Top 5 Non-Standard Ad Revenue Streams to Boost Your Revenue

Ad Optimization
September 26, 2023 | by aleesha

Non-standard ad units prove to be great additional ad revenue streams. Usually, your ad network would suggest that you use these non-standard ads when they sell so well. It’s a good idea to try them out especially when the ad network has proven track record of performance for your site.

Here are our basic tips:

  • Incremental revenue stream on top of your standard ads
  • Desktop usually pays 2-3x more than mobile. But in very special cases, it’s the other way around. It all comes down to demand.
  • Most non-standard ads are non-100% fill
  • Ad network representatives would usually specify geo-targeting
  • Rates could vary per device, geo, ad size, ad format

1) Anchors or sticky units


This unit is widely used by a lot of publishers. Depending on the size, it is less likely to be intrusive compared to other non-standard ads. It stays at one spot as users scroll giving users the freedom to navigate through content. CPMs may vary across devices but would usually range between $0.50 to $3 depending on your traffic.

Here are a few ad networks offering anchors/sticky:

  • Google AdSense
  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • AdSterra
  • Propeller Ads
  • InMobi
  • MGID
  • RevContent

Related: Lesson 4: Using Anchor Ads for Mobile

2) Video In-content / In-read / Outstream units


Expandable ads could push content in various directions depending on how it is implemented. The most widely used is the one deployed within the content. This is particularly useful when the site has sufficient text content where there is longer user time per pageview. When users are highly engaged, it gives the expandable ad the chance to be fully viewable. It could be intrusive though as it disturbs the reader’s momentum.

It is highly recommended that you choose where to serve it carefully. CPMs are usually good, ranging from $1 – $7.

Some ad networks that support expandable ads:

  • Adform
  • PubMatic
  • OpenX
  • Viewdeos
  • Criteo
  • Adobe Advertising Cloud
  • Rubicon Project (Magnite)
  •  The Trade Desk

3) Interstitials / Page takeovers


One of the most intrusive but high paying revenue streams is the interstitial unit or page takeovers. Publishers who are very cautious with user experience usually ditch this opportunity.

What we recommend is to clearly agree with your representative about frequency capping. It could annoy your users if it pops up on every page. Limit it to once every 24 hrs per user (your call). This could be an incremental source of revenue as it could perform between $3 – $10 CPM.

Related Read: Ad networks that offer interstitials

4) In-image ads


This is the top choice especially for gallery type of blogs. These units thrive within images. They could cover about 10-20% of the photos but usually has an ‘x’ or exit button giving users the option to close them down.

In-image ads could also be annoying if it shows up in every single picture on your blog. Discuss this with your representative if you’d like them to limit it to 1 per page or more, depending on your preference and how bad you want to make money. CPM’s may range from $0.15 to $3.

Below are some ad networks supporting in-image ads:

  • Imonomy
  • Gumgum
  • Infolinks
  • Adverty
  • Sizmek (by Amazon)
  • AdSpruce

5) Popunder


Popunders ideally serve underneath the active web pages so users won’t usually notice it until they close their browsers down. On mobile, popunders tend to serve above the webpage though. On the desktop, they may also open as a new tab (users might think it’s a virus or spam). It is recommended that you deploy on a test page first before going live. CPMs could range from $4 – $20.

Ad networks that offer such:

  • DivisionD
  • Adsterra
  • Propeller Ads
  • Biddle
  • ClickAdu
  • AdsHoard

While these non-standard ads could bring an incremental increase in revenue, publishers are reminded to TEST FIRST if you want to avoid losing your audience as they tend to be highly intrusive. For it to be successful, be mindful of the following: frequency capping, ad serving delay time and ad positioning.

For more strategic tips on monetizing non-standard ad units for additional revenue streams, sign-up as our Premium Publisher and we can dedicate an ad ops team to help you.

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