Top 111 Ad Networks That Publishers Can Choose To Work With

We know for a fact that the advertising landscape has now transformed into the ‘digital’ advertising landscape. However, only some of us happen to realize that within this digital advertising landscape, there has been some drastic change. The rapid digitalisation of advertising has resulted in the formation of numerous different companies known as Ad Networks, with each one of them offering a unique service that aids the overall online advertising process and adds value to the link between a publisher and advertiser. With these relatively new players of the ecosystem, the digital advertising model has evolved and is no longer the simple model of days gone by. 

It won’t be incorrect if I mention these Ad Networks as the smallest players leveraged for paid advertising. For instance, If an advertiser has a budget of $100 for digital advertising, she might plan to spend $70 via Google, $20 via Facebook, $10 < $8 Twitter and only spend $5 or less via Ad Network. There’re so many interesting aspects about Ad Networks that people are unaware of and in this specific article, I will try to broadly address how ad-networks function and how they have been able to drive growth in the Adtech industry. Before we start, here is a quick recap of digital advertising scenario.

The fact that Google and Facebook have maintained an unhealthy hold on the digital ad spending globally ( barring China) is not a new news. In the first quarter of 2017, as much as 92 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising across Asia Pacific (ex. China) went to Facebook and Google. Of the $1.23 Billion in growth, $1.13 Billion goes to Google and Facebook. What is interesting to understand is how the 8 cents are spent and spread across. There 8 Cents are primarily spread across Twitter, Linkedin, Native Advertising Platforms and Ad Networks.

Digital Advertising Spending (In Bn USD)

 

Campaign Types for Ad Networks:

Cost-Per-Mile(Impressions)

the CPM model is based on te number of impressions, i.e the number of times an ad appears on the publisher’s website. Here, the publisher bills the ad network for every 1000 ad impressions they deliver.

Cost-Per-Click

The CPC model (also called as PPC advertising campaigns) and is similar to a performance-based model. In this case, publishers get paid for every click they deliver to advertisers, with impressions not having a bearing on the payment at all.

Cost-Per-View

As the name Cost -Per- View (CPV)  suggests this model is based on the number of views the ads has captured. These ads are not normal text ads, but rich media ads including video and display advertising.
What is often crucial to such campaigns are the taglines and ad copy. Read this article to for some quick tips to become a pro at copywriting.

Cost-Per-Lead

This CPL model is entirely performance based and takes into account qualified leads only. No matter how many impressions were there, how many people clicked on the ad and visited the landing page, unless they meet all the criteria that a brand has kept for a lead to be qualified.
Cost-Per-Sale

CPS is another performance based metrics that an affiliate Ad Network takes care of. This is a step ahead of CPL campaigns as the only thing that is considered here, is the number of sales that took place via the ad campaign.

Cost-Per-Install

CPI is only applicable in the case of apps. This model is only applicable when a brand is leveraging digital advertising to drive app install.
Another concept that comes up in the case of app installs is inventory type. The types of inventory available are-

  • Incentivised – The campaigns run with this inventory type usually have a sweetener attached to it to attract the audience. 
  • Non -incentivised This is the more genuine kind. This inventory does not have any associated offer or bait to lure the users for each app install. 
  • Mature The quality of these leads or the audience that has ended up downloading the app is often the worst as these ad campaigns are run on an adult website and thus, have irrelevant audience exposure.

CPL, CPS, CPI can together be termed as CPA (Cost Per Action), which is the absolute performance based model.
Often publishers and advertisers use ad servers (more on this later) to maintain their own reports and serve ads, using third party ad serving tools or ad exchanges.

How do these Ad Networks function

Source: https://www.fancs.com/en/service/service2

Besides being a middleman who connects advertisers to websites that host advertisements, ther’s a lot more about Ad Networks that I’ll help you understand. But how exactly do they function? These Ad Networks seeks out unsold advertising space from publishers and then sells that space to advertisers searching for ad space with particular content. for all the interactive ads that you see on website, there is a specific technical process taking place that enables such. Simply put, an Ad Network’s sole purpose is to aggregate publishers in order to provide advertisers with low costing ad space that can reach a lot of people.

