Real time bidding (RTB) is an online advertising technology which allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell online ad inventory through real time auctions. The RTB process has placed a strict time constraint on the ad delivery process and has also driven up network transit costs as a result of the multiple back and forth http requests that are exchanged. The design of the RTB protocol itself leads to higher transit costs for Adtech industry players.
High Network Transit Costs of RTB Process
RTB works by exchanging http requests between the user’s browser and various supply and demand side platforms. http is a communications protocol which is used to transfer files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the internet. During the RTB process a typical ad serving cycle can require up to 12 http requests. AdRoll which is only one of the hundreds of Adtech industry players out there serves approximately 50 billion impressions a day. This when multiplied by the number of individual requests involved in the process of serving one ad results in a staggeringly large number of total http requests for just one Adtech industry player.
Additionally, the RTB protocol itself is a text based protocol and can be very heavy without compression. Valid RTB requests can be as much as 1 KB in size. A conservative estimate of the amount of data transferred between RTB platforms worldwide comes to around 465 Terabytes of data each day.
This is a huge amount of data and leaves a lot of room for improvement and cost savings. To understand the nature of this improvement lets first take a look at how internet traffic is routed through the internet.
How Internet Traffic is routed
The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is what makes the internet work. It decides which path internet traffic takes through the network. These decisions are based on reachability and the number of AS hops between two points on the network. The path with the lowest hops is usually the one that is chosen. This path however is not the fastest and nor is it the one with the lowest transit cost. BGP lacks the mechanism to make routing decisions based on performance based attributes like cost or bandwidth. Therefore, it usually ends up routing traffic through network paths which are the most congested and also cost more.
Reducing AdTech Transit costs
Network routing policies have a profound impact on the adtech industry both in terms of cost and internet speed. Substantial cost savings can be availed through the use of optimized network paths. In contrast to traditional BGP routing where traffic is always routed through the shortest path Datapath.io Network Performance platform routes internet traffic based on Internet latency and transit cost. Using The Datapath.io platform Adtech companies can create rules to minimize network latency and transit cost. Once they choose a specific Network latency requirement, Datapath.io automatically scans all network routes with the requisite latency and routes internet traffic through the least expensive route. This results in substantial cost benefits for Adtech companies as well as ensuring that bid requests are received within the strict time constraint of the RTB process.