The evolution from DSPs to AEPs

The Evolution from DSPs to AEPs

In my role, I speak to a variety of ad tech companies operating within the Digital Eco System on a daily basis.

These ad tech companies are responsible for bringing the latest in ad technology advancements to the Digital Eco System to help deliver better campaign results for brands, engaging and relevant campaigns for consumers, improved page yield for publishers and more…

I help these companies navigate the Digital Eco System to make better-informed decisions related to their digital strategies to win more business, which means that in the process, I get to understand how the technology is evolving to meet consumer and business demand globally.

Some of the key ingredients here for ad tech companies to remain at the cutting edge of digital innovation inevitably require the coding skills of extremely talented developers as well as the commercially savvy mindsets of digital professionals to help convert concepts to proven technology stacks that disseminate into the Digital Eco System to make advertising work more effectively for all parties concerned; Consumers, Advertisers, Publishers and Media Agencies. These technologies include DSPs, SSPs, RTBs, DMPs, Data Aggregators, Ad Networks, Ad Verification and Analytics platforms.

One of the most common transitions I am seeing at the moment is that of leading DSP platforms that have augmented their service propositions to create unique points of differentiation in their technological capabilities. The reason for this transition, I am sure in part is related to the huge influx of new ad tech start-ups and evolving ad tech platforms (previously considered DSPs) who are offering more functionality than what could otherwise be provided by a standalone DSP platform.

A reason for this change, could be linked with a growing business demand to reduce the number of standalone platforms that are required to manage and maintain a centralised digital marketing infrastructure, with the added benefits of lower bureaucratic costs and improved performance efficiencies in the process that could save the marketeer time and money.

This immense level of competition is seeing the new breed of ad tech players incorporating different components from each of these standalone platforms such as Ad Servers, DSPs, DMPs, SSPs & RTBs for example and evolving them into what I would classify as All-Encompassing Platforms (AEPs). Some examples of companies that would fit this description include AppNexus and ADNOLOGIES.

Coming back to my role, when asking some of these companies that operate in the DSP space about their business, a common theme emerging is that they are more inclined to want to be known as something different than just another DSP.

That said, there is one DSP platform (not mentioning any names) that comes to mind who are proud to call themselves a DSP and explained that in the midst of this evolution, they continue to refine their strengths as a DSP and these points of differentiation and product refinement will outstrip the performance of what any kind of AEP could deliver, especially when considering that the DSP component of an AEP is likely to be lighter in term of functionality and more generic to provide a more basic level of aggregated service to meet the requirements of a solution that can be seen to tick all of the boxes.

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