The AdTech Book

The platforms, processes, and players that make up the digital advertising industry

From the first-ever ad servers, to real-time bidding (RTB), through to header bidding. The AdTech Book provides a detailed overview of the entire digital advertising industry from the very beginning right through to today

01. Introduction

The online advertising industry (aka digital advertising industry and digital advertising ecosystem) is made up for numerous companies.

If you were to peel back the curtains on the ads you see on websites and mobile apps, you would be amazed at what’s happening behind the scenes. The online advertising ecosystem comprises of companies, technology systems, and complex technical processes all working together to serve ads to online users across the Internet.


Discover the history behind the online advertising industry and how it has evolved over the past 20+ years.


Understand how the various processes work behind the scenes to serve ads to online visitors.


Learn about the role each technological platform plays in the digital ecosystem and how they work, about the terminology and acronyms used in online advertising.


Educate yourself about the challenges facing the digital advertising ecosystem, including ad fraud, ad blockers, ad viewability, and transparency.


Identify the role data plays in online advertising, including how it is collected and utilized by advertisers and publishers.


Find out where the future of digital advertising is heading and what opportunities there are.

What’s included in the book?

Text alone isn’t going to help you understand how the digital advertising ecosystem works, so we’ve included a bunch of extras to explain certain areas and help you learn your newly acquired knowledge, such as:

Technical illustrations and code examples

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes to deliver ads to online users, which makes understanding how things work very hard. The book contains dozens of technical illustrations and code examples to help you comprehend how even the most complex processes work.


Put your newly gained knowledge to the test with our AdTech Exercises located at the end of each chapter.

Download our AdTech Book in PDF

Click on the button below and fill in the form to receive the free PDF version of our AdTech Book and register your interest for the hardcover versioncoming in 2023! DOWNLOAD PDF NOW

About the Authors

Clearcode is a full-service AdTech and MarTech development company, led by Piotr Banaszczyk, CEO, and Tomasz Chmielewski, COO. You can learn more about Clearcode here.

The AdTech Book has been contributed to and written by various team members of Clearcode and is the result of our many years of experience in designing and developing advertising and marketing technologies for clients.

For all enquiries, please contact Michael Sweeney, Head of Marketing at Clearcode.


We’ve been designing and building custom AdTech, MarTech and analytics platforms since 2009.


We’ve delivered over 200 successful projects for our clients.


We have over 100 skilled and experienced team members.

Read the first chapter now

Learn about the history of online advertising and the relationship between advertisers and publishers.

Start reading the book