Top DSPs 2018

Artyom Dogtiev

Updated: November 29, 2018


A DSP or Demand Side Platform is a system that allows brands, agencies, app developers that buy advertising inventory from publishers to manage multiple Ad Exchange and Data Exchange accounts through a single unified interface. Essentially, with a DSP advertising solution, advertisers can bid on ads (banners, video, native and other types) and optimize ad performance based on eCPC (stands for effective Cost Per Click) and eCPM (stands for effective Cost Per Mile) Key Performance Indicators.

The value of best DSPs lies in its transparency, the capacity to empower advertisers to manage lots of ads, bid real-time, track and optimize ads performance. With a DSP platform, and mobile DSP in particular, they can buy mobile ad inventory across a wide range of publishers, through a single interface. Advertisers can see the market rate for every impression they buy, control which exchanges they want to buy across and how much they want to bid.

Demand Side Platform as a part of online advertising system

Source: Mobidea blog

In 2017 world online ad spend reached $88 billion, which is 21.4% up from the previous year. On the desktop side of the digital advertising revenue equation we saw 5.8% grow to $38.1 billion.

Given what we’ve stated above about the value of DSPs, it’s no wonder that the digital advertising space is seeing a fierce competition among top players. The following table brings up a picture for the actual demand on the top DSP advertising platforms.

Percentage for advertisers intention to buy on leading DSPs

Company name Category Average % Point Change from Prior Wave
1 DoubleClick Bid Manager 41  –
2 Amazon Advertising 39  –
3 Sizmek 34 -4
4 Oath DSP 34 -4
5 Adobe Media Optimizer DSP 34 -5
6 theTradeDesk 32  –
7 MediaMath 32 -4
8 Adobe Advertising Cloud 31
9 AppNexus 29
10 DataXu 27 -4

Source: AdvertisingPerceptions.com

If you ever felt like you couldn’t quite answer yourself a question – what is a DSP, you are not alone. The next table is here to demonstrate the level of confusion among advertisers when it comes to what Demand Side Platform to choose to spend their advertising budget with. As you can see, unfortunately, less than one of four advertisers knows exactly what DSP is and hence has a hard time choosing the right platform to work with.

Widespread confusion over platforms and their services

Source: AdvertisingPerceptions.com

Once we’ve addressed a confusion among advertisers, let’s talk a bit about various kinds of Demand Side Platforms. Mobile DSPs are the next step in the evolution of advertising networks, they are designed to tackle many challenges of mobile advertising. These are include precise targeting and the need to deliver a message that is relevant to users and does not ruin their experience of using a mobile app or visiting a website. Recent advances in technology mean that mobile DSPs, can now track smartphone and tablet models, operating systems, screen size, location and more. The past couple years have seen a huge shift towards mobile programmatic buying, as advertisers begin to reap the rewards of sophisticated targeting and measurement capabilities.

Another special case for demand side platforms is a Video DSP. For the last several years video has been the fastest growing medium for advertising, with companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, Oath (former Yahoo) that owns Brightroll and Adobe that owns TubeMogul are leading the field. This grow led to development of multiple ad formats to meet requirements of both desktop and mobile platforms. Vertical video ads on Snapchat are radically different from pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll video ads on Google’s YouTube.

How to choose a DSP Advertising platform

Not sure where to start? When choosing a DSP there are some key questions to consider: how many inventory sources does it access? Does that include app and mobile web inventory or both? A larger reach gives you the best chance of finding the most effective impressions. Which third-party data integrations does it offer? What targeting criteria is available? The success of programmatic campaigns depend largely on the strength of data available to target audiences. Finally, how sophisticated are its algorithms? The most effective automatic optimization will win the most bids at the most competitive prices.

To help you to make an informative decision on choosing the right DSP for desktop and mobile ad campaigns, we’ve gone through variety of DSP advertising platforms and picked the best ones for you. So here is the list of Top DSPs for 2018 and their key features.

Note: the companies on the list we’ve complied below are not in any priority order.

