AppNexus Launches the AppNexus Programmable Platform, the Industry’s First Programmable DSP

Company Signals Aggressive Buy-Side Push in 2018

Press Release

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the launch of the AppNexus Programmable Platform (APP), the industry’s first programmable Demand Side Platform (DSP). APP harnesses advanced machine learning to help professional traders execute highly customized and complex strategies through a seamless user interface. APP enables greater efficiency in campaign setup, management, and calibration and delivers superior optimization. Additionally, APP includes powerful identity and attribution capabilities for people-based advertising and enables traders to buy views rather than impressions.

“Most demand side platforms today don’t fundamentally differ from the DSPs that were built during the first decade of programmatic, and that’s obviously a problem,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus. “The next generation of DSPs should leverage machine learning to more efficiently manage an ever-larger number of campaign variables, minimize manual intervention, and deliver superior optimization tied to marketer KPIs. With APP, the world’s first and only programmable DSP, traders can spend less time on setup and delivery and more time strategizing on the intuitive, creative aspects of advertising that change a person’s perception of a brand.”

The launch of APP represents the culmination of a three-year R&D cycle involving over 200 dedicated buy-side engineers, data scientists, and product developers. It also signals AppNexus’ aggressive 2018 go-to-market effort with trade desks, agencies, and marketers. “If we seemed quiet on the buy-side, that’s because we were,” O’Kelley continued. “To build a next-generation demand platform rooted in machine learning and data science takes time. In the same way that we reinvented the ad server, we’ve reinvented the DSP.”

“Our initial test results demonstrate the power of the AppNexus Programmable Platform and its new machine learning algorithms,” said Pim van Boekhold, Head of Programmatic Buying, Greenhouse Group, a WPP company. “APP took our trader 73 percent less time and delivered 13 percent better performance versus a manually traded line item.”

APP also challenges the outdated paradigms of cookie-based targeting and impression-based buying. The new product provides deterministic cross-device capabilities for people-based targeting at no additional charge and enables a “viewable-only” buying mode. It also provides built-in Supply Path Optimization, which charts the most efficient path to supply when traders are operating Open RTB—a key capability in an environment where header bidding has created a duplicative and noisier supply landscape. Automatic Bid Price Optimization harnesses machine learning to shade bids when traders are operating in first-price auction environments, thereby allowing buyers to win auctions at the right market price. APP also deploys a combination of machine learning and human intervention to prevent fraud and ensure brand safety.

“Legacy SSPs have experienced rapid attenuation in recent months, and we expect DSPs to follow a similar path toward commoditization and obsolescence,” continued O’Kelley. “We were determined to reinvent the DSP, and we built a new product from the ground up that transforms the role of the trader. There aren’t enough hours in the day to perform the same calibrations and interventions manually, and APP allows the professional trader to get closer to strategy.” 

The AppNexus Programmable Platform is now available in closed Beta.

AppNexus will showcase its latest buy-side technology at its upcoming Summit: The Future of Trading in New York on November 8. 


Introducing the AppNexus Programmable Platform [Video]



AppNexus is an internet technology company that enables and optimizes the real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising. Our powerful, real-time decisioning platform supports core products that enable publishers to maximize yield; and marketers and agencies to harness data and machine learning to deliver intelligent and customized campaigns. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at