An online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand. The phrase "ad network" by itself is media-neutral in the sense that there can be a "Television Ad Network" or a "Print Ad Network", but is increasingly used to mean "online ad network" as the effect of aggregation of publisher ad space and sale to advertisers is most commonly seen in the online space. The fundamental difference between traditional media ad networks and online ad networks is that online ad networks use a central ad server to deliver advertisements to consumers, which enables targeting, tracking and reporting of impressions in ways not possible with analog media alternatives.
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The advertising network market is a large and growing market, with Internet advertising revenues expected to grow from $135.42 bn in 2014 to $239.87 bn in 2019. This growth will result in many new players in the market, and encourage acquisitions of ad networks by larger companies that either enter the market or expand their market presence.
The inventory of online advertising space comes in many different forms, including space on desktop and mobile websites, in RSS feeds, on blogs, in instant messaging applications, mobile apps, adware, e-mails, and on other media. The dominant forms of inventory include third-party content websites, who work with advertising networks for either a share of the ad revenues or a fee, as well as search engines, mobile, and online video resources.
An advertiser can buy a run of network package, or a run of category package within the network. The advertising network serves advertisements from its central ad server, which responds to a site once a page is called. A snippet of code is called from the ad server, that represents the advertising banner.
Large publishers often sell only their remnant inventory through ad networks. Typical numbers range from 10% to 60% of total inventory being remnant and sold through advertising networks.
Smaller publishers often sell all of their inventory through ad networks. One type of ad network, known as a blind network, is such that advertisers place ads, but do not know the exact places where their ads are being placed.
There are several criteria for categorizing advertising networks. In particular, the company's business strategy, as well as the quality of the networks' traffic and volume of inventory can serve as bases for categorization.
Online advertising networks can be divided into three groups based on how they work with advertisers and publishers:
Ad networks can also be divided into first-tier and second-tier networks. First-tier advertising networks have a large number of their own advertisers and publishers, they have high quality traffic, and they serve ads and traffic to second-tier networks. Examples of first-tier networks include the major search engines. Second-tier advertising networks may have some of their own advertisers and publishers, but their main source of revenue comes from syndicating ads from other advertising networks.
While it is common for websites to be categorized into tiers, these can be misleading. While Google is in the clear majority of advertisement impression served, other networks that could be labeled as tier 2 actually dominate over these tier 1 ad networks as far as the number of customers reached...
Ad networks often support a wide spectrum of ad formats (e.g. banners, native ads) and platforms (e.g. display, mobile, video). This is true for most ad networks. However, there also are ad networks that focus on particular kinds of inventory and ads:
Video and mobile ad networks can be acquired by larger advertising companies, or operate as standalone entities.
Most Online Ad-network platforms offer website owners and marketers to signup as advertising publishers. Publishers can then display ads shared by the advertising network and the revenue is shared between both the advertising network and publisher. When the beginners could not pass through the minimum criteria for publishing advertisements, ad placement services could ban the publisher for not fulfilling the requirements. Some networks demand strict terms and conditions while there are other ad publishing alternatives some times commissions vary on what sells otherwise user still to earn a good commission when one matches the criteria, the publisher is allowed to display and share ads provided by the platform to earn a good revenue. Getting approved as a publisher to the best advertising platform is a thorough process. Websites with a clean interface, more traffic and engagements are preferred to be selected as ad network publisher by the advertising platforms.
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