The full list of DSPs:

DoubleClick Bid Manager


Doubleclick Bid Manager is  part of Google’s Display & Video 360 advertising solution. It is a Demand Side Platform for agencies, trading desks and advertisers to get access to ad exchanges with a wide range of exclusive video, display and mobile inventory from Google. Its targeting capabilities are defined by more than 100 ad exchanges and approximately 1 billion websites, opportunity to run ads across, desktop, mobile and tablet, multiple bidding strategies support and more.

  • Highlights: connects to 100+ ad exchanges, allows to run ads across mobile, desktop and tablet, allows to buy brand-safe inventory for YouTube and TV ads programmatically through Google Partner Select, DBM’s premium video marketplace
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: Universal/Gaming: All Categories: Power Ranking #2
  • Tagline: n/a

Display & Video 360 reporting integration

Adobe Media Optimizer DSP

Adobe Media Optimizer DSP is a global cross-channel advertising platform from Adobe for brands and agencies to plan, buy, measure and optimize their ad campaigns. As an independent demand-side platform (DSP), TubeMogul provides brand marketers with integration with the world’s best targeting, reporting and inventory partners. The major feature that sets it apart from other DSP platforms is that its programmatic sophistication allows marketers to run ad campaigns across digital screens, TV and out-of-home channels with a single dashboard.

  • Highlights: programmatic ad campaigns capabilities that cover desktop, mobile, TV and offline out-of-home channels
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Maximize video advertising across desktop, mobile, streaming devices and TV.

Adobe Media Optimizer DSP

Oath DSP

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Oath DSP is a Demand Side Platform for advertisers to programmatically monitor, create and manage ad campaigns. The combination of an access to premium ad inventory and applying Machine Learning algorithms allows Oath DSP allows advertisers to reach precise audiences across all ad formats and desktop and mobile devices.

  • Highlights: 165 million data points daily, ML optimization algorithms, powered by Oath ad tech
  • AppsFlyer Performance IndexSoutheast Asia/Up & Comers #5
  • Tagline: Combines unique data with a new ML optimization platform to deliver on complex branding and performance goals

Oath DSP

Amazon DSP

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Amazon DSP, formerly known as AAP or Amazon Advertising Platform, is a Demand Side Platform from Amazon Inc. It’s part of its digital advertising platform. There are several features that set this platform aside from the rest in the industry. For starters, it uses exclusive Amazon audiences to reach highly targeted audience on and off Amazon. With Amazon DSP, advertisers can programmatically reach audiences both on Amazon sites and apps as well as through its publishing partners and third-party exchanges.

  • Highlights: unparalleled reach, industry class hardware and software ad solution
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Reach your audiences at scale wherever they are—on Amazon sites and across the web.

Amazon DSP intro page screenshot

Sizmek


Sizmek is the world’s largest independent ad server company founded in 1999. Its AI-powered platform helps advertisers to gain insights within their data across the 5 key dimensions of predictive marketing—campaigns, consumers, context, creative, and cost. Sizmek provides resources at a global scale and allow advertisers to combine dynamic creative, coupled with predictive AI – to deliver impressions that deliver high ROI. Artificial Intelligence algorithms are also applied by Sizmek to help advertisers to plan, buy, execute, and measure campaigns with laser-precision.

  • Highlights: omnichannel marketing – mobile, display, rich media, video and social, easy-to-use comprehensive ad campaign reporting, report exporting as .CSV
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Impressions That Inspire.

Sizmek DSP: Visualize key trends with the Top Insights Report

Tradedesk


theTradedesk is one of the largest Demand Side Platforms on the market. Being a pioneer of a real-time bidding advertising technology, the company empowers ad buyers with one of the most advances set of bid capabilities on the market, as well as full-funnel attribution, and detailed reporting that illustrates the consumer journey from initial impression to conversion. Among its clients are ad networks that are looking for a tech partner to provide new services in RTB, data owners looking to take advantage of the information they’ve accumulated, agency trading desks, to the most sophisticated buyers in RTB.

