How Real-Time Bidding Is Different From Traditional Direct Buying

Affiliate Marketing is now touching the heights of technology when it moves from manual to programmatic. Marketers are calculating the pros and cons of both to evaluate the best form of affiliate marketing. This is the point of time when none of them is fully accepted or discarded. It serves different benefits and detriments to advertisers, publishers, ad networks or ad exchanges.

Some marketers have comprehensively understood both the concepts and have chosen their way but some are still learning the differences in order to chose the way to incur the maximum benefits in low cost. Here are points explained how real-time bidding is different from traditional direct buying –

  • Target Audiences

Real-Time Bidding works on user interfaces and algorithms where the impressions of relevant audiences are bought instead of bulk inventory unlike traditional direct buying which delivers the confirmed number of impressions in the proposed time in future.

When the advertiser place its banner ad on publisher’s website and get the certain number of impressions it cannot count the quality of audiences who saw it’s banner ads. Unlike RTB where the each individual impression is brought knowing the prospect sitting in front of the screen is the most targeted audience.

  • Supply

Direct Buy wins here since the supply is guaranteed. Advertisers can contact both publisher’s sales team and the Ad Network directly and the demanded numbers of impressions are supplied by the publisher’s end.

However umpteen numbers of advertisers in the form bidders on the demand side make the whole process competitive in RTB and the advertiser can get impressions only in the condition when he wins the bid. This happens because each advertiser is unaware about the bid price of others and all are bidding simultaneously.

  • Workflow

The work flow in Direct Buying is entirely manual where publishers are contacted through email or phone calls and then the whole deal is set between advertisers or ad networks. The whole process takes time as well as the chances of miscommunication and errors are more than RTB sine to err is human.

RTB is fully automated where the whole process takes fraction of seconds say it is done is 10 milliseconds which is highly amazing because it takes 300 milliseconds to blink eye even. So you can calculate how fast all this is done using platforms like DSP, SSP and DMP etc. eliminating the chances of having any error.


  • Pricing

There two concepts of pricing called CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) and eCPM (effective CPM). Advertisers buy impressions through direct buying calculate their pricing in CPM as the impressions are bought in bulk and the same price charged by the publisher for all impressions.

But when it comes to RTB each impression is bided and won separately so different impressions are bought at different prices where advertisers count eCPM which is calculated by dividing total revenue generated by total number of impressions for the same banner or campaign expressed in the unites of 1,000.


  • Inventory

You can compare direct buy and RTB in terms of the accessibility of inventory as well. Advertisers need to contact sales team of the publishers to close the deal for placing their banner on the publisher’s website. However there are some big publishers who have huge traffic on their website where everyone likes to place its ad but the website owner likes to contact only to the advertiser’s with high budget may be in six figures.

But the whole process in RTB is automated and each individual impressions is bought therefore advertisers don’t need to contact the publisher’s directly publishers themselves open their inventory to the ad exchanges and advertisers purchase the impression to target its most targeted audience.


Direct buying is done through Affiliate Marketing Companies in India but RTB involves Ad exchanges that connect publishers to the advertisers from different ad networks and other ad exchanges. Real-Time bidding is the future of Affiliate Marketing which will soon become highly automated, flawless and profitable to both advertisers and publishers.

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