It’s the start of a new year, and what better way to ensure publisher business success in 2021 than partnering with the best ad networks in the industry?
Early each year, publishers tend to see a downward trend in their revenues, as many advertisers spend the bulk of their budgets during the fourth quarter of the year.
Here at MonetizeMore, we believe that Q1 is the best time to plan your annual strategy. This way, you can make sure that you’re generating the strongest programmatic results throughout the year.
To help you save time and skyrocket your success, we’ve reviewed many of the top advertising networks in the industry and picked the top ad networks for publishers to consider for 2021.
With this list and our industry-leading ad optimization techniques (subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of our guides), you’re bound to make 2021 very lucrative.
If you’d like to fast forward to a list of ad networks that would be the best fit for your site and vertical, sign up to MonetizeMore today!.
Best Publisher Ad Networks for 2021
1. Google Doubleclick Ad Exchange
Despite the continued adoption of Header Bidding, Google’s Ad Exchange network remains the best demand source for publishers in 2021. It serves as the premium version of AdSense and includes many noteworthy features such as:
- Preferred deals
- Account-level filtering and blocking
- Customizable reports based on publishers parameters
- The ability to set your inventories as branded, semi-transparent and anonymous
- The ability to block vendors
- Dynamic Allocation in DFP and DFP Small Business
- And more…
After Google’s Advertising Product Suite rebranding in 2018, Ad Exchange is now available in the Google Ad Manager.
Keep in mind that if you’re a modest publisher (not generating millions of visitors per month), the reality is that you’re less likely to get an Ad Exchange account.
Don’t worry, though, since we are a certified Google partner; you can sign up to Ad Exchange with MonetizeMore to get access to this premium, top ad network, special features, and most of all, the potential for higher CPMs.
Triple lift focuses on native ads, branded content, and branded video. They help publishers include native direct deals in their existing ad stack. Their in-feed native ads deliver engaging and respectful advertising experiences for your users.
They use their own proprietary technology to create ad placements for publishers that match the look and feel of each of their websites. The native ad framework offers a wide range of different ad formats such as image, scroll, cinemagraph, carousel, and more.
3. Xander (Previously AppNexus)
Xandr, which was previously known as AppNexus, is a leading AdTech company that offers a wide range of publisher, advertiser, and programmatic industry-related solutions. The Xandr publisher suite is an all-encompassing platform that provides SSP, Analytics, AdServer technology, and more to publishers.
Through Xandr, publishers can get access to one of the top ad exchanges in the industry, an enormous pool of ad inventories, at a peak of more than 10 million daily impressions, to monetize their content and get the best returns for each impression.
Xandr is seen more like an ad exchange; some companies even use their software and reporting functionalities to set up publisher networks of their own.
We only recommend Xandr for advanced publishers with a deeper understanding of programmatic advertising and the technology supporting it.
4. Index Exchange
Index Exchange’s digital advertising network enables publishers to get access to thousands of brands and premium advertisers. It’s an excellent source of monetization.
These demand partners go through strict vetting processes, ensuring that only the best inventory is available. The platform is built to benefit publishers and serves top of the range technology, transparency, reliability, and performance.
Each ad is screened to meet quality standards that ensure publishers can improve user experience and serve their audience with only the best ads available.
PubMatic offers a range of solutions to publishers with a focus on transparency and quality. They simplify the process of private marketplaces by helping publishers package, manage, and sell their premium ad inventory to advertisers.
They use advanced RTB technologies to increase competition and yield by connecting publishers to multiple demand partners across a variety of screen sizes. Additionally, they use ad quality tools to protect publishers from low-quality ads while improving user experience.
OpenX is the blue-chip of the advertising industry. They run a state of the art global programmatic market and can provide publishers access to first-rate advertisers – an excellent choice for premium publishers.
Moreover, their OpenX bidder is one of the leading header bidding solutions. They also offer a fully optimized mobile ad exchange, which boasts over 300 billion bids per month.
OpenX’s other solutions include a video solution for publishers called OpenX, OpenX programmatic direct with private marketplaces, and more.
With Criteo’s Direct Bidder, publishers can maximize their ad revenue on both web and mobile devices by connecting to premium advertiser demand.