  • Highlights: pioneer in RTB tech, best bidding capabilities in the industry
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: A clearer view of digital advertising

theTradeDesk website screenshot

Adform


Adform is a Denmark-based advertising technology company. Its DSP solution provides advertisers with targeting and retargeting options to reach specific audience with all industry standard ad formats across all screens – desktop, mobile and tablet. Among its partners are AppNexus, Bid Switch, Teams, Pubmatic, OpenX, Oath, Rubicon.

  • Highlights: sophisticated bidding options, cross-device targeting, dealt-time algorithmic ad campaign optimization.
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Precision Omni-Channel Targeting

Adform website screenshot

Amobee


Amobee is a premium mobile ad network and technology company, offering a wide range of advertising/monetization solutions for advertisers, developers/publishers and organizations. Its DSP supplies advertisers with a single dashboard to plan, execute and analyze audience-first ad campaigns. It allows to reach audiences across video, mobile, display, social and TV ad channels.

  • Highlights: seamless omnichannel ad campaigns, precise targeting, built-in reporting and analysis.
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Where rich data turns into compelling action.

Amobee website screenshot

AppNexus Programmable Platform


AppNexus is a New York-based company that provides a platform for real-time advertising across multiple devices including mobile. The platform offers supply and demand in the form of a Real Time Bidding marketplace, and for advertisers this means they will be able to find the right audiences at the right time for their campaigns to enable better performance. The platform’s architecture enables highly scalable ad serving, prioritizing direct deals for mobile ad networks.

  • Highlights: highly scalable ad serving to mobile ad networks, multiple screen campaigns including mobile from a single point, customizable and extensive targeting and reporting
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Powers The Advertising That Powers The Internet

Introducing the AppNexus Programmable Platform

Epom Market

Epom Market ad network provides publishers and media buyers with top-quality demand and supply for online advertising. With Epom Market  advertisers get programmatic selfie-serve platform powered by RTB-technology to ensure cost-effective ads and get access to high quality desktop and mobile inventory.

  • Highlights: 100% self-serve, transparent media buying experience, easy ad campaign setup, anti-fraud protection, real-time analytics, top-ranked publishers.
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Demand Side Platform for Self-Serve Advertising

Epom Market dashboard screenshot

Lazarus DSP


Lazarus DSP is a Demand Side Platform from Fibonad. The platform is built for advertisers, agencies and ad networks to buy display impressions from multiple ad exchanges in real time and tune all aspects of their advertising campaigns. Lazarus offers brands a set of targeting options that include geolocation, device, operating system, browser, vertical, caps and keyword targeting is in its pipeline. The range of ad formats include native, video and display, with pricing structure that is based on CPM model with CPA, CPC and CPM goals and even direct CPA, once testing was done.

  • Highlights: audience-based buying, sophisticated optimization, real-time reporting, high security level
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: OTT, Connected TV, & premium media buying for marketing professionals

Lazarus DSP website screenshot

SmartyAds


Smarty Ads is a full-stack programmatic company, provides complex RTB advertising solutions. SmartyAds DSP combines programmatic buying, campaign management and optimization to run campaigns across multiple channels – Display, Video, Native and Mobile.

  • Highlights: centralized management system, global reach, transparent pricing, real-time analytics and reporting.
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: The Full-Stack Programmatic Ad Platform

Criteo Dynamic Retargeting


Criteo Dynamic Retargeting is an online retargeting platform for the ad solution from Criteo – one of the leading commerce marketing companies, founded in Paris, France. It went a long way from being a small start-up to the company with 2,700 employees in 30 offices around the globe and 1,2 billion ads served in 2017 alone. The platform is used by more than 18,000 marketers all over the globe that rely on displaying their video and display ads on publisher’s premium mobile, tablet and desktop ad inventory. Criteo Dynamic Retargeting platform helps brands to re-engage 90% of their target audience and increase their ROI up to 13 times.

