14 Best Ad Networks For Publishers (2023 Top Picks)
Are you a publisher looking to monetize your content? If you said yes, ad networks offer you exactly what you need to maximize ad revenue online.
Whether you’re a beginner or a top-tier publisher, today’s post lists the best ad networks to boost your monetization strategy.
For the astute publisher, there is good money to make within the advertising space. According to Statista, digital advertising spending worldwide was $521.02 billion in 2021.
The source projected the spending would reach $876 billion by 2026. That means – if you have lots of high-quality traffic – you can make a tidy sum selling ad space.
You can use a single network or multiple ad networks to sell remnant ad inventory. And thanks to programmatic advertising, most of the process is automatic.
We understand the ad tech industry is full of confusing jargon, to say the least. We will do our best to steer clear of that in this post.
So which is the best ad network? And which is the right ad network for your business? Let us start since there is a lot to cover.
#1 – Ezoic
Like many modern ad exchanges, Ezoic is built for intelligent website owners who value data-driven marketing.
Their main selling point, however, is their AI-powered ad server.
The Ezoic platform uses machine intelligence to remove guesswork, which offers every visitor a better user experience while increasing your revenue automatically.
Ezoic comes with intuitive dashboards that offer you invaluable insights about revenue and user experience.
With this data, you have what you need to create more profitable content.
On top of that, the platform offers you SEO and site speed optimization.
Additionally, you have drag-and-drop test locations to see how your ad placements will perform.
Ezoic isn’t an ad network itself, however, it provides an easy way to integrate with other ad networks such as AdSense allowing you to run Google ads more efficiently.
This offers a greater level of control than running ads directly – it usually ends up resulting in a lot of manual guess work. That means losing time and money.
The minimum traffic requirement is 10k visits per month. There is a special package for sites that have less than 10k monthly visits. The minimum payout is $20.
- No setup fee
- Freemium version
- Makes it easy to deploy ads
- Optimizes ad placements using AI to increase revenue
- Dedicated account managers
- Weekly newsletter with tips to increase SEO and revenue
- Extensive analytics
- The interface takes some getting used to
- Doesn’t offer ads directly – you’ll need to integrate with a third-party ad network
#2 – Media.net
Media.net is one of the best ad networks for all types of publishers. They offer you a wide range of solutions allowing you to maximize ad revenue without breaking a sweat.
Trusted by some of the top brands in the world, such as Forbes and CNN, Media.net was the first company to develop a server-sided header bidding platform. They used this head-start to lead the evolution of programmatic advertising.
The company offers you the Media.net Marketplace, which offers you unique search demand from the Yahoo! Bing Network, and content-driven demand from advertisers, so you can get the best prices for your inventory.
- Easy to use
- Unique marketplace
- Multiple ad formats
- Great support
- Get high engagement rates, without cookies
- Long sign-up process
- No resource section
#3 – Monumetric
Monumetric is a full-service ad platform for publishers, helping you to reach your revenue goals while offering the best user experience for your site.
The company is always testing new technologies to offer publishers the highest prices in the quickest turnaround possible.
All their strategies are data-driven, which means you can accurately implement, measure, and optimize your ad campaigns without guesswork.
Publishers are required to specify free space on their sites when signing up. Monumetric will then take care of ad placement.
Additionally, you can specify the ads or advertisers that you don’t want to be placed on your site.
You need a minimum of 10,000 page views per month to join the platform. The minimum payout is $10 via direct deposit or PayPal.
- A solid and robust platform
- Data-driven ad placement
- Low minimum traffic levels to join
- No long-term contracts
- There is a $99 setup fee that can be waived if you have more than 80,000 page views per month
- Limited feature set in low-tier plans
#4 – Mediavine
Mediavine is one of the most popular vertical ad networks on the web. They have seen massive success in the lifestyle niche. Successful publishers on the network include travel, food, mom, and home improvement blogs.
Earlier, we mentioned that a vertical ad network focuses on a single topic. But Mediavine is a bit different. Anybody can join – you don’t need to be a publisher in the lifestyle niche.
MediaVine is a Top Comscore ad network for publishers reaching over 125 million unique visitors.
With top-class technology and a commitment to brand safety and traffic quality, Mediavine offers you exactly what you need to maximize the performance of your ad campaigns.
The company only works with premium advertisers, and ad units come with controls for real-time quality control.
Mediavine places ads on publisher websites dynamically for optimal viewability and user experience.
The minimum traffic requirement is 50k monthly visits, and the payout threshold ranges from $25 to $200 depending on your chosen payment method.
- Generous payouts
- High-quality ads
- Multiple payment options
- Limitations in reporting
- Branding at the bottom of the ad
#5 – AdThrive
AdThrive is a community of 3.5k independent publishers who reach over 180 million unique visitors per month.
A Google Certified Publish Partner, AdThrive is a vertical ad network that focuses on lifestyle content.
The platform guarantees a 20% higher RPM if you switch from another ad management company. If they don’t deliver the results within two weeks, they promise to pay you the difference.
The company works primarily with US websites, meaning a website with a global reach is probably not a good fit for the platform.
