Programmatic vs RTB

Ok, let’s clear one thing up. These two things are not the same. Yes, I know they are often used in the same context but to those that are new to programmatic all this sounds like jibbersish and soon you’re like Erlich Bachman from the show Silicon Valley


Here’s how to think about it.

-If you’re running RTB, then you’re doing programmatic.
-But if you are doing programmatic you may not be necessarily running RTB.

Programmatic encompasses the entire framework
RTB is just one albeit big piece of that framework.

Still not clear? Here, think about this way.

In order to buy programmaticly you have about three main options.

  • Buy through RTB – real time bidding can be in the open exchange
  • Buy through private exchange uses RTB but with a floor price (minimum)
  • Buy private direct- you still buy programmatically but at a flat cost and usually with better terms like first look.

In our course on Basics of Programmatic, there is a lesson called Types of Programmatic Buying where go into the differences between all these.


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