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  • Writer's pictureCamelus


DSPs, SSPS, & The Cost of Discrepancies

Demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs) are two essential components of the digital advertising ecosystem. While DSPs and SSPs play different roles, they are essential for effectively delivering digital advertising. However, discrepancies between DSPs and SSPs can cost both parties tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, in lost revenue.

What are DSP/SSP discrepancies?

DSP/SSP discrepancies occur when the data reported by a DSP does not match the data reported by an SSP for a given campaign. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Technical issues: Technical issues with the DSP or SSP can cause discrepancies. For example, suppose a DSP cannot track all the impressions delivered to a user or a new impression-counting method is introduced. In that case, it will underreport or overreport the number of impressions delivered.

  • Fraud: Fraud can also be a cause of DSP/SSP discrepancies. For example, suppose a fraudster can inject fake impressions into a campaign. In that case, the DSP will overreport the number of impressions delivered.

  • Human error: Human error can also lead to DSP/SSP discrepancies. For example, suppose a campaign is set up incorrectly in the DSP or SSP. In that case, it can lead to discrepancies in the reported data.

Anyway you cut it, discrepancies happen, and if not caught immediately, create months of headaches, including troubleshooting, debugging, and negotiating who will pay for the discrepant dollar amounts.

I have been involved in numerous discrepancies while working at a major SSP. I can vouch for the many hours/days, long email threads, and involvement of everyone from sales, account management, product, and engineering to help identify and resolve the issues.

How can DSPs and SSPs avoid discrepancies?

There are several things that DSPs and SSPs can do to avoid discrepancies, such as:

  • Use industry-standard measurement and reporting protocols: DSPs and SSPs should use them to report data consistently.

  • Implement data reconciliation processes: DSPs and SSPs should implement data reconciliation processes to identify and resolve discrepancies.

  • Work with trusted partners: DSPs and SSPs should only work with trusted partners with a good reputation for accuracy and transparency.

By following these steps, DSPs and SSPs can help reduce the risk of discrepancies and protect themselves and their clients from financial losses.

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