The Top RTB Platforms For Publishers

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quote about top RTB platforms for publishersYour website has premium content, a massive readership, and significant revenues. But you know your site could be making even more money. How do you do it?

You need to build a killer monetization strategy. One focused on increasing CPMs on your inventory. I know, easier said than done.

But Real-Time Bidding or RTB might be that missing link, the right tool to grow your ad revenues. Well, a successful RTB strategy starts with finding the right RTB partner. Today, we’ve got you covered.

But, before I dive into who the top RTB platforms for publishers are, it’s important to understand why RTB matters and what makes a RTB partner great.

Why should publishers use RTB?

It’s simple, publishers that use RTB get higher prices on their ad inventory. Let’s understand a few reasons why:

  • More control of inventory pricing. Price floors can be set to guarantee a minimum bid  and prices can be modified for particular advertisers.
  • More control over which advertisers can and cannot purchase ad space.
  • The ability to closely track audiences means better segmentation, more personalized ads, and increased ad engagement.

Aside from more control and better tracking, RTB eliminates many of the pitfalls of a human-based buying system. VertaMedia says it best, “Most older forms of advertising relied on human ad buyers to manage costs and execution. After establishing some initial parameters, RTB advertising is completely autonomous, so you can walk away with a higher degree of reliability.”

The bottom line: Reliability is what makes programmatic buying (RTB, being a type of programmatic) better for both publishers and advertisers. And as a publisher, programmatic buying is especially key for building a monetization strategy that will lead to double-digit growth. We wrote a Guide to Programmatic Advertising that explains programmatic buying, its benefits, and how to use it to grow your ad revenues.

Does your site not work with a RTB platform? Still wondering exactly what RTB is?

This video can teach you the basics:

What makes a RTB partner great?

If you want the highest possible CPMs it’s key that you find the right RTB platform for your site. But, what does that entail?

First, as a publisher, you need to find a platform that offers the right monetization solutions for your website. So, for example, if your site is very visual and full of images, it’s best to work with a RTB platform that specializes in In-Image advertising. However, if your site has very few images, but a lot of video, it would be best to work with a platform that focuses on pre-roll or overlay video ads.

Second, a great RTB platform is concerned with ensuring ad quality. The platform you work with should offer premium demand and the technology necessary to assure brand safety.

Third, they should be experts in setting price floors, making your inventory appealing to advertisers, and managing the entire bidding process. A great RTB platform will leverage your data to provide better targeting to advertisers, ensuring higher bids. Now, let’s get to the top RTB platforms for publishers.

The top RTB platforms for publishers

Finding the right RTB platform really depends on the type of monetization solution that will work best for your website. With that in mind, these are 5 top RTB platforms for publishers, each offering distinct monetization solutions and benefits.

1. Outbrain

Outbrain a top RTB platforms for publishers

Outbrain is a leader in content recommendation, a monetization solution used by many of today’s major publishers. Content recommendations are generally placed directly below an article and use catchy headlines and images to attract clicks. Outbrain works with publishers and brands in over 55 countries and serves 200 billion recommendations a month to an audience of 557 million.

One tool the company uses to increase its publishers’ revenues is RTB. According to its website, Outbrain utilizes a “RTB Engine. A machine learning, autopilot, native inventory algo-trading engine” to ensure the highest bids possible for publishers. In addition, Outbrain helps publishers to increase bids on its advertisements by personalizing its ads based on behavioral data.

2. Imonomy

Imonomy website

Imonomy is an intelligent In-Image platform that gives publishers and networks the ability to monetize the most engaged areas of websites, the editorial images. Why In-Image ads? 1) Incremental revenue from a previously untapped resource. 2) Personalized user experience and contextually relevant ads. 3) Increased engagement and higher CPMs. We work with over 13,000 publishers and monetize over 800 million images across the web.

RTB is one of our key ways to connect with DSP platforms to ensure high CPMs for publishers. Our platform uses real-time data to optimize price floors and spur revenue growth. Olga Levin, our Senior Business Development Manager, explains, “Our platform is connected to hundreds of premium demand partners to maximize bid competitions and ensure quality brand safe ads. RTB allows us to speed up loading times and safeguard user experiences for our publishers.”

Still aren’t quite sure what In-Image advertising is? Here’s an example of one of our ads on, a premiere sports website:

247Sports In Image Advertising

3. Sharethrough

Sharethrough website

Sharethrough specializes in programmatic native advertising and it’s chief product is “video view ads,” which are silent autoplaying video ads that only play sound when clicked on. The company works with over 400 premium publishers, has raised over $37 million, and has over 170 employees.

One of the primary tools Sharethrough uses to grow its publishers’ ad revenues is programmatic buying, specifically RTB. Sharethrough’s CEO, Dan Greenberg, explains in an interview that his company leverages RTB in order to ensure that native video ads can be bought on an auction basis just as banner and typical video ads can be. The results? More control for publishers and increased revenues due to higher prices for their inventory.

4. LiveIntent

LiveIntent website

LiveIntent is an advertising platform that places ads on emails. LiveIntent offers marketers the opportunity to put ads in front of 120 million people, while providing publishers with a brand new revenue stream. According to Jerry Sandoval, EVP at LiveIntent, ads in emails are highly engaging and have a significantly higher click-through rate than a traditional display ad.

Sandoval, in an article on AdExchanger, comments on the power of email to engage audiences:  “The response rate in email is much higher; click-through rates can be easily ten times greater. So it’s very effective, and inventory will only continue to grow dramatically month over month on the supply as well as the demand side.”

The primary way LiveIntent grows publishers’ revenues is by offering them a previously untapped location to place ads, while ensuring high CPMs through RTB and other tools. By primarily running a bidding auction in real-time, LiveIntent ensures the highest value for each impression.

5. Inneractive

Inneractive website

Inneractive is a mobile ad exchange that specializes in native video ads. Innerative’s main advantage is that its ads are specifically designed for mobile and fit natively to mobile apps and websites. The company has over 630 million unique users per-month and employs over 90 people. Quite recently, Inneractive was recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA.

Inneractive’s Unified Auction is an algorithm that works with RTB to maximize CPMs. Features include smart floor pricing based on country and/or property, improved UX, and increased engagement. Finally, Inneractive promises advanced analytics capabilities and brand safe ads.  

Zev Newman

Zev manages Imonomy's content strategy, social media marketing, and SEO. He loves the Detroit Lions, learning just about anything, and writing about the world of online publishing, marketing, and advertising. If you are interested in collaborating, Zev can be reached at


  1. Iditsays:

    Great insights!

  2. Hi Zev,
    Read your article, very interesting.
    Real Time Bidding is a growing trend in the programmatic advertising industry.
    Hoping that demand partners will embrace it as soon as possible so us, publishers, could see greater revenue and try to overcome the loss of revenue due to adblockers…

    • Zev Newmansays:

      Timothy, thank you for reading and for your insightful comment! Yes, completely agree. RTB will be a key factor for helping publishers overcome diminishing revenues. It will be interesting to see how the trend unfolds in 2017.

  3. Hi,
    Good Post. very helpful and thank you so much for sharing this pretty post about RTB.

    RTB Suite for Revive Adserver plugin includes DSP, SSP, Header Bidding and Bidder Adaptor all these features in single plugin and it help more for publishers and advertisers.

What do you think?