Programmatic and RTB: what is the difference?

The concepts of real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic advertising can be confusing. This is because the terms refer to a similar process. Although they are definitely related, RTB and programmatic aren’t interchangeable. 

RTB or real-time-bidding is a process of buying inventory through open auction in real time. RTB is not only efficient, but it is very fast — auction passes in a fraction of a second, while the website’s page is loading. RTB is a programmatic process, but not all programmatic advertising takes place through RTB technology.

At the same time, Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying advertising space in real-time with an automated platform. 

Simply put, RTB is a purchasing technology. The programmatic’s concept is much broader, it is a collection of technologies, and algorithmic processes, which includes not only RTB, but private auctions and direct purchases as well.