  • Highlights: dynamic retargeting across mobile, tablet and desktop, 1,4 billion ads served to active online shoppers
  • AppsFlyer Performance IndexThe Global Retargeting Index: Universal #2
  • Tagline: The advertising platform for the open Internet.

Criteo website screenshot

StackAdapt


StackAdapt is a Toronto, Canada-based programmatic native advertising platform that provides both self-serve and hosted DSP solution for advertisers. Among platform’s distinctive features its easy-to-use interface, Machine Leaning algorithms that power its efficiency, real-time campaign optimization, intent-based targeting and retargeting capabilities, state-of-the-art fraud detection, transparent user data & inventory, award-winning customer support and no monthly minimums.

  • Highlights: native advertising, advanced targeting & retargeting capabilities, Machine Learning algorithms
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: The #1 programmatic native advertising platform

StackAdapt website screenshot

Appreciate


Appreciate is a Smart mobile DSP focused on an in-app advertising, founded in Israel in 2013. It provides self-served transparent DSP solution to media buyers to target, run and optimize in-app mobile campaigns in the real-time bidding environment. The demand-side platform provides access to thousands of curated and premium mobile apps to run ad campaigns in.

  • Highlights: simple setup and planning, transparent tracking and reporting, multiple targeting capabilities, rich ad format portfolio
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Algorithms that work!

DataXu


DataXu is a marketing software company founded in 2009 in Boston, US. One of the tools it provides advertisers is a mobile DSP. It features an easy-to-use UI that has won the company an award as #1 in usability, a suite of various targeting tactics, location-based strategies, as well as a dedicated support team and training for marketing agencies to launch successful mobile ad campaigns.

  • Highlights: audience-based buying, sophisticated optimization, real-time reporting, high security level
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: OTT, Connected TV, & premium media buying for marketing professionals

Tapad


Tapad is a cross-device marketing solutions providing company that is focused on supplying digital marketing solutions that work in unison across multiple devices and allow marketers to deliver personalized messages at scale. It was found in New York, US in 2010 and now it has offices in Chicago, London, Oslo, Singapore and Tokyo. Among features that set it apart from competition are the cross-device DSP advertising solution to maximize video ads reach between smartphone, tablet and desktop, as well as providing solutions to boost both online and offline performance.

  • Highlights: measuring TV ads effectiveness, cross-device DSP, online & offline ad solutions
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Reinventing Personalization For The Modern Marketer

MediaMath


MediaMath is a digital marketing technology company founded in New York in 2007. Back in 2007 it was the first company that introduced DSP solution in the market. MediaMath omnichannel DSP allows marketers to manage ad campaigns across multiple channels – mobile, display, social, video, audio and native.

  • Highlights: omnichannel solution, pioneer on the DSP market
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Strength in Numbers

Bucksense


Bucksense is the programmatic platform for digital marketers, launched in 2012 in Madrid, Spain. The company’s DSP solution operates across five channels – Display, Native, Video, Mobile and Desktop. With Bucksense, marketers ad campaigns data is collected and analyzed every hour, as well as a bidding strategy is being automatically updated.

  • Highlights: provides access to more than 18 ad exchanges, retargeting, hyper targeting, multiple device and format optimization, Native Video format supply, proprietary Responsive Ad units, Rewarded Video self-serve early adopter, connects from 18 to 70+ ad exchanges, PMP deals, serves 350 agencies
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Programatic built to optimize your conversion path
Bucksense website screenshot

AppLift


AppLift is a data-driven technology company that empowers mobile app advertisers to acquire and re-engage quality users at scale. Headquartered in Berlin, AppLift acquired mobile DSP Bidstalk in 2015. Having integrated Bidstalk’s technology, AppLift’s mobile media buying platform DataLift360 now provides access to over 30 programmatic mobile display, video and native SSPs and exchanges, and other supply sources through its self-service platform. Datalift’s technology utilizes first and third-party data to optimize media buys, while real-time analytics let you measure and optimize campaign performance.