Who should work with Ad-Networks?

Ad Network is a conscious choice that is made by many advertisers based on the objective they plan to pull off with their ad campaigns. Ir could be anything  from wanting people to know about their client’s brand (usually a case with brands) to generating revenue to some more complex business goals for their client

  • If you are seeking for higher control over your campaigns and transparency along with a superior client service as compared to Ad Exchange, Ad Networks are what you must be opting for.
  • For some, Adsense may suffice for a PPC/CPC advertising campaign, but others find the bidding process associated with Adsence, tiresome and costly. So for those who want to reach a lot of people with their branding campaign at a low cost, Branding Ad Networks could be a great choice.
  • In the case of performance-based digital advertising, where the aim varies from generating verified leads to selling product, Affiliate Ad Networks work great.
  • Depending upon the sophistication, Ad Networks help publishers serve targeted and contextual ads optimized as per the layout of the website/app.

How Ad Networks work with Advertisers

At the most basic level, ad networks pool inventory of unsold ads from publishers and sell it to advertisers. Like every other middleman, Ad Networks primarily earn money by taking a cut on the basis of either the total ad revenue or the performance that is delivered.
Ads are delivered to a publisher’s site by an ad network’s ad server via a code on the publisher’s site that calls the ad. The performance of any campaign is tracked via a tracking pixel from the ad network that the advertiser places on the conversion page (landing page) such as a thank you page on its site. The ad network’s ad server, powers ad targeting, tracking and reporting on the campaign.

The modern age Ad Tech stack makes the entire process less complex for advertisers. Unlike Google Adwords and Google Display Network where advertisers and agencies manage bidding, targeting and optimization themselves, many ad networks manage campaigns on their behalf. In these cases, the ad network and buyer can negotiate all the costs and parameters associated with the campaigns including, but not limited to

  • Campaign duration
  • Audience targeting,
  • Impressions (the number of times an ad is served) and
  • average cost per impression (CPM).

How Ad Networks help publishers

Source: http://www.verticalrail.com/kb/ad-network/

Ad networks offer publishers an easy and convenient way to make money by selling ad space on a personal blog or another website. They link advertisers and publishers that perhaps would never connect otherwise, and offer a safe place for both publishers and advertisers to buy and to sell.
Generally, it costs a blogger or publisher nothing to partner with ad network and implements a revenue stream. The Ad network does all the work, from finding advertisers to setting up campaigns to targeting to collecting money. The ad network taking on those parts of the partnership leaves the publisher with time to create quality and relevant content, which is necessary to bring in revenue.

There are broadly 3 types of Ad Networks

  • Blind Networks offer low prices, but advertisers generally have no control over where ads are placed. Most of the ads, in this case, would appear on irrelevant websites, capturing irrelevant data and targeting irrelevant audience.
  • Vertical Networks tend to have higher quality traffic with advertising across general categories like automotive. In this case, the results an advertiser gets is of better quality as compared to what they get with blind networks.
  • Targeted Networks are the most expensive for advertisers, and focus on specific targeting like behavior or website context. Their data is filtered to nth level and they often indulge in CPM game only.

Types of targeting available with Ad Networks

  • Device – Advertisers can target their audience based on the devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) they used to visit the publisher’s site.
  • Location -Targeting your audience present is specific geographies is also available with some Ad Networks.
  • Other Tools:
    • Campaign Duration – This feature allows advertisers to set the duration they want the ad to be live on publisher’s site.
    • Frequency Caps – With Ad Networks, it is also possible to set the frequency of an ad for any given user. For instance, you can set an ad to appear only 3 times to a particular user so the user will not see the ad more that three times. And this will be applicable even if the user is staying on the website for longer or coming back to the website more than thrice in a day.

