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Best SSPs For Publishers in 2021 – A Comprehensive List

Best SSP For Publishers 2021
“Programmatic Ad Inventory Shouldn’t be Viewed as the Remnant Inventory”

Supply-Side Platforms (or simply, SSPs) are the intermediary platforms that connect publishers to numerous demand partners at the same time in a programmatic marketplace aka ad exchanges. Publishers use SSPs for selling their ad remnant inventories via open ad exchanges, private marketplaces, and sometimes, direct deals

“Programmatic Ad Inventory Shouldn’t be Viewed as the Remnant Inventory”

– Michael Dugan, CTO, Hearst Magazines.

That being said, most web publishers tend to connect with top SSPs to sell their remnant ad inventories via open auctions.

Table of Content:

What is an SSP?

SSP or Supply-Side Platforms are the ad tech platforms that help publishers to sell ad impressions at a better price by sending bid requests to multiple demand partners. When real-time bidding has begun to gain traction and take over the digital advertising industry, publishers (on the supply side) have the opportunity to connect with multiple demand partners (demand-side platforms). And, that’s where SSPs come in.

SSPs connect publishers’ ad inventories to multiple demand partners (DSPs) via Ad Exchanges or sometimes directly. So when a user loads a page, ad requests will be sent to multiple DSPs that are connected to thousands of media buyers bidding to show ads to your users.

The highest paying bid is procured by the SSP and then passed to the ad server (say, Google Ad Manager). Then the ad server will the decision based on your configuration and serve the ad.

Why do you need an SSP (Supply-Side Platform)?

Although ad exchanges and ad networks provide publishers a platform to connect with multiple demand partners, SSPs will help you to connect with numerous ad exchanges/networks and pave the way to reach hundreds of thousands of advertisers across the globe. Other than establishing a connection with a large number of advertisers, SSPs manage the complexity of working with multiple ad networks or exchanges at once and offers various other advantages such as a suite of tools to troubleshoot networks/exchanges, unified dashboards, and many more.

However, with the presence of a multitude of SSPs in the industry, it is important to analyze and choose the right partners that can help to earn maximum revenue for every ad impression. So, after reviewing a bunch of SSPs available in the marketplace, we’ve chosen some of the top SSPs (supply-side platforms) based on their offerings and listed them below (in particular order). 

Sidenote: You might have a question by now. As getting into an SSP opens up your impressions to a huge number of advertisers, why should a publisher restrict itself to a few platforms? Simple – Page latency (adding more partners can make your pages slow and drive away visitors), bid rate (not all the SSPs you connect with, will bid for your impressions. It depends on advertisers, reach, and user data), win rate (Some SSPs wouldn’t win a significant number of impressions, even if you add them to your stack). So, it’s advised to go with the right ones and test, experiment, and optimize over time.

Best SSPs for Publishers

  • OpenX
  • Pubmatic
  • Rubicon Project
  • AppNexus
  • Oath (Verizon Media)
  • Sovrn
  • Index Exchange
  • SpotX
  • Teads.tv
  • Google Ad Manager



OpenX provides one of the best SSPs for publishers enabling them to get access to premium advertisers through its ad exchange (which is connected to 135+ demand-side platforms). Many top publishers including VICE, Venatus Media, iFunny, etc. have leveraged OpenX’s SSP platform to lift their revenue.

“Minimum Traffic Requirement – More than 10 Million Monthly Page Views”



  • Eliminating the necessity of passback or waterfall method, OpenX offers two types of header bidding solutions – OpenX Bidder (proprietary) and Adapters for third-party header bidding wrappers, to the publishers that help them to connect with several demand partners via the OpenX exchange marketplace or any other third-party ad exchanges to sell the available ad impressions in real-time at best possible CPM rate. 
  • Video monetization solutions (video header bidding) for publishers to monetize their video inventories in the marketplace. With OpenX SSP, publishers can reach out to 45+ video DSPs across the globe. Also, it offers a variety of video ad formats i.e. in-stream, and out-stream. 
  • OpenX offers programmatic direct deals i.e. Programmatic guaranteed, Private auctions, and Preferred deals for publishers that enable them to achieve greater control over their inventories and offer more transparency. Also, OpenX’s direct deals are capable of mitigating brand-safety concerns related to sensitive advertising categories such as Pharmaceuticals.
  • The SSP provides SDKs (Software Development Kits) to app publishers and leverages the kits by directly integrating with the application and their programmatic advertising effectively without affecting the quality of app domains. With the assistance of third-party viewability vendors such as Integral Ad Science and MOAT, OpenX ensures the publishers maximize the viewability score as well as a better user experience. 