Appnext

Appnext logo
Appnext is a mobile discovery platform, founded in 2012. Its self-serve mobile DSP operates on a cost-per-install (CPI) bidding basis, allowing advertisers to reach the right customers and buy directly from the top performing publishers. Appnext lets you run local and global campaigns in over 230 countries. The advanced reporting tools give you a clear view of your bids, placements and revenue.

Appnext website screenshot

Basis by Centro


Centro is advertising technology company, founded in 2001 in Chicago, US. Centro offers a DSP solution for both advertisers and publishers, as a hosted solution or a white label software. In 2016 the company got the IAB Sales Excellence Award.

  • Highlights: single dashboard to plan, run and analyze programmatic, direct, search and social media ad campaigns, storing data for all internal and external communications for an ad campaign, workflow automation, biz intelligence
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Basis Manages Your Entire Media Business

Liftoff


Liftoff is a mobile app marketing and re-targeting platform, founded in 2012. Along with the focus on CPA-optimized app install ads, real-time bidding via DSP platform across all major RTB exchanges and mobile ad networks allows advertisers to bid on individual ad impressions.

Liftoff video intro

Jampp


Jampp is a performance marketing platform for retargeting mobile customers. The company combines behavioral data with predictive and programmatic technology to generate revenue for advertisers by showing personal, relevant ads that inspire consumers to purchase for the first time, or more often. Founded in 2013, Jampp serves a global client base from offices in San Francisco, London, Berlin, São Paulo, Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Singapore.

Jampp website screenshot

Crimtan


Crimtan is an intelligent display and lifecycle marketing company. One of the tools in its Intelligent Display Marketing Hub is DSP that connects advertisers with multiple ad exchanges to run ad campaigns. Crimtan’s proprietary Architect™ technology allows advertisers to predict how an ad campaign will perform. On top of that ad tech platform, Crimtan team has two decades of experience under their belt that enables it to create connected media strategies for clients that are more focused, relevant, responsive and effective.

  • Highlights:  Architect™ tech solution,
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Improving marketing efficiency through more effective display advertising

Crimtan website screenshot

Pocketmath


Pocketmath is the world’s fastest self-serve mobile advertising platform for buying programmatic real-time bidding inventory, launched in 2011. With a headquarter in Singapore, Pocketmath operates on a global scale. The company’s mobile DSP offers extensive targeting options including location, device, cherry-pick apps, audience, competitor app targeting, retargeting, demographic, wifi/carrier, and time of day scheduling.

  • Highlights: Real-time insights and reporting, advanced targeting and global reach, easy-to-use user interface, media buying data and cost transparency, programmatic buying, leading mobile ad formats support
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: A powerful DSP at its finest.

Smaato

Smaato Logo
Smaato is a global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers. Founded in 2005, Smaato runs the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange. The company’s platform allows advertisers to plug in to Smaato’s RTB ad exchange, providing access to quality inventory from over 90,000 publishers worldwide. Real-time bidding functionality improves the efficiency of your ad campaigns, and you can adjust budgets and advertising media based on your targeting criteria.

  • Highlights: Real-time bidding, targeting precision, sophisticated reporting and global reach.
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: The Leading Global Real-Time Advertising Platform for Mobile Publishers & App Developers

Introducing SDX: The Smaato Demand Platform

Yeahmobi

Yeahmobi logo
Yeahmobi is a performance-based mobile advertising network and platform, founded in 2009 and focussed on user acquisition and monetization for mobile apps globally. Yeahmobi’s demand-side platform (DSP) helps advertisers control and optimize their campaigns, and drive the best ad placement value through programmatic buying. Integrated with top ad exchanges including Smaato, Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Mopub; the DSP utilizes real-time bidding to target the best demographic for your product.

  • Highlights: Programmatic buying, behavioral tracking, and flexible pricing model, 24/7 support, 100% self-service
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Self-Service Programmatic Mobile Marketing Platform

Yeahmobi website screenshot

Kwanko Mobile


Kwanko Mobile (division of the Kwanko Group) is a France-based leading European mobile performance advertising company. With an international network of more than 150,000 direct publishers and a Mobile DSP connected to more than 90 SSP, they are capable to cover more than 20 countries.

