Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Project

By: Staff | May 9 2016

Real-time Bidding (RTB) is a way of transacting media that allows an individual ad impression to be put up for bid in real-time. This is done through a programmatic on-the-spot auction, which is similar to how financial markets operate. RTB allows for Addressable Advertising; the ability to serve ads to consumers directly based on their demographic, psychographic, or behavioral attributes.

The Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Project, formerly known as the OpenRTB Consortium, assembled technology leaders from both the Supply and Demand sides in November 2010 to develop a new API specification for companies interested in an open protocol for the automated trading of digital media across a broader range of platforms, devices, and advertising solutions. At the time Programmatic had only accounted for 4% of the display advertising market. By 2017, RTB is expected to account for 29% of the digital mix (source: eMarketer March 2013). This group continues to create open industry standards that ensure all parties, buy and sell side alike, can transact RTB at scale and build future industry innovation.

The mission of the OpenRTB project is to spur growth in Real-Time Bidding (RTB) marketplaces by providing open industry standards for communication between buyers of advertising and sellers of publisher inventory. There are several aspects to these standards including but not limited to the actual real-time bidding protocol, information taxonomies, offline configuration synchronization, and many more.

This document specifies a standard for the Real-Time Bidding Interface that has grown out of previous OpenRTB collaboration on the “block list project” and the “OpenRTB Mobile” project. These protocol standards aim to simplify the connection between suppliers of publisher inventory (i.e., exchanges, networks working with publishers, and sell-side platforms) and competitive buyers of that inventory (i.e., bidders, demand side platforms, or networks working with advertisers). 

The overall goal of OpenRTB is and has been to create a lingua franca for communicating between buyers and sellers. The intent is not to regulate exactly how each business operates. As a project, we aim to make integration between parties easier, so that innovation can happen at a deeper-level at each of the businesses in the ecosystem. 

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