Criteo gives publishers access to over 20 000 global retail big brand clients. Their direct bidder works with a wide range of ad units such as display, native, video, and some ad-blocked impressions.
8. Amazon Publisher Services (A9)
Amazon publisher services or A9 offer publishers a cloud-based suite where they can access header bidding, a transparent advertising marketplace, and shopping insights analytics services.
The platform allows publishers to grow their revenue, gain a better knowledge of their users, and improve the user’s experience.
Their marketplace helps publisher websites connect to Amazon ad inventories and via SSPs to ad buyers all over the web. This dramatically increases advertiser competition and revenue.
Amazon offers a simple reporting interface where publishers can experience transparent fee structures, auction level reporting, and see bidders compete equally.
9. Verizon Media
Oath is an advertising company, now known as Verizon Media, that provides publishers with a wide range of solutions. This includes access to advertisers for display, mobile, native, and even video ad inventories, ad server technology, and more.
Verizon Media’s publisher solutions are designed to maximize ad revenue for publishers across every medium and platform. They also offer a header bidding solution to publishers. Alternatively, publishers can opt-in for a traditional waterfall setup.
By joining Verizon Media’s ad network, you’ll get access to premium advertiser demand that is available nowhere else. Publishers get access to brand safety controls and easily integrate and manage tools to monetize their ad inventory.
10. District M
District M is a Canadian Data Management Platform that provides unique solutions for both publishers and advertisers. They currently run a widely popular platform called the District M Exchange that offers publishers a very lucrative revenue boost averaging 30-60%.
Their header bidding solution was one of MonetizeMore’s top performers in previous years and is expected to continue to be a critical addition to our list of digital advertising networks and partners in 2021.
They offer very high CPMs that have resulted in positive growth for many of our premium publisher partners.
33Across is an ad-tech company at heart that has a reputation for industry high viewability of their online ads. Viewability has long since been a significant factor for publishers. As early as 2016, some advertisers started paying for vCPM or cost-per-thousand-viewable only.
They also offer standard ad formats for mobile, video, and other impactful non-intrusive ad units, as well as a header bidding solution. They focus on delivering easy to implement innovative ad experiences that are non-intrusive to users and drive high performance. With 33across, publishers can gain access to a wide range of premium global advertisers across all verticals.
When testing the 33across advertising network in 2021 within your ad stack, evaluate how your ads are shown to your audiences since it inevitably impacts your ad revenue.
E-Planning helps publishers connect to multiple demand sources on an international basis and improve the ad exchange process. They offer top-class services to publishers while being available for inquiries 24/7, paying on time, and serving brand-safe ads. Publishers can also gain access to the ability to run private deals with over 200 DSPs, further improving their ad revenue.
Sonobi offers publishers a suite called the JetStream Publisher Suite. Through this bundle of technology and services, publishers can effectively manage ad experiences for Fortune 500 advertisers. In other words, publishers can monetize, analyze, and build media solutions through Sonobi.
Using Sonobi, publishers can build relationships with ad buyers and create ad products that deliver the most engaging experience to their website audience.
If you want to manage and monetize your ad inventory indirectly or directly, JetStream is a great way to do so. It’s also easy to scale operations through a single integration across all media properties, which gives you better control.
Furthermore, publishers can also avoid unwanted fees from 3rd party vendors by managing demand partners directly.
Sovrn is an innovative programmatic network company that is continually seeking to help its publisher partners earn more. They provide industry-standard banners and offer a wide range of advertising types such as onScroll InView ads, VPAID, VAST video, and header bidding.
Besides previously mentioned features, they have their own set of premium advertisers that publishers can access to increase revenue and monetize their ad inventories.
15. EMX Digital
EMX Digital, formerly known as bRealtime, is a media and technology company that caters to both publishers and advertisers. They offer display, mobile, video, and high impact ad units.
What’s great about this network is that they offer fixed CPM pricing units and monetize all publisher inventories across multiple geo-locations. This feature helps publishers with mixed geographical location traffic sources that aren’t all focused on tier one countries such as the US, UK, and Canada.
