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What is a White Label DSP and How it Helps You Scale

Sep 10, 2019  ·  11 min read
Kate Novatska
Kate Novatska, Marketing expert at Epom

Everybody in the advertising world wants to hit bullseye with their creative. But only a few know which weapon is the most capable to deliver it there. And how do they do it, if its powerful essence hides behind indigestible terminology?

A white label DSP is probably the most precise, fast, and insightful software solution for programmatic advertising that is on the market today. But nothing on Earth is perfect: the major drawback of a DSP is its name. Not even the slightest shred of advertising is provided.

Thus, even pro advertisers may be missing out. Ad network, ad exchange, ad server — those all sound pretty clear. A demand-side platform definition though? What's even worse, a white label demand-side platform? There is no way to even guess the definition of these.

But from now on there will no longer be a mist of confusion! We have broken down exactly what a white label DSP is; just for you! Keep reading to take your DSP knowledge to the next level.

Contents:

What is a DSP? Demand-Side Platform Definition

A demand-side platform is an RTB-based software used to buy ad inventory from multiple supply partners automatically. It removes the human element from the buying process to speed it up. As a result, it reduces the price paid for the impression. And decreases time dramatically: a DSP handles the publisher's requests and serves the ad in a matter of milliseconds.

This how a DSP technology works

DSP technology is based on a real-time bidding (RTB) auction, which means that all advertisers bid for an ad slot simultaneously. Unlike the waterfall, where advertisers stand in line to win an impression, the RTB auction is an instant action in which the highest bidder always wins. At the end of each auction, DSP matches a suitable inventory with the winning ad, based on targeting preferences.

The primary purpose of a DSP is to unite all your media buying activities in one place. You use the platform to contact supply partners directly. You create ad campaigns, choose ad format & targeting options, and manage all your existing ad campaigns.

Epom Market self-serve DSP dashboard

Moreover, a DSP has built-in algorithms that optimize your campaigns according to your goals. You also receive real-time reports on your KPIs. Each campaign is adjustable in real-time as well.

Bullet points:

  • DSP is a programmatic platform for automated media buying.
  • DSP keeps your advertising activities under one roof.
  • DSP is based on an RTB auction.
  • DSP directly connects you to multiple traffic sources at a time.
  • DSP offers extensive analytics and reporting.
  • DSP automatically optimizes your campaign.
  • DSP has extensive targeting options with 50+ attributes.
  • DSP ensures a high level of data transparency.
  • DSP requires only one person to be handled.

Disclaimer: That's only a definition of DSP in advertising and a brief explanation of how the technology works. If you want to study it inside and out, download our FREE e-book and dive into the most comprehensive guide on DSPs on the web.

What Does “White Label DSP” Stand For

Defining white label software, we'd say that it's a ready-made tool that can be fully rebranded for any company's needs. Developers that build such software resell their solutions to other industry players and make extra profit this way.

A white label DSP is an advertising platform without a brand tag which is then put up for sale. Instead of paying a monthly fee for a self-serve DSP which comes as SaaS, a white label DSP becomes your very own product. At the same time, you save millions on development.

Ownership gives you precious freedom, which makes it the most sophisticated adtech solution on the market today. Most advertisers who use a white label DSP consider it a way to simplify their programmatic media buying, as you stop overpaying for each impression and have all data coming from your campaigns on a silver platter.

Unlike a self-service DSP, a white label solution can be connected to custom SSPs. You'll always be in charge of where your traffic comes from, and get ALL the data transmitted from publishers.

Moreover, you can abandon the rest of the self-serve DSPs (which are usually connected to different SSPs) and unite all your activity in a single account. Using several platforms, you end up competing with your own bids and therefore forfeit the auction. This is no longer the case with a white-label DSP platform. You can connect as many SSPs and ad exchanges as you want and enjoy the greatest traffic diversity ever.

Bullet points:

  • White-Label DSP is a re-brandable version of a DSP for sale.
  • White-Label DSP is a ready-made solution to build your own DSP and customize it.
  • White-Label DSP has all the benefits of a self-serve DSP + its unique perks.
  • White-Label DSP provides 100% transparency, as you are the owner of the product.
  • White-Label DSP can be integrated with a variety of SSPs on your choice.
  • White-Label DSP eliminates the need for using multiple DSPs at a time.
  • White-Label DSP gives you complete control over your campaign performance.
  • White-Label DSP lowers eCPM, as you no longer pay platform fees.

