Real Time Bidding

Real-time bidding (RTB) is a technology used in online advertising and ad exchanges that allows advertisers to bid for ad impressions on a per-impression basis. Ad exchanges are platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of online advertising inventory in real-time auctions. Locus IT has decade long industry experience in “Real-time bidding” consulting, staffing & training services.

Here’s how real-time bidding works in the context of ad exchanges:

  1. Ad Inventory Availability: When a user visits a website or app that displays ads, the available ad impressions are sent to an ad exchange. These impressions can be in the form of display ads, video ads, or other ad formats.
  2. Ad Exchange Auction: The ad exchange conducts an auction for each available ad impression. This auction process  automated and occurs in real-time. Advertisers and their demand-side platforms (DSPs) participate in these auctions.
  3. Advertiser Bids: Advertisers (or their DSPs) analyze the available impressions and submit bids based on various factors such as user demographics, browsing behavior, location, time of day, and other targeting criteria. Each bid represents the maximum amount the advertiser is willing to pay for that specific impression.
  4. Auction Outcome: Once all bids  submitted, the ad exchange determines the winning bid in real-time. The highest bidder wins the right to display their ad to the user.
  5. Ad Delivery: The winning ad is delivered to the user’s browser or app in a matter of milliseconds, and it is displayed on the webpage or app in the designated ad slot.
  6. User Interaction: If the user interacts with the ad (e.g., by clicking on it), the advertiser may be charged for that interaction, depending on the specific advertising model (e.g., cost per click or cost per mille).
Real-time bidding offers several benefits for both advertisers and publishers:
  • Targeted Advertising: Advertisers can target their ads to specific user segments and demographics, increasing the relevance of the ad to the user.
  • Efficient Pricing: Advertisers can set bid prices based on the perceived value of each impression, which can lead to more cost-effective advertising campaigns.
  • Inventory Monetization: Publishers can maximize their ad revenue by selling ad impressions to the highest bidder in real-time auctions.
  • Real-Time Optimization: Advertisers can adjust their bidding strategies in real-time based on performance data, ensuring optimal campaign performance.

It’s important to note that real-time bidding has evolved, and some privacy concerns have arisen regarding the collection and use of user data in ad targeting. As a result, there have been regulatory changes, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and similar privacy laws in other regions.

Additionally, advances in ad tech have led to alternative advertising methods, including programmatic direct deals and private marketplaces, which offer more controlled and secure ways of buying and selling ad inventory.

Being Technically Fit is a Necessity

Relevant Courses from Locus IT

Real-time bidding (RTB) programming involves the technical aspects of implementing and managing real-time bidding systems within the context of online advertising, therefore RTB programming typically requires knowledge of various technologies, protocols, and tools.

Here’s an overview of what’s involved in RTB programming:
1.Ad Tech Stack:

To work with RTB, you need a solid understanding of the ad tech stack, which includes components such as ad exchanges, demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), data management platforms (DMPs), and ad servers. These components work together to enable real-time bidding.

2.Programming Languages:

RTB systems often built using programming languages such as Java, Python, C++, and Go. The choice of language may depend on the specific platform and technology stack you’re using.

3.APIs and SDKs:

RTB programming often involves interacting with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) provided by ad exchanges, SSPs, and other relevant parties. These APIs allow you to access inventory, submit bids, and  then retrieve data.

4.Bidder Development:

Developing a bidder is a core part of RTB programming. The bidder is responsible for evaluating available ad impressions, making bidding decisions based on various criteria, and submitting bids in real-time auctions, therefore this requires building algorithms to optimize bidding strategies.

5.Real-time Decisioning:

Real-time decisioning engines are crucial in RTB. These engines process large volumes of data in milliseconds to make bid decisions. Developing efficient real-time decisioning algorithms is a key challenge.

6.Data Management:

RTB relies heavily on data, including user data, contextual data, and then  historical data. Managing and processing this data, often with the help of DMPs, is a significant aspect of RTB programming.

7.User Tracking:

Implementing user tracking mechanisms for retargeting and audience segmentation is essential. This involves setting cookies, handling user identifiers, and then  ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.

8.Auction Protocols:

Understanding the auction protocols used in RTB, such as OpenRTB, is critical. These protocols define how bid requests and responses structured and how bidding takes place.

9.Header Bidding:

Header bidding is a variation of RTB that allows publishers to offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously. Implementing header bidding requires specialized knowledge and technology.

10.Ad Creative Handling:

Managing ad creatives, including formats such as display ads, video ads, and rich media, is part of the programming work in RTB. This includes serving creatives to winning bids.

11.Monitoring and Analytics:

Implementing monitoring and analytics tools is crucial for tracking the performance of RTB campaigns, optimizing bidding strategies, and then ensuring compliance with KPIs.

12.Compliance and Privacy:

Staying compliant with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA is a significant concern in RTB programming, therefore You must implement features like user consent management and data protection measures.

13.Scalability and Reliability:

RTB systems need to be highly scalable and reliable to handle a large number of bid requests and ensure minimal downtime.

14.Testing and Quality Assurance:

Rigorous testing, including unit testing, integration testing, and then performance testing, is essential to ensure the robustness of your RTB system.


Implementing security measures to protect against fraud, bot traffic, and then malicious activities is crucial in the online advertising space.


RTB programming is a complex and dynamic field that requires continuous learning and adaptation due to the evolving nature of digital advertising, technology, and privacy regulations. Finally Collaboration with cross-functional teams, including data scientists, ad operations experts, and compliance specialists, is often necessary to build and maintain effective RTB systems.

Locus Academy has more than a decade experience in delivering the training, Staffing on Real Time bidding for corporates across the globe. The participants for the training, Staffing on Real Time bidding are extremely satisfied and are able to implement the learnings in their on going projects. Locus IT has decade long industry experience in “Real-time bidding” consulting, staffing & training services.