At a high level, one key difference is that an Ad Exchange is a type of business or platform in digital advertising where RTB is a protocol for two digital advertising companies to transact. RTB was created as a protocol to connect the many different platforms of digital advertising namely Ad Exchange, DSP and SSP platforms
This is a great discussion by some advertising scientist responsible for designing the rules that matches a user with an advertiser. These algorithems are responsible for attribution, targetting in realtime bidding
The data management platforms (DMP) is probably the least appealing and most misunderstood tool for online advertising. For starters, think of DMPs as a cross between ad servers and customer relationship management platforms.
When a user lands on a site whose inventory is sold through an exchange, what happens? How do exchanges integrate and apply targeting data from a data provider/data exchange? How do they handle all of this in a handful of milliseconds?
A big question for me and the industry is whether exchanges are better than ad networks. What do you think? Let me start by comparing the two from the advertiser perspective. I am focusing only on brand advertisers, and ad networks that sell high CPM brand advertising on good quality, brand-safe sites.