Real-Time Bidding - Big Data, Small Peas

Real-Time Bidding systems buy online ads one at time, at prices on the order of one tenth of a penny per impression. One Friday afternoon, the topic of conversation in a Datacratic chat room turned to what else you can buy for a tenth of a cent. We concluded that a good candidate would be a single green pea.

After all, when we talk about the price of ads, we do so in terms of CPMs, or Cost Per Mille, where ‘mille’ is French for thousand. When you buy ads at $1 CPM, you are paying $1 for one thousand impressions. A can of peas costs a few dollars, and surely there must be a few thousand peas in there. One thing led to another and then someone had to go buy a can of peas to prove it.

Exhibit A

Divide and Conquer
Divide and Conquer

Show Your Work!

After estimating around 2000 peas in the can, we counted the actual value to be 1455. At a cost of $2.39 for the can, the peas cost $1.64 CPM, right in line with the price of online ads you can buy on an RTB exchange. And of course, after counting all those peas, we had to microwave and eat them!

Worth Every Penny!

By the way… Datacratic is hiring, and we promise never to ask you to estimate the number of peas in a can during an interview!

Peas OUT!

Tweet: Real-Time Bidding - #BigData, Small Peas - by @NicolasKruchten @Datacratic #RTB