Real-time bidding (RTB) is an auction model for buying display media, whereby advertisers bid on an impression by impression basis and pay only what each impression is worth to them—but at a massive scale. It can lead to better performance for advertisers, more sales for publishers, and more relevant ads for consumers.
How long is 100 milliseconds?
User visits a web page
• 100 milliseconds = the time between gear changes on a Ferrari FXX • 134 milliseconds = the time it takes light to travel around the Earth’s equator • 200 milliseconds = the time it takes the human brain to recognize emotion in facial expressions
Impression is announced Every time an impression is available, the exchange “asks” if you’d like to bid (the “bid request”).
• 300 milliseconds = the time for the human eye to blink
Winning ad served In the course of 100 milliseconds, the entire process is complete, and if you win the auction for this impression, your ad is served.
Auction You typically have milliseconds to respond with a bid (the “bid response”), and then the exchange runs the auction, evaluates all bids, and determines the winner.
Impression opportunity evaluated and bid decision made You get a variety of information about each impression, such as the site the impression is on, the time stamp, information about the user, information about the page, etc. What you bid is entirely up to you— and you don’t have to bid if the impression is not valuable to you.
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