Programmatic Display – The Next Big Step In Your Monetization

Updated on: January 4, 2024
In 20223, advertisers will spend $141.96 billion on programmatic display ads in the U.S. alone. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

This new term might be a bit of a curve ball for those familiar with programmatic advertising. What is a programmatic display? How is it different from programmatic advertising? We will run through all of these questions in this article. Before diving in, let’s have a quick refresher on programmatic advertising.

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

In the simplest of terms, programmatic advertising is a method of buying and selling digital advertising space automatically and in real time through a bidding system. It uses algorithms and technology to automate ads’ buying and selling process, eliminating the need for human negotiation and manual insertion orders.

Why Publishers Should Care About Programmatic Advertising?

Here’s what makes programmatic such a versatile tool for publishers. 


One of the important benefits of programmatic display advertising is its ability to target online users – based on behavior, interest, demographics, past purchase history, etc. For instance, when you implement any programmatic techniques (e.g., Header bidding, Programmatic direct, Programmatic guaranteed), your readers will tend to see ads from the brands they’ve known or those relevant to them at the time.

High relevance means better user experience and higher CPMs (ad revenue).


Yet another aspect of programmatic is its efficiency. You can potentially receive bids from thousands of buyers across the globe. It’s impossible for a publisher getting millions of ad impressions monthly to get direct deals from local advertisers to fill up all available inventory. 

Programmatic solves this conundrum too. It connects both sellers and buyers at scale. You’ll get a chance to know the real market value of your ad inventories as several buyers are available to bid for your ad inventories.

Increased Transparency & Control:

Unlike traditional digital advertising, programmatic offers more transparency to publishers and advertisers. While the publishers can see the price associated with their ad inventories, advertisers can see exactly where their ads will be displayed and the type of audience viewing them. Besides, publishers have full control over the ad inventories as they can select buyers accordingly.

Important Cogs in the Programmatic Wheel

Ad Exchanges:

Ad exchanges act as marketplaces and facilitate real-time auctions where advertisers bid for ad impressions from sellers (like you) in real-time. See how ad exchanges are better than ad networks.


A Supply-Side Platform is the technology used to put up the impressions on ad exchanges (and ad networks) for sale. SSP also helps you to set up floor prices (minimum CPM you’re willing to accept) and comes with an in-built optimization/analytics suite.


Demand-Side Platform is similar to SSP. Buyers use DSP to buy impressions from different ad exchanges efficiently.

Sidenote: There are different types of programmatic – Open auction (the one explained above), Private Marketplaces, Programmatic Direct, and Programmatic Guaranteed. However, you can skip the rest for now.

What Is Programmatic Display?

Display ads delivered via the programmatic channels (DSPs, Ad Exchanges, and SSPs) are termed ‘programmatic display’. Display ads are visual media like images, video, text, and audio. They are eye-catching and occupy prime real estate on websites. Advertisers can place display ads on websites through ad networks such as the Google Display Network.

Display ads bought and sold through the programmatic framework often get higher prices and clicks, making it a win-win for publishers and advertisers. 

This is why the demand for programmatic displays is growing faster than any other form of advertising.

Programmatic display ads are a fast-expanding category thanks to digital video ads. Video ads have become the norm on most high-traffic publisher websites and are expected to take over as average internet speeds across the globe increase rapidly year-on-year. 

How to Get Started with the Programmatic Display?

By now, it should be clear to you that programmatic display advertising is simply buying and selling ads with visual media via the programmatic landscape. 

Getting started with the programmatic display may sound a bit complex, but the process is straightforward. SSPs allow you to filter ad content as they do the setup and optimization.

First off, you should assess whether you meet the minimum threshold.

Basic Requirements

The primary requirement to run an effective programmatic display ad campaign is pageviews. Many programmatic partners also set minimum pageviews requirements to sign up for programmatic monetization. So, how many page views should you have at least?

To put it simply, it depends. As mentioned earlier, setting up SSPs is necessary to get bids from multiple ad exchanges. And supply-side platforms have their minimum page view requirements. Some accept publishers with 1 million page views monthly; others might expect 2 million or more.

It isn’t necessary to have a certain audience to get into programmatic. Just that your core audience should be sizable. But our advice is to keep building them right from the start. We’ve seen visitors from Google earning better CPMs than visitors from social media. Sometimes, direct visitors generate more page views and hence, more revenue.

Also, website content must pass brand safety guidelines to qualify for certain ad networks.

Sell-Side Vendors

Once you’ve cleared the basic requirements, you can immediately sign up with an SSP. But here are a few tips to help you filter the best from the rest.


Without a great product, you can’t get the best possible revenue. Page latency, slow ad rendering, etc., will cause you further trouble. So, ensure they have the right product built on an open-source technology (like

Analytics and Optimization: 

The problem with ad networks is that you aren’t in control. But programmatic puts you in control, and you can optimize (on the most granular level possible). Ad sizes, demand partners, pages, ad layouts, ad placements, price floor, you name it. But if the vendor doesn’t provide you with an analytics and optimization dashboard to do it, there’s no point in signing up for them.

Service and Support: 

You can’t overlook the support. As you’re new, you will need all the support you can get during the first few months of using Programmatic.

Wrapping Up

Programmatic display is a subset of programmatic advertisements. It includes display ads or ads that contain visual media like images, videos, and gifs, often alongside text. When display ads are sold through the programmatic framework, it is termed programmatic display ads. It is a way of broadly grouping the type of ads sold via programmatic on its visual style. 

It is seen as the future of digital ads, and it is a crucial distinction that publishers need to note when deciding what kind of ads will be served to visitors on the website’s ad inventory. 


What is a programmatic display?

Programmatic displays are ads with visual media like images, videos, and gifs sold on the programmatic framework. It is a way of broadly grouping the type of ads sold via programmatic on its visual style. 

How does programmatic display advertising work?

Display ads are sold to publishers who put up their inventory on sale via programmatic channels. Multiple advertisers bid for high-traffic spots to maximize CTRs. And the highest bidder’s display ads are shown to the website visitor. 

What is the difference between programmatic ads and display ads?

Any ad bought and sold using automation is called a programmatic ad. But not all programmatic ads are display ads. A display ad is an ad with accompanying visual media. When sold on the programmatic framework, these ads are called programmatic displays.

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