Multiple publishers have a lot of inventories and ad impressions listed with them. This data would be given to them by certain softwares like comScore who would tell the publishers as to how many unique audiences visit them. All these things are termed as Volume.
Initially, advertisers would buy this volume from publishers. But very soon they realized the importance of audience along with volume and that is when they started the concept of Audience Buying.
For eg., if you are a company which sells makeup you need to target women of all age groups. This target would happen on the basis of lots of things like GEO Tagging, Audience Behaviour, Content Consumption, Historical Data that combine the subset of audiences. This all will come under Audience Buying.
Whereas Volume Buying would be when you buy certain space from publisher like Yahoo or Youtube to showcase a huge banner ad where you would observe. The number of viewers or audiences coming to see your ad and get results in terms of impressions or views. But this result could not be segregated like 20% of views are from women or so and so location, their likes and dislikes of things, so on and so forth. So this is Volume Buying.
Let’s see how Audience Buying happens through Real Time Bidding or RTB. Initially when advertisers wanted to buy inventories they would do so by buying impressions in batches. So if you are an advertiser, you would go to an ad network or a website owner. You would define a date and price eg. CPM with a fixed budget with them like if you need 100 impressions or 1000 impressions for so and so CPM. You would then define a set of preferred targeting parameters like I want to run my ad only in Maharashtra region. But this would not involve any algorithms or intelligence. This would just be a general targeting. After a while you would just check the performance and adjust parameters whether the campaign has worked well or not. This was the traditional way of buying impressions.
But things have changed a lot after RTB was born. But why was RTB born? You see advertisers wanted more control over buying. They wanted to buy impressions that really mattered. They then started using advertisers’ data for impressions purchase. Hence they wanted to purchase impressions on the right device at the right time. This is where RTB steps in.
But what exactly happens in RTB? It is a process carried out by various softwares where in impressions is bought and sold on per-impression basis. Transaction is done via programmatic instantaneous auction. Ad impression is on auction at the moment when user visit publisher’s inventory. Buyer’s ad is shown instantly after bidding result settle. These are just a few features of RTB.
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