  • Highlights: it provides access to 150k direct publishers, real-time reports, statistics and ROI analytics (e-CPC, CTR, e-CPM, CVR, CPA)
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Your Performance Marketing Partner

Adikteev


Adikteev is an AdTech company focused on increasing digital brand & product awareness, and retargeting app users and increase their LTV. The foundation of this business is combination of three technologies: Creative technology, AI algorithms and mobile DSP. For brands Adikteev offers « Adikteev FOR BRANDS » to increase brand awareness. With « Adikteev FOR APPs » the company helps app marketers and developers with app retargeting campaigns.

Adikteev website screenshot

Go2Mobi

Go2Mobi logo
Go2Mobi is a leading mobile advertising platform with access to mobile ad inventory on over 200,000 apps and mobile websites. Founded by Tom Desaulniers and Gavin Aitken, in 2011, Go2Mobi’s DMP boasts advanced audience targeting technology, using mobile-originated data to create and define consumer personas. Go2Mobi’s programmatic mobile DSP provides advertisers with targeting, reporting and optimization controls for the best ad performance. Ad Placement is 100% transparent, third-party data is integrated, and features include GPS, carrier/wifi, and device targeting and frequency capping.

  • Highlights: offers programmatic buying & advanced targeting and total transparency, reaches 200k+ apps and websites, supports native and video ad formats
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: The Ultimate Platform for Programmatic Performance

Go2Mobi Self-Serve DSP website page screenshot

Gimbal


Gimbal is the leading mobile engagement and location intelligence solution company, based in San Diego, US. It was founded in 2014 and was acquired in 2016 by The Mobile Majority. The Gimbal’s all-in-one mobile DSP AdCast™ enables advertisers to choose from premium inventory sources, buy ads in real-time, and fully integrate with the company’s other products to target, optimize and track data. The platform also boasts a data processing speed five times faster than the average mobile DSP.

  • Highlights: location based marketing, geofencing, beacons
  • AppsFlyer Performance Index: n/a
  • Tagline: We’re here to stop the industry from eating itself.

Adelphic


Adelphic is a one of the leading people-based cross-channel demand-side platforms.  It provides an enterprise-ready self-service software solution for agencies, brands and other large media buyers to make meaningful engagements with consumers across all devices and formats. The company’s platform is fully RTB-enabled and delivers global scale through access to all leading inventory providers. Adelphic’s technology overcomes the limitations of user identification across all digital devices, yielding rich, nuanced portraits of real people, instead of cookies. Adelphic is owned by Viant, a subsidiary of Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME).

  • Highlights: the only subscription based DSP on the market
  • Featured in an Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Where other companies see devices, we see people.

Adelphic website screenshot

Targetoo


Targetoo is an Amsterdam based programmatic mobile advertising company, founded in 2012. Its self-serve mobile DSP solution serves advertisers from more than 120 countries, it provides access to 34 ad exchanges, sophisticated targeting features and effective fraud control.

  • Highlights: custom databases support, 10,000 geo fences support, iBeacon tech support, audio ad format support, sophisticated forecasting
  • Featured in an Index: n/a
  • Tagline: Programmatic Advertising Intelligence

Target video demo

Final Thoughts

Today’s digital advertising market is extremely competitive landscape where thousands brands compete for people’s attention. It becomes progressively hard to reach out the right audience to engage with your brand, a Demand Side Platform is the market’s answer to this challenge to empower advertisers with a unified dashboard to target their message properly and reach out consumers on scale. Thanks to its exceptional popularity as the format that it’s the most kinetic and efficient, video has lead to lunching DSPs that are designed to operate solely with video ads. Machine Learning algorithms find their use in DSPs performance optimization to elevate it on the next level of efficiency, allowing advertisers to spend less but generate higher revenue with their ad campaigns. We hope this guide will help make your choice of DSP advertising solution easier. Think there’s a DSP we’ve missed? Find out how to get listed.