Premium inventory is a term used by publishers and networks to generate higher demand and higher fees for advertising on portions of their Web properties.
Often, premium inventory is defined as the pages that see the most traffic. Sometimes it is the degree to which the advertiser can customize the advertising space for their needs, or the specific content designed attract a specific demographic. There are other benefits, but this inventory is usually designated as premium using simple attributes such as these.
Paying more for banner placement on a page that receives a higher amount of traffic or that attracts a particular demographic, makes complete sense if you know nothing else about the likes, dislikes, or intent of the audience.
However, in recent years there have been major advancements in acquiring audience data — data that, when combined with real time bidding (RTB), allows the marketer to define the banner placements’ value in real time based on data about the consumer.
One of the most common examples is retargeting. For instance, a consumer places three Christmas gift items in their shopping cart, but decides to leave the website without completing the purchase.