Delivery Grid: Ad Formats Vs Type of Campaigns

Method of Measurement /
Method of Delievery
CPI CPL CPS CPC CPM CPV
Email Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Webpage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile App Yes Yes-Rare Yes-Rare
SMS Yes Yes-Rare Yes-Rare
Native Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Video Yes Yes Yes Social Yes Yes

Quality Metrics

The AdTech ecosystem has been plagued with challenges related to transparency. Everyone in the ecosystem right from Google, Facebook, Snapchat to small ad networks have been under the radar at one point or the other. The fundamental rule that every advertiser expects and every publisher wants to adhere to are:

  • Ads should be served only to humans or real users and not bots

While dealing with ad networks, advertisers have little control over the ad-serving process, because of which advertisers pre-define quality metrics that help them gauge the efficacy of the overall campaign. These quality metrics vary across categories and campaign types. Here is a quick overview of the quality metrics that have now become the standard in the performance marketing business in India.

Inventory Quality Metrics Remarks
CPI Events + Retention
  • Incentivised
  • No Bot Traffic 30% Retention for atleast 1 Day upto Day 7
  • InApp Activity / Events withn first 7 Days Non incent
  • Click to Install Ratio < 5%
CPL Verified
Right party interested
CPS Sale without cancellation
CPV Cost Per Visit
  • Conditional to:
  • Bounce Rate (~ 50% or lesser)
  • Time Spent on page/site (~ 60 sec+)
CPM Cost Per Impression
Bounce Rate Click Rates (2% and above)
CPC Cost Per Click
CTR ~ 5% Bounce Rate (<50%)

Top Performance Ad Networks in India

There are over 500+ ad networks that operate with Indian advertisers and publishers. While this is a great number and gives publishers a lot of choices, given the issues around transparency, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between these Ad-networks. This is the problem that is faced by both advertisers and publishers and given the operational style of ad networks, this problem will continue to persist. From a publisher’s point of view, here are some of the factors that govern the choice of ad network:

  • Incoming Campaigns and Exclusives:

Affiliate businesses are laser-focused on delivering performance. Everything aside, performance or conversion rates heavily depends on the offer and whether or not that offer is exclusive to a publisher or not.

  • Consistent Incoming Campaigns:

While publishers engage with multiple ad networks, they prefer allocating the bulk of their inventory to the ad networks who provide them with campaigns consistently.

  • Campaigns with longer duration:

Like everyone else, publishers prefer working with ad networks that present them with campaigns that last longer. This gives them an opportunity to optimize their delivery, plan better and essentially perform better.

  • Payment Terms:

One of the most critical criteria for publishers is payment terms. Payment terms with Ad Networks vary drastically depending on the campaign and publisher itself. For select campaigns, ad networks offer advance payments to kickstart the campaign but on an average, the payout period can vary from as much 30 – 90 days. This is where platforms like Google AdSense and Ad Exchange stand out. Google AdSense for instance processes payments in 30 days.

top 10 Ad networks in India

 

CPI CPL CPS CPC CPM CPV
vCommission
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
iCubes Wire
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Email
Banner Ads
Native
SMS
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
PaYesoom
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
AdmitAd
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email

Banner Ads

Mobile app
SMS

Native

Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Optimize
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Email
Banner Ads
Native
SMS
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Media.net
Native
Video
Video
Native
Native
Video
Native
Native
Video
Native
Komli
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
DGM
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS

Native

Email
Banner Ads
Native
SMS
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
SVG
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Video
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Mobile app
SMS
Native
Email
Banner Ads
Native
SMS
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
Email
Banner Ads
Video
Native
Social
ClickZoot
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Video
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Video

top Ad networks in India

 