Pubmatic SSP

Being a top tier SSP, Pubmatic Supply-Side Platform has been trusted by many big publishers like Dictionary.com, Tribal Football, etc. and offers full-stack technology to enhance publisher’s ad revenue by connecting them to demand partners from all over the globe. 


  • OpenWrap Header Bidding. 
  • Mobile Application Monetization.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.
  • Analytics tools and dashboard.


  • Pubmatic offers header bidding solutions for both apps developers and web publishers and enables publishers to monetize their ad inventories in real-time. OpenWrap i.e. Pubmatic’s header bidding wrapper is built on Prebid wrapper core and offers various benefits including client-side/server-side support, centralized reporting, and multiple ad formats support.
  • It provides OpenBid SDK for mobile app publishers and developers to attract more third-party demand via server-side header bidding. With the help of Pubmatic’s OpenBid, app developers can get access to more than 200 demand partners and agencies through PMP, RTB, and header bidding.
  • Provides a proprietary dashboard (analytics platform) with cloud-based UI that enables publishers to get insights into aggregated data, and manage the performance of various demand sources.
  • Like OpenX, Pubmatic also offers programmatic direct deals (Guaranteed and Preferred deals, PMPs) enabling publishers to sell their premium ad impressions at a higher CPM rate to pre-approved advertisers based on certain parameters (CPM rates, number of ad impressions, types of ad formats, etc.).
  • To provide best-quality ads on behalf of publishers, the supply-side platform has partnered with The Media Trust and Confiant. Also, it offers automated solutions that help publishers to safeguard their ad inventories and ensure that the ads are free from malware, and do not violate advertising policies.

Rubicon Project

Rubicon Project SSP

Trusted by Business Insider, Financial Times, GANNETT, Los Angeles Times, Hearst, and many other top publishers, Rubicon Project is one of the best options for publishers who are looking for a supply-side platform.

“Minimum Traffic Requirement – 5M+ Monthly Page Views”


  • Heading Bidding Solutions.
  • Mobile Application Monetization.
  • Video Monetization Solutions.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.


  • Rubicon provides header bidding wrapper built on top of the open-source technology (i.e. Prebid) for the web as well as mobile app developers. Publishers can integrate their website with Rubicon’s marketplace via its supply-side platform.
  • Rubicon offers private marketplace deals, preferred deals, programmatic guaranteed campaigns for premium publishers. Hence, improved yield and proper management of advertising.
  • It provides a variety of ad formats/sizes for web publishers and mobile app developers. Also, Rubicon offers various robust reporting and analysis tools to get insights into the performance of the ad campaigns and improve delivery and ad revenue.
  • Besides, the seller platform offers video monetization solutions for publishers across various devices (i.e. TV, OTT, DOOH, Programmatic TV, etc.) and reporting to analyze the performance of ads.


AppNexus SSP

At AppNexus’ seller-platform, publishers can reach hundreds of demand partners and sell their ad inventories by using open auctions or private auctions. Several publishers like Ouest France, Schibsted, Seattle Times, and many more, have integrated the AppNexus’ SSP with their website and improved their website’s ad revenue.

Minimum Traffic Requirement – 10M+ Monthly Page Views”


  • Heading Bidding Solutions. 
  • Mobile Application Monetization. 
  • Video Monetization Solutions. 
  • Programmatic Direct Deals. 
  • Native Advertising. 


