What Is An Ad Network?

by | Mar 21, 2021

An Ad network is an intermediary that helps advertisers and publishers in media buying

Ad networks and Ad exchanges are often mistaken for each other due to their similarities. However, they have different roles in reality, but both are an important part of programmatic advertising.

Advertising networks are companies that collect ad inventories from a publisher and match it with the advertiser’s needs.  It serves as the broker, mediating the buying process between publishers and advertisers. On the other hand, an ad exchange is a digital marketplace where the trading of ads occurs without a mediator.

Ad networks are related to both online and traditional media. However, nowadays, it’s often used in the context of online media due to its widespread use. In an online ad network, ads are run over an ad server, which gives businesses the ability to track and target advertisements and get reports all under one system.

Like any other strategy, there are some pros and cons of using ad networks for advertisers and publishers. They are:

Pros

  • It’s a convenient way for publishers and advertisers to sell and find inventories since ad networks do most of the work of matching both parties’ needs. Thus, saving your time and energy from sourcing the best options for your business.
  • Ad networks usually have flexible payments and affordable prices. Ad networks are suitable for new publishers who struggle to find sponsors and advertisers who want to extend their reach.

Cons

  • Selling inventories through an ad network can result in less revenue compared to selling them directly. This is because ad networks usually generate revenues through a per-impression model.
  • Using an ad network may also mean that you have limited control over where your advertisements will show up. For example, having your ads next to irrelevant or inappropriate content, which can negatively affect your ad’s effectiveness. Choosing an ad network that allows customization can prevent potential conflict between ads and content.

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