There are two obviously dominant DSPs, with approximately 25% market share each. The remaining 50% of victorious auctions are divided among eight-plus DSPs. The below pie chart shows the spread of "won impressions" among all demand side platforms bidding across exchanges in Casale Media's Index Platform.
Casale Media finds websites that are not transparent about selling inventory in exchange environments generated only 56% of the bid density of websites that identify the publisher source and context. That finding indicates publishers that cloak their brand over wariness about cannibalizing sales are not able to fully leverage the benefits of RTB. It's a Catch-22 for premium media sellers.
Meanwhile pricing trends continue to be fairly erratic. Casale recorded a significant drop in highest price paid, but average CPM increased 7.8% from Q1 to Q2. Lowest price paid also increased slightly, as shown in the chart below.
For publishers, one unfortunate conclusion of the report is that price consistency is probably not on the near-term horizon.
Casale said, "To have the same impression valued by 12 platforms at a [significant] spread, these markets have a ways to go before price discovery can really balance supply and demand, before there's more consistency. It also potentially creates the case for opaque exchanges to become transparent."
With more transparent marketplaces, he said, "You'd probably have a scenario where supply and demand get a little closer in alignment and value rises as it should."