  • AppNexus’s SSP platform allows you to set up server-side header bidding and run auctions on the server-side, improving page load speed.
  • It offers auditing tools to publishers that enable them to edit manually to optimize the ad experience for the users. 
  • Provides header bidding solutions to app publishers through Prebid mobile and helps them to monetize their AMP inventories as well. Also, the platform offers monetization solutions for video advertising through the Prebid video.
  • Besides open exchanges, it enables publishers to plug their premium ad inventory into private marketplaces and makes it easier to sell them to a selected number of advertisers without making additional contacts to demand partners from an open marketplace. 

Oath (Verizon Media)

Verizon SSP

Offering various data-driven monetization solutions for publishers, the seller-side platform runs various ad campaigns such as CPM, CPC, CPA, and CPI campaigns for publishers across the globe. By accessing more than 230+ demand partners, publishers can make the most out of their ad impressions and increase their overall ad revenue. 

Minimum Traffic Requirement – 3M+ Monthly Page Views”


  • Heading Bidding Solutions.
  • Mobile Application Monetization.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.
  • Dashboard.


  • Oath’s SSP offers various video monetization solutions to publishers and app developers. It provides them access to multiple advertisers and enables them to sell their display or video ad inventory via header bidding, or PMP deals such as programmatic guaranteed.
  • It provides app monetization solutions to gaming or app publishers by integrating its proprietory SDK to the apps and helps them to enhance their mobile revenue without hampering the user experience. Also, with the help of the Oath’s SDK, publishers can mediate their app inventories to Google’s AdMob.
  • Offers advanced revenue and traffic reporting and customization tools for publishers to keep a track of various parameters including generated revenue (last 7 days), basic metrics related to traffic, and ad impressions sold.


Sovrn SSP

Sovrn helps a publisher to connect with hundreds of demand partners from anywhere in the world and maximize the revenue of each ad impression with its proprietary technologies. The platform enables a publisher to take advantage of Google’s Exchange Bidding Dynamic Allocation, Amazon’ TAM (Transparent Ad Marketplace), and many more.


  • Heading Bidding Solutions.
  • Mobile Application Monetization.
  • Email Monetization.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.
  • Ad Block Unblock.


  • With the server-side script configuration of the wrapper, publishers/developers can easily integrate server-to-server header bidding to their website and have full control over their ad inventories while monetizing.
  • Offers a dashboard for analytics and reporting that includes various features such as data management, bid level reporting, and domain filtering. With the help of Sovrn’s dashboard, publishers and quickly understand the behavior of bid requests, understand the data, performance of ad providers, etc.
  • Sovrn’s dashboard comes with an additional feature i.e. Ad Block Unblock. Via Ad Block Unblock, a publisher can understand data and get insights to identify the impact of ad-blocking on a website.
  • Besides content monetization, Sovrn also provides products to monetize e-mails and mobile data through which publishers can monetize in-app data, location data, etc. 


Teads.TV SSP

Teads is one of the best-suited seller-side platforms for publishers who are looking to run video ads (out-stream) on their websites. Trusted by some of the top publishers such as BBC, CNN International, Mail Online, Bloomberg, and many more, Teads provides a video monetization suite to premium publishers. 


  • Teads Studio. 
  • Video SSP.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.


  • Just like other Seller-Side Platforms, Teads provides an open exchange platform for publishers and enables them to sell their video ad impressions via second-price auctions.
  • Via Teads SSP, publishers can get access to Teads Studio (Teads’ creative and data platform for advertisers) and create, personalize ads for better user experience across all devices (mobile, desktop, or tablet).
  • With the help of Teads programmatic direct deals, a publisher can open-up their ad inventories to the best demand partners before selling them through open exchanges or marketplaces. Additionally, the platform offers native advertising that would look like a publisher’s organic content and video advertising on any device.
  • Offers a dashboard to analyze advertising performance data of all demand partners. 



Known as a video-first technology provider, SpotX’s SSP helps a publisher to connect with demand partners and sell the video ads space, thus maximizing the yield. The platform handles everything – from ad management to ad trafficking and offers video ad products to both web publishers and app developers. 


  • Heading Bidding Solutions.
  • Video Monetization.
  • Programmatic Direct Deals.