Some Of The Large Publishers Specializing In Delivery Of Incentivized Campaigns
CPI
Rationalhead
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Taskbucks
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Pokkt
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
ITM-adcall
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Mob-Vista
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Ladoo
Banner Ads
Mobile app
Native
Social
Video
Incent Only
Incent & Non-incent

Ad Network Ad Exchange
Direct contact with Ad Networks More visibility and transparency into campaigns. Entirely based on a bidding process that reduces the transparency and doesn’t allow the advertiser to have control over the campaign.
Higher fill rates but lower CPC and CPM. Higher bids require higher overall campaign budget. Can not be used for performance based campaigns.
A better option in case of performance based campaigns (CPL, CPI and CPS). Running bulk campaigns with Ad Exchange can be chaotic for an advertiser.
More assurance of the ad being run on a relevant site. Campaign targeting is available. Lesser options for campaign targeting.
Superior client service. Better control on what campaigns you run/don’t run. High chances of your ad being displayed on a partner site that is not at all contextual.

Below is an elaborate diagram depicting the functioning of Ad Exchanges. Here, what Ad Networks will do is turn this complex process into a not-so-complex one for advertisers as well as publishers.

Source: http://www.mediative.com/rtb-programmatic-direct-private-marketplaces/

The above factors can help you choose between the ad networks and ad exchange. However, the biggest differentiating factor in any case, would be the campaign objective and target audience. If you are looking for acquisitions as a result then you can rely upon Ad Networks. If you want to run branding campaigns, you can juggle between the two, but make sure you analyze all the associated factors before hand.

Why should you choose or not choose to work with Ad Networks?

Ad networks have long been a core component of any media plan. While in the early days of online advertising, ad networks struggled to justify their existence, they now are welcomed in every major advertising budget thanks to their reach and scalability. Traditional ad networks can provide immediate results — and working with an ad network facilitates understanding of the marketing challenges, the ever-changing dynamics and the science behind driving greater value from online advertising. Moreover, the prolific growth in consumer-generated content/media has seen an increasing number of ad networks with varied models that take advantage of the mounting power of social networks. The available targeting with Ad Networks allows advertisers to constantly evaluate and refine the networks’ inventories based on which sites become part of influential and relevant conversations.

Additional pros of working with Ad Networks

  • Dedicated support

A dedicated client support that is available in case of Ad Networks is definitely something that tends to lure advertisers.

  • Cost Effective and efficient

As Ad Networks change on CPA basis, there’s more accuracy in terms of average revenue per user

  • Convenience 

By taking care of all the ad elements, Ad Networks makes the entire advertising process less chaotic and more convenient for advertisers. All they have to do is to get in touch with the right Ad Network and share their campaign requirements.

  • Available targeting 

Extensive targeting available with Ad Networks helps advertisers enhance their overall campaign performance and acquire more users.

Cons and possible risks

  • Fake traffic 

A non-human traffic issue is steeply expanding on the market, meaning that there is a high possibility to buy this fraud. As a result, you’ll be simply wasting your budget.

  • Doubtful lead quality

Ad Networks are often alleged to fabricate the generated leads. However, this is only when you are using Ad Network with a bad name.

  • Payment terms 

Cases of delayed payments towards publishers are quite common.

Over To you

The bottom line: there are good Ad Networks and there are bad Ad Networks. So it is suggested to do your research based on your objective and choose the right Ad Network for your business.
*If you think some data is missing or needs to be changed, feel free to get it touch.

Ruchika Sharma, the Product Marketer at iZooto is an Art Lover & Creative Writer who likes to sketch in her free time. She dreams of travelling the world someday, all by herself. To connect with her, follow her on Twitter: @Sh_ruchika
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Top 111 Ad Networks In India | iZooto's Guide For Publishers
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Top 111 Ad Networks In India | iZooto's Guide For Publishers
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Here's an exhaustive guide addressing how Ad Networks work along with the list of top 111 Ad Networks in India for all publisher and advertiser.
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