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Rubicon Project Fees Explainer

November 2, 2017

At Rubicon Project, we are committed to powering an exchange that delivers transparency, control and value to our buyers and sellers. We have made significant changes to our business over the course of 2017, including providing greater transparency into our marketplace fees and total take rate, testing new auction dynamics within header bidding auctions, and reducing buyer fees.


Our revenue is made up of the portion of ad spend on our platform that we retain as fees for the services we provide to our clients. As of November 1, 2017, we have eliminated our buyer fees on ad spend across every marketplace type, auction dynamic and product set. Therefore, our revenue is now made up of two different types of fees, which are summarized below.


Transaction fees are charged in every transaction completed through Rubicon Project’s exchange. For most of our sellers, transaction fees are contractually agreed deductions that we take from the amounts we collect from buyers of ad inventory, before we remit the balance of those collections to the sellers.

However, some sellers that allocate their inventory through a “downstream” decisioning process following our auction prefer or require that we submit our bids to them net of our fees, so that our bid matches the amount we will owe them if we win. This is known as net bidding. In these instances, we reduce the clearing amount of the winning bid in our auction by the amount of the transaction fee we will retain if the bid is successful in the downstream process. Net bidding amounts can vary across transactions, but the aggregate monthly transaction fees we earn in net bidding transactions are generally consistent with the transaction fees we earn in other transactions.  


As an exchange, Rubicon Project incurs the costs associated with sending out bid requests to buyers regardless of whether a buyer responds with a bid to them or not. A small number of buyers do not spend enough on our exchange to support our maintenance of their accounts. Therefore, we charge access fees to buyers that do not meet our monthly minimum ad spend requirement.

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