Defining Programmatic Media



Programmatic media advertising is the use of automated technology for media buying (the process of buying advertising space). It utilizes data algorithms to serve ads to the right user at the right time. Traditional media advertising is often manual. It is constantly evolving, which can make it feel impossible to understand the process. This is why defining programmatic media is important.

Finding your way through the vocabulary is the first step to exactly understanding programmatic media buying. In this blog post, we are going to go over the important terms and pieces of programmatic media advertising in order to help you understand the process.

Types Of Programmatic Media Buying

There are three different types of programmatic media buying.

Real Time Bidding (RTB)

RTB is the first type of programmatic media buying, and is also known as open auction. With this process, inventory prices are decided in a real-time auction. RTB is open to any advertiser or publisher, as well as a very cost effective way to buy media, especially with a large audience.

Private Marketplace (PMP)

The next type of programmatic media buying is similar to open auction, but has restrictions on who is able to participate. PMP is on an invite only basis. But, in some cases, publishers may have a selection process that allows advertisers to apply for an invitation.

Programmatic Direct

Programmatic direct is when a publisher bypasses auctions, selling media inventory at a fixed cost.

Besides the three types of programmatic media buying, there are also three main components to the programmatic ecosystem.

Components Of Programmatic Ecosystem

When you think of the programmatic ecosystem, think of the buyer, the seller, and what connects them. Set up in a line, each part has it’s own function.

Sell-Side Platform (SSP)

The sell-side is the software that allows publishers to sell to potential buyers in real time.

Demand-Side Platform

This side is the software that enables agencies and advertisers to buy ad inventory cross-platform.

Ad Exchanger

Finally, the third part of the ecosystem is how the supply-side feeds inventory into the ad exchange. The demand-side connects to the ad exchange, enabling advertisers, agencies, networks, and publishers to buy and sell ad space. Also, inventory prices are agreed on through the bidding process.

Why Is Programmatic Media Important?

Now that we have gone over the vocabulary involved in this process, we are going to talk about the benefits involved. There are plenty of reasons why programmatic media is important.

Programmatic media buying allows you to reach a vast amount of people all across the Internet. The reach that you have is huge. With this process, you are able to reach as much of your target audience as possible. You have access to ad space across a plethora of sites. This gives you the opportunity to engage your audience wherever they are.

Having that much reach may sound like a lot, but you still have a lot of control. This is an awesome benefit that you must keep in mind. Programmatic media buying improves results and efficiency, and it is easy.


There are many reasons why you should use programmatic media buying. It is a simple process that comes with many different benefits. Though it sounds complicated, it is worth learning. We hope to have helped you further understand what this process is and why it is important, through defining programmatic media.

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