Their header bidding solution is called Biddr360, an all-in-one header bidding suite for publishers. The bidder boasts features like real-time transparency, on-demand optimization, and easy integration. Additionally, with Biddr Connect, publishers can access advertiser demand from a global audience consisting of Fortune 500 companies.
Other online advertising networks worth mentioning
Although this post should only include MonetizeMore’s 10+ best ad networks for publishers, we wanted to quickly mention a few more ad providers that didn’t quite make the cut. These networks are still worth testing in 2021 because of the value that they brought to our publishers in previous years.
These advertising networks include:
- Media.net [Sign up with this link for a 3 month 10% bonus]
- Tribal Fusion
- West Seven Media
- Optima Network
Tips from MonetizeMore’s CEO, Kean Graham, for publisher success: What’s your programmatic revenue strategy for 2021?
There’s no doubt that 2018 was a big year for publishers. Header bidding continued to be a critical revenue factor, and ad blocking remained an issue. Many publishers had to prepare for GDPR, Facebook changed their traffic algorithms, and much more.
However, 2018 is over, and like most things in business and life, it’s best to look forward instead of dwelling in the past. Whatever type of results you experienced in your publisher’s business during 2018, whether good, bad, or mediocre, it’s best to learn from them and move on.
That’s is why we’ve updated and improved our list of top ad networks once again – to help you realize your dream of publisher success.
As you already know, your ad revenue strategy in 2021 can make or break you. Remember to test new display ad networks, implement ad optimization techniques, and try out new partnerships.
How MonetizeMore Can Help
- At MonetizeMore, we help publishers realize their ad revenue potential.
- We’re a leading Google Publishing Partner and have a suite of our own publisher monetization solutions that help our clients hit their revenue targets and solve their ad operations headaches.
While the above list includes the best performing ad networks within our large publisher portfolio, there are many more. Some are very specialized that only perform well in particular verticals. Each site is a completely different story in terms of the ad networks that perform the best, so customization is key!
If you’d like to get a customized list of ad networks for your site and vertical, sign up for a Professional account at MonetizeMore today!
What is an ad network in display advertising?
An ad network connects publishers and advertisers (Via demand side platforms). Publishers join an ad network to monetize their traffic with display ads, and other ad types and advertisers access ad impressions to advertise their products and services.
What do ad networks do?
Ad networks connect publishers’ unsold ad inventory with advertisers or buyers and usually take a cut of the ad revenue. The ad network then helps the advertiser to target the correct audience on the publisher’s site.
Why are ad networks needed?
Ad networks simplify the process of ad monetization for publishers. Without ad networks, publishers would have to rely on direct sales to monetize their traffic with display ads. It makes it very easy for publishers to access a pool of advertisers looking to advertise products and services. They act as a marketplace and provides the opportunity to scale ad operations for both advertisers and publishers.
Is Google an ad network?
No, Google is a multi-faceted company that owns and operates many businesses. Google owns an ad network called Google AdSense and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. However, those are better known as ad exchanges.
Who are publishers in online advertising?
A publisher is either a business or individual which owns and operates a range of website platforms, apps, and social media accounts. Through these platforms, publishers generate traffic, build an audience, and then market various products and services to their audiences to monetize their content. They can monetize their content/platforms through display advertising, eCommerce, affiliate marketing, and more.
Which is the best ad network for publishers?
It is difficult to say which ad network is the best for a publisher as each publisher's situation is different. Publishers have traffic from different geographical locations, verticals, user devices with varying levels of traffic quality. Some of the best ad networks we recommend include Doubleclick Ad Exchange, TripleLift, AppNexus, Index Exchange, Rubicon Project, OpenX, Facebook Audience Network, Amazon Publisher Services. It's best to test different ad networks as well. Be sure to check the review of each network here to find networks that best suit your needs.
Which ad network pays the most?
Which ad network pays the most depends on a variety of factors, such as your vertical, traffic geolocation, traffic levels, and various other factors. What earns the most for one site isn’t necessarily the same for another. It’s best to test multiple ad networks to find out which pays the most for your site.
Can I use multiple ad networks?
Yes, you can run multiple ad networks. We recommend that you test different networks to determine which delivers the best RPM rates. When running header bidding, multiple ad networks ensure that auction competition increases. As a result, publishers earn higher ad revenue from their ads.