Best Ad Servers For 2024

Ad Servers
April 2, 2024 | by Aleesha Jacob
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As you build up an audience for your website, you start to realize there’s a whole world to explore outside of AdSense for monetization.

However, first, you need to pick an ad server, in the early days, most small publishers didn’t require an ad server, in many cases just implementing AdSense or joining an ad network would suffice.

However, to truly take your ad revenue strategy to the next level you need to implement an ad server and take full control of your ad inventory.

Advertising servers help publishers in many ways and make managing ads simple. They allow you to set up a variety of ad units, make advertisers compete, create stronger audience targeting, deliver advanced reporting, and much much more.

In this ad server comparison guide, you’ll get all the information you need to take your next step towards publisher success.

Choosing the best-fit ad server for your business is an important and challenging decision. Sign up to MonetizeMore to get a personalized ad server recommendation.

Best-hosted ad servers for publishers

The following products represent the best of 3rd party ad servers available in 2024:

1. MonetizeMore

MonetizeMore is a popular ad server designed to maximize publisher revenue. It boasts PubGuru, a sophisticated header bidding technology connecting publishers to top-tier demand sources for the best possible prices.

Their award-winning IVT solution, Traffic Cop, safeguards your earnings by combatting ad fraud and ensuring brand safety. MonetizeMore emphasizes a long-term partnership approach, offering dedicated support to publishers.

The platform provides in-depth analytics, reporting dashboards, and a suite of tools to help you optimize your ad inventory. MonetizeMore operates on a revenue share model. This means there are no upfront costs, and the percentage they take is often based on your website’s traffic volume.

Get started with MonetizeMore here!

2.  Google Ad Manager

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The first server on our list is one of the best and well known in the market. It hosts a long list of impressive features, is the preferred option for many premium publishers, and is called the Google Ad Manager (GAM) ad server.

Recently, Google rebranded its advertising products putting Ad Exchange under the same umbrella as Google Ad Manager.

GAM advertising solutions offer a range of great features such as Ad Exchange dynamic allocation, simple reporting and management tools, vast monetization options, and reliability.

Two versions of this server exist. The first version is the small business version which caters to small-time users which is free of charge. The second GAM version is more robust and aimed at premium publishers.

For publishers with websites generating 5 million page views or earning more than $5000 of income per month, MonetizeMore is offering a free GAM setup.

3. Magnite

Magnite gives over 60,000 publishers access to 900000 advertisers. Via the self-serve ad server, publishers can connect with premium ad buyers, showcase their ad inventory, and reach their target audience more easily.

The interface is intuitive, self-serve and helps publishers to manage their ad inventory effectively while setting up close-knit relationships with advertisers wanting to reach specific audiences.

Additionally, publishers can gain access to Real-Time Insights and Automated Ad Pods, which enables publishers to increase ad revenue with technology, data protection, programmatic guaranteed, flexible priority levels, and more!

Click here to find out more about magnite

4. Verizon Media

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With Verizon Media’s ad server, publishers can gain access to advanced management and ad serving functionalities for the entire digital advertising landscape. You can efficiently manage campaigns across traffic types like display, video, and mobile with Verizon’s technology.

The benefits of using the Verizon Media ad server are many. Publishers can expect a streamlined workflow that enables them to manage complex processes in real-time with accurate forecasting tools.

Furthermore, publishers can enjoy advanced mobile targeting, cross-screen monetization, effective and simple programmatic management, accurate inventory management, and more.

Verizon Media’s ad-related services consist of a team with over 15 years of ad tech experience, they serve worldwide clients and serve over 200 billion ad requests per month.

Click here for more information about Verizon Media.

5. Kevel (Formerly AdZerk)

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Kevel offers members of the ad industry a unique and custom solution unlike any other. With the Kevel API, users can build custom online ad serving platforms to cater to their own specific needs.

The Kevel API allows them to build a server fast, all while costing much less than creating an entirely new platform. They also provide all the necessary features such as giving full campaign control, increasing revenues, reporting capabilities, and more.

With Kevel’s white label product offerings, you can have a working publisher ad server up and running in a matter of weeks.

This unique product works so well that some of the most popular websites in the world including Bed Bath & Beyond, WattPad, Tradingview, and more use it.

Click here for more information about Kevel.

6. Broad Street

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The Broadstreet ad server is best suited for small-medium sized businesses, local news, and magazine-styled sites which focus on direct sales.

For niche publishers, Broad Street can be the perfect fit. They help their clients provide as much value possible to advertisers thereby improving efficiency and overall performance.

With the Broad Street platform you can expect ease of use (little additional learning curve for previous GAM or OpenX users), automated reporting to make delivering reports to clients effortless, sponsored content analytics, newsletter advertising management via your dashboard, and even a white labeling option.

Click here for more information about Broad Street.

7. AdButler

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AdButler is a full-stack ad server for publishers. Along with display ad serving, they also offer email, video, mobile, digital out of home, self-serve marketplaces, order management, APIs, and custom development that help publishers maximize revenue, save time and reduce cost.

Their white-labeling solution lets you build an ad server that looks and feels like your own with your branding and color scheme. Moreover, you can get a while-labeled domain as well and signup to your ad server with a familiar URL. AdButler also supports custom tech development, so if you have a unique requirement from your ad server, you can have it. Some of their customers are Costco, Pattison Media, Variety, and Hagerty.

Click here to learn more about AdButler.

8. EPOM Ad Server

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EPOM Ad Server has been on the market for over 10 years and keeps growing. It was named among TOP-30 startups in Ukraine, was listed among top performers on G2, and received a MarTech Breakthrough Award in 2019. 

