be given out to other advertisers and therefore let them trade ads on their own.

Differences Between WL and SS DSP Summarized [PDF Comparison Table]

Making the Final Choice Between White Label DSP vs. Self Serve DSP

A white label DSP may beat its self-serve twin by almost all accounts, but some of its advantages pay off only for a specific category of advertisers. We won't recommend you to blindly opt for this option and set up a white label DSP just because it's so powerful and belongs to your company. A self-serve DSP can also be the best pick for your business, let's figure out when exactly.

You likely don't use any programmatic solutions at a time and don't really know which one you need. We offer you to start by learning more about a DSP, white label DSP, and its comparison to ad network and ad server.

Find out what is:


Demand-Side Platform

White Label DSP

You likely don't need a white label solution at a time. A self-serve DSP will be the most cost-effective and convenient option for you, based on your ad spend and advertising needs.

Try Self-Serve DSP

You are ready to embrace a white label DSP solution and utilize its advanced features to maximize your ad campaigns revenue. Automate your KPIs and take advantage of technology to win every impression.

Discover White-Label DSP

What's your average monthly ad spend?

How would you classify size of your business?

What is your role in the advertising ecosystem?

Do you use ad networks? If yes, are you satisfied with their services?

Do you use a self-serve DSP right now? If yes, how many?

How effective is your targeting?

Are you satisfied with your current reporting feature?

How much time do you spend on ad campaign optimization?

Do you feel that the data you own is not enough for your ad campaign optimization?

Do you have some specific SSPs on your mind to connect with?

Do you run/plan running an advertising business?

Epom offers both white-label DSP and self-serve DSP. Go to Epom Market and start buying media straight away. OR, schedule a white-label DSP demo and embrace the superiority of the most advanced programmatic tool to date!

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