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The ad industry is on its 5th year of double-digit growth. In fact, in 2015 ad tech firms are found to be the fastest-growing companies in the US. These statistics show a bright and sustainable future for publishers despite threats of fraud and adblocking. But what we’re more interested in is to look at the innovations that propelled advertising to its best stellar status – What is the next big thing for publishers? Specifically, we want to know the best AdSense alternatives available as Google still dominates the revenue pie.
We reached out to the CEOs of the top ad networks. We did our research via interviews and articles featuring the heads of the best monetization ad techs. Check out their insights on one common topic we asked:
What do you think is the monetization platform publishers should invest in now – that can be a good alternative to Adsense? What does the future hold for AdSense alternatives?
These CEOs were quick to point out:
“Scaled programmatic media buying has arrived and is here to stay. That much is certain.
On the sell-side, that means publishers are making more of their inventory available through automated transactional channels, leveraging their own data and insight, and ultimately (hopefully?) increasing their yield on that inventory over other current sell-side options.”
“Buying native advertising programmatically is the future. It’s going to happen. What can go programmatic will go programmatic.”
“It’s not that banners don’t work, but the key is that people read native ads. They consume it as content, they engage with it, and there is cognitive value derived from it.”
“We’re betting that the future of mobile monetization and the future of feed monetization will be about content delivered natively into those feeds. When I say content, I mean posts and articles and videos that a reader would actually click on, that are promoted by brands, instead of just an ad. Sharethrough’s in-feed exchange is bigger than anything else in the market. We see nearly 1 billion in-feed native impressions a month.”
Related Read: Best Ad Networks for Native Ads
“Since OpenX Enterprise combines an ad server with an ad exchange, it enables publishers to manage exclusive, guaranteed, non-guaranteed and real-time revenue sources all in one unified platform. As a result, for the first time publishers can maximize yield across all their ad revenue channels in real-time in one place.”
We cannot deny the exemplary performance of the video ad format. Publishers have seen better CPMs. Advertisers love the high viewability rates. Check out what these ad network CEOs have to say about video ad monetization.
“One of the most fascinating trends over the past year is the rise of online video.
Agencies are starting to focus on developing video strategies, separate from their offline TV Spots, allowing brands to connect with a wider audience online. From Dove Real Beauty Sketches to Volvo Trucks “Live Test”, clients and agencies alike have really embraced this creative process resulting in advertising being organically consumed as content.”
“As a result of this shift, publishers play a larger role in producing the content for agencies/clients and launching social seeding. The key with any campaign is connecting with the right audience and this is what publishers bring to the table.”
“While the web is moving towards an impersonal programmatic buying model, video-based advertising, especially long-form digital video, requires partnerships with publishers to ignite the conversation by placing the right content in front of their users, something no automated system can ever reproduce.”
“Digital video advertising is the most significant growth engine of today’s digital advertising market. Video advertising budgets rose 34% annually between 2012 and 2016, while the growth rate of video advertising budgets specifically for the purchase of advertising space on a programmatic basis was 172%. These are extremely high growth rates, far outpacing expansion of other display advertising. Additionally, the average eCPM of video advertising is many times higher than that of the general display market. All forecasts show that advertising budgets will continue to grow at these rates until 2019.”
“Website and app owners who manage to integrate quality video advertising in their products will significantly increase their income from digital advertising. As this data indicates, such advertising is able to achieve, in most cases, higher income than from any other display advertising, especially from AdSense ads. Although until recently, only big players such as YouTube and the leading portals enjoyed such budgets, today, every website or app owner can take part in this market and benefit from video.”
“Trion Interactive is a great alternative to AdSense for publishers. The ability to run video advertising, especially where no video content was previously available, is the biggest draw. These ads run in standard display spaces with a very simple tag set up, giving publishers quick access to top brands while replacing remnant banners with better eCPMs.”
“Trion’s new self-service platform allows for larger publishers to sell these spaces directly at a premium and set them up themselves. This is a great way to move away from simple text banner advertising to video advertising, where we all know the market is heading. “
“There are a number of content-focused adware products like Tok’s Video Polls that offer desktop and mobile publishers monetized video content at no cost. In-banner and in-stream video advertising are increasingly accepted as brand-building options, especially by advertisers migrating from television.”