It is a scalable ad serving platform with 800+ customizable features, where users can manage, track, and optimize all their advertising activities using one platform.

Platform’s strong suits for publishers are 50+ pre-set rich media templates, advanced analytics with multidimensional custom reporting, white-labeling, flexible role management system, and custom feature development. Moreover, publishers can sell traffic through RTB and use their software in a bundle with Epom white-label DSP. 

In a nutshell, the Epom ad server offers robust and precise targeting, data-backed auto-optimization, and is integrated with powerful anti-fraud and security software.

Click here to learn more about EPOM Ad Server.

Factors for evaluating different ad-serving platforms for advertisers and publishers

Factors for Publishers

Revenue Potential: A core concern for publishers. Assess the ad networks and demand partners to which an ad server has access. A broader reach generally translates to higher fill rates and increased revenue. Look for premium demand sources and the ability to integrate with header bidding solutions.

Ad Formats: Does the platform support a diverse range of ad formats (display, video, native, etc.)? This flexibility helps maximize inventory value and cater to different advertiser needs.

Optimization & Control: A good ad server should offer dynamic optimization tools like floor price management, yield optimization, and A/B testing of ad units for maximizing fill rates and revenue per impression. It should also give publishers granular control over which advertisers and creatives appear on their sites.

Transparency and Reporting: Detailed reporting on ad performance, revenue, audience insights, and demand source metrics is crucial for strategic decision-making. Look for platforms that emphasize transparency and comprehensive analytics.

Ease of Use: An intuitive interface and straightforward setup save publishers time and reduce frustration. Check for clear navigation, well-organized settings, and accessible documentation.

Support: Responsive ad server support and a dedicated account manager can be invaluable. Consider the level of support the ad server provides, especially if you don’t have a large AdOps team.

Factors for Advertisers

Targeting Capabilities: Sophisticated targeting options allow precision in reaching your desired audience. These include geographic, demographic, contextual, interest-based, behavioral, and retargeting capabilities.

Campaign Setup and Management: The platform should streamline ad creation and campaign launch with intuitive tools. Look for features like bulk uploading, real-time bidding controls, and campaign optimization tools.

Reporting and Analytics: Robust reporting dashboards provide insights into campaign performance. Metrics like impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, and costs empower data-driven optimization and intelligent budget allocation.

Inventory Quality and Brand Safety: The platform needs to partner with high-quality publishers with viewable inventory. It should also have measures to combat ad fraud and ensure your ads appear in brand-safe environments.

Pricing and Flexibility: Assess the pricing model (CPM, CPC, CPA, etc.). Many ad servers offer different packages to suit budgets of various sizes, and some offer self-serve options for greater control.

Factors Relevant to Both Publishers and Advertisers

Tech Stack and Scalability: The ad server should be able to handle significant traffic and scale with demand. It should boast fast ad delivery speeds for a positive user experience.

Data Security and Privacy: Ensure the platform upholds strict data security practices and is compliant with relevant privacy regulations (like GDPR and CCPA).

More tips to help you find the best fit for your business

When looking through our list of ad servers, keeping your individual needs in mind is very important. Many of the companies listed above have different specialties and features. Some are aimed at small & medium-sized publishers while others cater only to premium websites.

If you are having trouble deciding which ad server companies would fit your business best, be sure to read our article on “How to Choose the Right Advertising Server for your Site” before making your decision.

For more technical advice, be sure to contact us to get answers to any other ad optimization, Google Ad Manager, or Ad Exchange related questions.

What’s your programmatic revenue strategy for 2024?

At MonetizeMore, we help publishers get more revenue from their existing ad inventory. We’re a leading Google Publishing Partner with a suite of publisher monetization solutions that helps our clients reach revenue targets and solve ad operations headaches.

The above ad servers are a good start to narrow down the best-fit ad server for your business. However, choosing the right ad server requires a customized analysis and recommendation from an expert.

Sign up to MonetizeMore to get a personalized ad server recommendation.

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FAQ

How much does an ad server cost?

For smaller publishers some ad servers offer free or very low-cost plans for publishers with limited ad impressions. Mid-sized publishers can get ad servers ranging from $100-$1000+ per month, often based on a CPM or subscription model. Solutions for large-scale publishers can easily reach thousands of dollars per month, often involving revenue shares or custom enterprise pricing.

What are the fundamental differences in requirements between publishers and advertisers when it comes to ad-serving platforms?

Publishers need an ad server that connects them to a wide range of advertisers and demand sources, ensuring high fill rates and the best possible prices for their inventory. Other than that yield optimization tools for setting floor prices, A/B testing ad placements, and automated optimization is an unskippable requirement. Advertisers are focused more towards campaign performance and expect precision targeting, campaign management efficiency and detailed analytics from ad servers.

What specific features should publishers look for in an ad server?

Look for features such as advanced control over ad elements like ad inventory, ad formats, targeting, campaign pacing, invalid traffic prevention and tools for optimizing creative delivery across multiple connected devices.

What are the differences between first-party and third-party ad servers and which is more suitable for publishers and advertisers?

First-party ad servers are more suitable for publishers to send ad codes to their websites while third-party ad servers are for advertisers who want to optimize their campaign performance and track overall ad impressions.

Why is customization important when evaluating ad serving platforms?

No two publishers or advertisers have identical requirements. A customizable platform allows them to tailor the ad serving experience to their unique goals and strategies. A publisher might want to restrict certain ad categories or advertiser types, while an advertiser might want to avoid specific placements or publishers. Customization empowers this level of control.

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