  • SpotX SSP provides a holistic platform to sell the ad inventories through open auctions and private deals. Its advertising capabilities enable a publisher to monetize their video ad space across various devices including gaming consoles, connected TVs, or any other OTT (Over the Top) device.
  • Offers direct and server-side header bidding solutions to run and monetize in-stream video ads. Also, SpotX provides video player bidding that can be integrated with some of the best video players such as JW Player, Brightcove, etc.
  • SpotX has partnered with many top DMPs like Adobe, Lotame, LiveRamp, and Salesforce, and enables publishers to get insights into audience data. That being said, a publisher has to pay a fee for DMPs separately. 

Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager SSP

Google Ad Manager (also an extensive ad server) helps publishers to earn revenue by running display, video, and rich media ads. As one of the largest SSPs in the market, Ad Manager enables a publisher to fill their ad requests with the highest paying ads.


  • Exchange Bidding (s2s header bidding). 
  • Video Advertising.
  • Direct Sales and Managed PMPs.
  • Dashboard and Advanced Reporting System.


  • Google Ad Manager offers Exchange Bidding for publishers that help them to connect with more demand partners at once and increase their ad revenue programmatically just like header bidding does. Also, the SSP offers various programmatic channels to sell their advertising space such as open auctions, preferred deals, private auctions, first look, etc.
  • Provides a powerful dashboard that helps a publisher to get better insights into the performance of various ad campaigns, revenue growth opportunities, and many more. Besides this, publishers can integrate various other tools offered by Google such as Google Analytics, BigQuery, and Data Studio seamlessly.
  • Google’s SSP follows strong advertising policies and ensures the publisher’s brand safety and better user experience.
  • For the video ad publishers, Google Ad Manager offers monetization solutions and supports various ad formats such as in-stream, out-stream, rewarded, and vertical. Also, it helps publishers in monetizing video content across various devices e.g. OTT.

Index Exchange

Index Exchange SSP

Index Exchange is on the best SSPs for publishers. Being a fully-integrated monetization platform for publishers, Index Exchange SSP helps publishers to increase their ad impressions’ CPM rates and maximum yield for the website. The SSP has 


  • Heading Bidding Solutions.
  • Display and Video Monetization solutions.
  • Direct Sales and Managed PMPs.


  • With the help of Index Exchange’s SSP, a publisher can connect with premium advertisers to sell their high-value ad inventories at the highest possible CPM rates. 
  • Offers header bidding solutions by integrating wrapper (or adapter if you use a wrapper) on the publisher’s website and enables the publisher to sell their ad inventories to multiple demand partners in real-time.
  • Index Exchange is a member of the Prebid community, and hence it can help you integrate the Prebid server adapter and other products and services of the community.
  • The SSP’s header bidding wrapper supports GDPR TCF1 and TCF2, and CCPA. However, it doesn’t support COPPA.

Nowadays, supply-side platforms are the next step for many publishers who want to extend their reach and sell the advertising space at scale in real-time. As all the SSPs offer programmatic display and video ads to publishers, you might be a bit confused about suitability. The platforms typically don’t mention the minimum page views required to partner up with a site publicly. If you’re a premium publisher with hundreds of millions of page views, you, indeed, can get into all of the SSPs we’ve discussed. 

But in reality, most of the mid-sized and smaller publishers with niche/engaged audiences couldn’t get into the top-tier SSPs. The requirements are too high and some prefer to work only with the top media companies. 

That’s where managed header bidding providers come in. At Automatad, we connect your ad inventories to many global demand partners (including the ones we’ve mentioned here) via a transparent header bidding setup. You can also explore our advanced ad refresh products and more here.

The Drum - Mid-sized publishers

What’s Next?

A few years back, digital advertising was straightforward. But, with the rise of programmatic advertising and various technologies, it is crucial to understand which platform can provide maximum yield for your website. So, we suggest you check their capabilities (access to numerous demand partners, the interface of the platform, technical support, etc) and then, decide what’s right for the test run.

And, it’s an iterative process. You need to keep an eye on redirects, malvertising hits, ad quality, and user experience while experimenting with demand partners. Need to connect with multiple SSPs? Get in touch with us

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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