Real-time bidding (RTB) derived from big data in the internet era has become the main trend of the advertising industry. RTB has significantly changed online advertising, evolving from the traditional pattern of media buying to target-audience buying. The RTB concept gives rise to many platforms such as demand-side platform (DSP), supply-side platform (SSP), AD exchange (RTB exchange), and data management platform (DMP), considerably changing the ecological chain of online advertising.
Each generation of mobile communication technologies has profoundly changed the way people use media. 5G will also change consumer behavior, increase the amount of accessible data, create new advertising inventory, and change media planning, bringing new operational experience to RTB.
RTB is not a new revolutionary marketing mode, but an online advertising that is driven by modern internet technologies and based on massive data analysis, and focuses on target-audience buying. Compared with traditional online advertising modes, RTB has the following features.
Accurate Advertising: Changing From Media Buying to Target–Audience Buying
RTB was born to meet the accurate market requirements. It has changed the conventional media-centered selling pattern of network advertisements, and has directly pushed the target-audience to advertisers. In this new transaction mode, the media and advertisement space that used to be highlighted by media companies are no longer the most important issue for both parties of the transaction. The concept of accuracy in advertising has changed subtly with the birth of RTB.
Big Data: Enabling Scientific RTB Operation
RTB relies on big data on the internet. Each data unit comes from a real case, and the characteristics summed up from massive data are representative and universal. Therefore, the data-based reference indicators provided by RTB are more scientific, and have greater advantages over traditional media and online advertisements in terms of comprehensiveness, timeliness and availability.
Four Core Platforms: Reconstructing the Ecological Chain of Online Advertising
RTB has significantly changed the transaction mode of online advertising. An ecological chain serving this new transaction system is being formed. It is generally agreed that the RTB ecological chain comprises four core platforms (DSP, SSP, AD exchange, DMP) and several auxiliary platforms.
Fast Data Collection
5G is characterized by low latency and high speeds (10 to 1000 times faster than 4G). These allow sales personnel to collect, analyze, and activate data in real time, which is rarely done by most suppliers today.
Easy to Solve User ID Problems
20.4 billion devices will be connected to 5G networks by 2020. With the massive connected devices, biometric data, gesture action data, environment data, and even more geographical location data will appear, and there will be more abundant data associated with user ID. Based on these, it will be easier to accurately identify the user ID through the user profile model algorithm.
New Changes in Advertising
In the 5G era, digital video advertising and dynamic video ideas will become more mature, and their amount will grow exponentially as downloads and uploads speed up. In particular, the application of AR/VR video technologies will bring about new changes in the current advertising mode.
The shift from 3G to 4G makes real-time bidding possible, while in the 5G era, advertising companies need to update their infrastructure and make it more flexible for faster advertising services, faster target-audience coordination, and more programmatic transactions.
Emerging Content Platforms
The 5G network slicing technology enables operators to connect third-party content platforms to their networks, that is, to allocate a small part of the network to third-party content platforms. These platforms will greatly enrich the operators' content networks and bring a large number of advertisers and end-users to their advertising platforms. Their big video RTB ecosystem will also be considerably improved, and its value will be maximized.
ZTE RTB Advertising Platform
ZTE has launched a new Big Video RTB advertising platform for operators. Its architecture is illustrated in Fig. 1.
The SSP system sends ads from advertisers to different 5G terminal devices of end users. Based on user profiles provided by ZTE's AI data analysis platform (ezAnalytics), it can carry out multi-dimensional slice advertising in different periods, types and regions, so as to maximize the utilization of advertising resources.
The DSP system is responsible for the access of advertisers. Through the DSP system, advertisers can learn about the current status of advertising resources and provide relevant tools for advertisement production. This can help advertisers quickly and accurately reach the target users and maximize return on investment (ROI).
The AD exchange system involves exchanging the advertisers' bids and video advertising resources. This exchange needs to maximize the value of advertising resources while targeting the right audience, that is, to maximize the ROI for advertisers. The whole exchange model consists of the bidding model and user profiles. The models are generated from the big data system called ezAnalytics, which is the core of ZTE's Big Video RTB advertising system.
ZTE's AI data analysis platform (ezAnalytics) acts as the "brain" of the entire RTB advertising system. It monitors the effect of advertising through the probe deployed on the terminal side, and also creates ad-oriented user profiles. Based on these data, ezAnalytics builds and keeps updating the exchange model to maximize the value of all parties in the entire advertising platform.
Key RTB Technologies
Multi-access edge computing (MEC) based on the content delivery network (CDN) will be widely used to deliver an immersive user experience in the 5G era. It is crucial to use the MEC technology to implement high-quality RTB advertising. Leveraging its technical advantages in the CDN sector, ZTE combines video advertising with CDN to improve the effect of RTB advertising in the 5G network. Through the deployment of CDN cache on the network edge and in combination with 5G high bandwidth and low latency features, the 5G-oriented CDN video advertising technology can improve user experience with RTB that involves timeliness and accuracy.
Timeliness is improved in two aspects: one is to exchange user requests and advertisements on the CDN cache side and make full use of the CDN cache edge computing advantage for real-time user profile matching and bid response filtering, and the other is to shorten the network distance between users and advertising content to improve the timeliness and response speed of video advertising.
Accuracy is also improved in two aspects. On the one hand, the data of users and advertiser features in the area covered by the cache on the edge is generated based on the AI algorithm training and delivered through the specific interface of ezAnalytics. This model is generated in a specific area, so advertisements, especially those for the O2O service, will target the right audience. On the other hand, 5G networks, featuring high bandwidth and low latency, can improve the bit rate and definition of video advertising. This can vividly show details and personalization of the advertisement and accurately match the potential needs of users.
While providing end users with new service experience, 5G also creates new business models for operators, especially in RTB advertising. ZTE's RTB advertising platform will help operators leverage the advantages of 5G network and CDN to enhance the experience and effect of RTB advertising, change their weak position in the online advertising field, and truly make advertising their next cash cow.