What’s Better White-Label Ad Tech Software or Developing From Scratch?


Every business is interested in scaling its product or service. In this regard, they wonder how to do it better; is it more profitable to create a completely custom platform, or use a ready-made solution from a proven company, in which they have the credit of trust?

There is no single answer to this question, of course. For each business and each niche, this question will remain individual. It will all depend on your budget as well as the level of influence you want to have over the platform and its component parts.

Building your own platform, certainly, requires more resources and time. Developing your own software platform will cost your business anywhere from $5 million to $30 million. Of course, in theory, you can make the platform cheaper (and more expensive, too), but then there is the question of its quality. Plus, this is only the cost of development; a software platform also requires considering the technical costs, the cost of maintenance of the platform, hiring staff, etc.

That’s why many companies choose an off-the-shelf solution with White-Label. It’s essentially the same platform, only “empty”. You can buy a kind of “skeleton” of a standard platform and customize it to fit your business and its characteristics.

What is White-Labeling in software platform development

A White-Label platform is an off-the-shelf platform that doesn’t have any branded content. You can rename and customize it to perform the tasks you need.

To understand the White-Label phenomena, we can go back a bit to the past, when music was still mostly released on vinyl records. That’s when record companies introduced the concept of White-Label. They would put out blank vinyl without records and leave the label white on them so that the music company could change it to their own and record the music they wanted. This was profitable because the music companies didn’t have to spend money on equipment and materials to produce vinyl records.

This is roughly how software White-Label platforms work. It’s a product that allows the companies that need the platform to save the resources to create it. At the same time, this product can be used to its full potential.

How White-Label for software works

The key to White-Label software is resale and customization. It turns out that advertising technology developers create a product with certain useful characteristics that can be advantageous to other companies, which are the ones who buy that product.

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Let’s say you want to run ads from your own advertising platform without going through an intermediary. You would have two choices: develop a new platform from scratch or buy an off-the-shelf White-Label product that you can customize to your brand and use internally.

Usually, software White-Label platforms are available on a monthly or yearly subscription basis (it depends on the provider and their rates). So if you realize that this solution isn’t right for you, or that you like the intermediary ad ordering option better, you can always cancel your subscription. And if you decided to create a platform from scratch, you can’t cancel it that easily.

One of the main advantages of White-Label is that you can customize the platform to your needs. You can change the logo, the appearance of the sections, and their location. Thus, the platform will look like your own and will be customized to the needs of your company.

In addition, SmartyAds White Label allows you to customize your integrations. Since you actually own the platform, you can integrate it with the services you’re used to. You can even have access to the server side of the platform via an API to make changes that would normally only be available to developers.

What’s good about White Label

In this section, we’ll talk about the main benefits of White Label solutions and how you can use them.


When you purchase a White Label platform, you take ownership of it. In addition to changing the interface appearance, you can also set your domain name, and even add your brand name to the code, signifying that the platform is yours.

Full access to all platform data

White-labeling your programmatic advertising tools gives you full access to your platform data. Your marketing team can access your media buying and publisher’s data directly from your platform.

Saving costs on development

It’s obvious, if you don’t develop the platform from scratch, you won’t spend money on the development. You won’t need to hire staff to maintain the platform, and it will be much faster to use.

For example, White Label Ad Solutions from SmartyAds offers the ability to launch a platform in less than 2 weeks. This is for a platform with a basic set of features, but developing the same platform from scratch would take half a year or more.

In addition, you don’t have to wait for your tech vendor to start as the platform has its own staff of highly trained professionals that are ready to help you.

It’s possible to add your own features

Typically, White Label Ad Solution offers a set of basic features that almost every business will most likely need. However, due to the nature of your business niche, you may need additional features. In that case, the vendor can add them for you, as well as test and run them.

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The platform is fully compliant with market requirements

White Label Ad Solutions technology providers test their platforms for market compliance. They guarantee that the platform will work and perform as stated. There is no such guarantee when you create a product from scratch.

Quality Support

White Label platform providers could just create a product, sell it, and forget about the deal the second it happened. However, that’s not in their best interest. No one wants to use a platform they don’t understand anything about. That’s why providers train staff, help set up the platform, and usually have technical support that is ready to help sort out a problem with the platform at a given moment.

White-Labeling VS development from scratch

There are several metrics to compare: time, resource consumption, and customization capabilities.


It rarely takes less than six months to develop a platform from scratch. It’s if we’re talking about a fairly simple platform with a basic set of functions. In addition to development, the platform will need to be set up and tested, which also adds time.

The advantage is that you will be developing a platform for your brand at once, which means it will be customized right away. The downside to this approach, however, is that business owners don’t always know what that business might need technically. It’s good if your developers turn out to be experienced people who are familiar with both your business niche and the world of software platforms, but what if they’re not? In this case, you may create something that you thought would be useful, but in fact, turned out to be completely unnecessary and perhaps not even very functional.

White Label platform, on the other hand, can be launched in less than 2 weeks. If you need modifications and special configurations, that time can stretch to a month or three. In any case, you get at least half the time required to develop a new platform.

Resource costs

As we said before, developing a new platform from scratch is not a cheap pleasure. Developing a new platform will cost between $5 million and $30 million. Plus maintenance and hiring staff to manage the platform. So the final cost is hard to calculate.

White Label is paid by subscription for a month, or a year, plus a one-time setup fee. Prices can vary depending on the providers, but it is in any case tens or hundreds of times cheaper than developing a platform from scratch.

For a new platform developed from scratch, you need to hire staff for its maintenance and configuration. For a White Label solution, this service is implemented by the provider.

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The possibilities of personalization

Here obviously wins the development of software from scratch, because the possibilities of personalization in this approach are almost endless. You can do whatever you want with the platform and add any functions and components you want.

White Label, on the other hand, provides a basic set of functions with the possibility of customization. The possibility is quite extensive since the platform allows you to change almost anything. You can even get into the code and stick your signature (brand name) there.

Also, if you are not sure which features you will need and which ones may be useless, it is more logical to choose the platform with the basic set. If anything, you can always add the missing features without overpaying for the original development of what you may not need at all.

How White Label helps with programmatic advertising

White Label DSP

This software is based on real-time bidding (RTB) feature that allows you to automatically purchase advertising resources from multiple vendors at once. White Label DSP is used to connect advertisers and publishers for a mutually beneficial deal.

With White Label DSP, the advertisers can choose where their advertising traffic will come from and which advertising platforms are most preferable for them. In addition, the advertisers can manage all ad campaigns from a single account and can receive analytical data about the campaigns from the publisher’s advertising platform.

White Label SSP

This is an automated advertising platform. It helps publishers to manage, optimize and sell their website or app advertising resources. The platform also uses real-time bidding (RTB) for instant transactions.

It is important to remember that the platform is not used to negotiate prices directly with advertisers; all ads are placed on an auction basis. However, the publisher can set the desired range or minimum price per ad.

White Label ad server

The white label ad server is used to enable ad networks to place ads on a variety of platforms and devices. These platforms can be websites, CTV/OTT devices, or mobile applications.

What’s the bottom line? Development from scratch or a White Label solution?

Well, the answer is still the same: it all depends on your goals and resources. If you fundamentally want a personal platform with specific features and you have enough resources to improve and maintain it, then developing from scratch is definitely your option.

If you want to save time and resources and get a working platform with a standard set of features (and maybe a couple of additional ones) as soon as possible, then White Label solution is for you.

Selim Khan

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