Likewise, ad networks, specifically those with sophisticated targeting technologies; and native advertising solutions are staples for publishers hoping to monetize more today and in the future. Here’s what SpecificMedia, PixFuture, and RevContent have to say on AdSense alternatives to try:
“Focus on using ad networks that offer Behavioral, Contextual and/or Demographic targeting technology. The top ad networks (those that have a truly differentiated product offering) will start to leave the others in the dust by means of their advanced targeting technologies. Advertisers and agencies will continue to be educated on who the “real” ad networks are and naturally gravitate to them. The true benefit that the ad network brings to the marketplace is the targeting technology they have created; those that have it will rise to the top, those that don’t will have a tough road ahead.”
Related Read: 10 Best Ad Networks of 2015
“PixFuture almost 5 years ago took a direction to help publishers not just sell ads but maximize profits by special algorithms and optimization techniques used on the platform. We focus on the result with maximum efficiency by selling ads across over 240 demand partners and over a thousand direct advertisers.”
11) John Lemp, CEO of Revcontent.com
“Adsense has a niche and is a great way to monetize, and I greatly recommend it to a lot of publishers. However, it also is very much an IUB unit that has a very certain place on a page. Instead of positioning it as an alternative to Adsense, I think content recommendation networks really are a complement to Adsense. Revcontent is basically the primary revenue arena for most of the websites we do business with. They’re making more money with us than with Adsense, even if they are still running Adsense on their site. So the difference we’ve seen in the market is that content recommendation networks are generating more revenue and more RPMs than anything else. I highly recommend exploring that space to see what the right platform that fits for you.”
“Publishers should always be evaluating their current solutions and alternatives to what they have in place. Though the question that comes to mind isn’t necessarily “What should I replace AdSense with” as much as it is, “What else can I do to better monetize my site?” Two areas that address this fundamental need among publishers are viewability and fraud.
When it comes to viewability, publishers can further monetize their sites by guaranteeing that ads always appear in view. By going above and beyond the industry standard to ensure that ads are always 100 percent in view, publishers can better monetize their sites by attracting higher quality brands.
Related Read: Ad Viewability Benchmarks in 2015
Next, they can get ahead of fraudulent traffic by working with a third party to spot and block it. This way, they can be assured that not only do they have higher viewability of ads; they also have higher quality traffic. This, too, enables them to attract higher caliber brands.
Related Read: How to Prevent Fraudulent Traffic to your Website?
When publishers can prove that humans are on their site and that those humans have actually seen the ads, they can more effectively engage site visitors on desktop and mobile with ads in various formats as well as content that reflects the needs of visitors, brands, and publishers.”
We published this post in 2015. Please find an update Adsense alternatives list in the video below:
Before we close this expert roundup post, an interesting question came up from our discussions with top ad networks:
As CEO of MonetizeMore who’s been in the ad industry for 5 years now, I can sense the industry is heading towards a destination it has never been before. AdSense alternatives are on the verge of creating an actual competitive landscape which will challenge Google’s foothold on the majority of publishers’ ad inventories.
“Since the dawn of AdSense, it has always been a frontrunner on the sell-side for publishers. No alternative demand source has come close until DoubleClick Ad Exchange which is also owned by Google. There is a lot of room to run many other demand sources within an ad inventory, however, Google still tends to get the majority of the ad inventory with an optimized setup. Will this two-horse race continue far into the future”
“We are at the cusp of a new online advertising age. With header bid solutions being perfected and becoming more popular, Google will see their share of ad inventories slowly dwindle. It has already started with the largest sites in the world and this is now trickling down to smaller publishers. Header bid solutions are AdSense alternatives’ answer to Google’s dynamic allocation. With a fair playing field and more publisher-friendly policies, non-Google ad networks finally can compete with Google at a fair level.”
“Many ad networks have adopted the optimal header bid solution offering with hundreds of price buckets. Other ad networks will follow and this will be the new method of running third-party ad networks. Those that do not follow will die with the currently popular legacy technology.” – Kean Graham
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