White Label DSP vs. Ad Network

The emergence of ad networks became a game-changer in the programmatic market. Before that happened, advertisers had to build relations with each publisher individually, which was usually quite time-consuming. Ad networks took over all the grunt work and provided wider ad reach for advertisers & extra revenue streams for publishers.

Now the majority of advertisers who trade ads programmatically work with ad networks. Those programmatic advertising companies serve as intermediaries that connect random publishers and advertisers based on pre-built audience segments.

Being businesses with their own interests, they mark-up prices for inventory and don't give you full control over your campaigns. That's the major difference between a DSP and an ad network. A DSP is a programmatic platform that you can build on your own or use as a SaaS solution, while an ad network is a group of middlemen who manage campaigns instead of you.

Ad networks are known for reselling impressions among themselves, so the final source of your traffic is unknown. This increases the probability of fraudulent impressions that won't bring any profit to your business. A DSP eliminates this threat by shortening a media buying chain to only three participants: advertiser, DSP-SSP, and publisher.

Bullet points

  • DSP is a platform/technology, while an ad network is a company.
  • DSP is transparent in terms of data collection, while an ad network is a black box.
  • DSP offers customized targeting, an ad network takes control over targeting settings.
  • DSP is based on RTB auction, while an ad network does not always utilize it.
  • DSP allows you to bid as much as you can afford, an ad network offers fixed CPMs.
  • DSP directly connects advertisers with an SSP, an ad network often resells inventory.
  • DSP minimizes fraud, while an ad network drives higher % of fraudulent traffic.
  • DSP automatically removes low-quality sources, ad network requires manual monitoring.

White Label DSP vs. Ad Server

A white label DSP is also frequently being confused with other technologies. One of them is an ad server. And indeed, both are used to trade ad impressions, yet are based on different principles of media buying.

Epom ad server network manager view.

An ad server is a piece of software used to systemize the media buying process while also making ad campaigns trackable. It's actually the same as direct ad trade, but with several differences: here you buy media online, keep your campaigns in one place, and get aggregated reports on your performance. This technology is suitable for all market participants including advertisers, publishers, ad agencies, and ad networks.

In contrast to a DSP, an ad server is based on waterfalling, which means that many advertisers stand in line, offering their bids for an impression. First, the impression is offered to the advert with the highest priority. If it's not sold, it will be offered to the next in line, and so on until the inventory will finally be filled.

This how an ad server works

A self-hosted ad server offers even more precise targeting, KPI goal setting, and customization options than a white label DSP, but loses in terms of cost-efficiency and speed of ad serving. Real-time analytics is also not the case on most ad servers, as you get reports once per hour or even less frequently.

This technology has a number of drawbacks such as high latency, low fill rate, and high eCPMs. Despite them, however, the ad server is quite beneficial for advertisers who want to start buying ads in-house and have established direct connections with particular publishers.

Check this out: We currently offer both Epom white-label DSP and Epom ad server.

Bullet points:

  • DSP is a new effective tech solution in programmatic, while an ad server is its core.
  • DSP is based on an RTB auction, while an ad server utilizes waterfall tags.
  • DSP buys impressions from an SSP, while ad servers contact websites directly.
  • DSP is based on a CPM price model, an ad server works also with CPA, CPC, and more.
  • DSP provides real-time analytics, while an ad server reports once an hour.
  • DSP has 50+ targeting attributes, while an ad server offers even more.
  • DSP serves an ad in a millisecond, while an ad server demonstrates higher latency.

How to Set Up a White-Label DSP

Building a white-label DSP from scratch might cost you $1.5 - $2.5 million per year. And that's only technology expenses not counting salary, maintenance, and other fees. So the best decision you can make is to buy a white label DSP and tailor it to your brand.

There are 6 benefits of white label DSP for advertisers summarized:

Icon 1 Save millions that could be spent on technology development.
Icon 2 Cut your advertising expenses by 5% to 30%.
Icon 3 Unify your media buying activity in just one platform.
Icon 4 Get all data from your campaigns without any limits applied.
Icon 5 Stay in the loop with real-time analytics and reporting.
Icon 6 Keep your campaigns optimized even when away.

Are you intrigued? If you want to see how a white-label DSP works with your own eyes, schedule a call with our sales representative.

Your dream programmatic solution is 1 click away. Claim a demo of a WL DSP from a leading white-label DSP provider now!

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