You must have Google Analytics installed on your site, and at least 100,000 monthly page views to use AdThrive. The minimum payout ranges between $25 and $100 depending on the payment method you choose.
- Easy to join and use
- Guaranteed payouts even if an advertiser doesn’t pay them
- AI-powered content recommendation and SEO analysis
- You must have Google Analytics to use AdThrive
- Works best with US-based traffic
#6 – Google AdSense
Google is a technology giant that makes amazing products. Their brainchild, Google AdSense, is one of the most popular ad networks for publishers. We’re all pretty familiar with Google ads. I mean, they are everywhere.
Google AdSense boasts of more than 2 million users. They help you to make recurring passive income from the space that you already own.
The platform offers you millions of advertisers in hundreds of categories. That means more relevant ads and money.
You can serve responsive mobile-friendly ads that work across multiple devices. That, plus installing Google AdSense is easy. It’s easier for WordPress sites.
Once installed, Google AdSense will automatically show adverts on your website, saving you a lot of time. And it has huge potential if you have the traffic.
For instance, say you’re in the auto business in North America. You can make over $110k per year with 1 million views per month. It’s an estimate, but you get the gist.
Google screens all the ads to ensure they’re high quality and relevant to your website. Targeted ads that are in tune with your audience’s needs will help you make more money.
Further, you can block unwanted ads, and customize where ads appear to create a seamless user experience for your site.
Using Google AdSense is easy I don’t expect you to run into any problems. Additionally, they have a resource section that shows you how to get the most out of your ad campaigns.
AdSense has a minimum payout threshold of $100.
- A variety of unobtrusive options for banners
- Smart algorithm to optimize ads
- Targeted advertising
- Ease of use
- Full analytics for traffic
- Low payouts for tier-1 countries
- No monetization for mobile apps
- Analytics can be challenging to configure
#7 – BuySellAds
BuySellAds is a network that has a slightly different approach from the other networks on this list. They have a central marketplace of publisher inventory that advertisers can directly purchase.
As a publisher, you don’t deal directly with advertisers – BuySellAds handles everything on your behalf.
You also have a fallback ad option that pops up if you haven’t sold space yet. That means you will always have ads on your site.
BuySellAds does not have a minimum traffic requirement. The minimum payout threshold varies between $20 and $500 depending on your payment method.
- Easy to start
- Fallback option if you don’t sell an ad spot
- Great support
- Ideal for new blogs
- You decide specifics
- High costs
- Cluttered directory
#8 – Amazon Publisher Services
Amazon Publisher Services is a suite of cloud services that make it incredibly easy to make money from the ad impressions you generate for the platform and its advertisers.
Amazon Publisher Services is a global ad network. The platform allows you to earn revenue from ad campaigns like a pro.
Don’t confuse the platform with their sister platform Amazon Associates, which allows you to earn a commission every time someone buys on Amazon from your affiliate link.
Thanks to a huge ad inventory, APS is a popular ad network for publishers, small or big. The platform is also popular with audio publishers and mobile app developers.
They offer you a transparent ad marketplace offering you a direct relationship with programmatic buyers without extra fees.
With their unified ad marketplace, you can leverage header bidding to grow your revenue.
The Connections ad marketplace allows you to effortlessly integrate with 3rd-party ad-tech services to help you grow your business.
To help you stay on top of things, Amazon offers simple reporting tools.
- Large demand
- Decreased latency
- Easy management
- 24/7 online access
- Stringent signup process
#9 – Yahoo Ad Tech (Yahoo Gemini)
Yahoo Ad Tech is an online advertising platform that offers publishers a wide range of solutions. They offer a variety of ad formats, including banner ads, native ads, mobile ads, and video ads.
Whether you’re a blogger, video creator, app developer, or omnichannel business, Yahoo Ad Tech offers you the publisher tools and expertise to maximize revenue from your content.
The platform offers header bidding to publishers but you can opt-in for a traditional waterfall setup. Yahoo Ad Tech is a premium ad network, meaning they offer top-tier ad inventories.
The platform offers thriving ad exchanges and hundreds of top advertisers, meaning you will have consistent demand to grow your business.
Thanks to the unified reporting solution, you can manage your ads and view their performance in one place.
As such, you can better understand your buyers, optimize your ads, and identify the paths that will offer the most revenue for your ad inventory.
- Less competition
- Cost-effective bidding system
- Good reporting
- Poor interface
- Customer support is lacking
#10 – Adsterra
With a fill rate of 100% and over 12k advertisers across 240+ geographies, Adsterra is one of the most respected and fast-growing companies in the advertising industry.
Think of Adsterra as a cross-platform ad network that allows you to monetize any type of traffic from desktop to mobile.
That means you can serve web ads and mobile ads from a single platform; you don’t need a separate mobile ad network.
The platform is quite versatile, offering many ad formats, such as pop-under ads, interstitial ads, push notifications, banner ads, native ads, social bars, and in-stream video ads.
Adsterra allows you to monetize your content via multiple models, including CPM, CPC, CPI, and CPA, among others.
Other interesting features include anti-AdBlock, URL shortener, 3-level anti-fraud security, ad layout optimization, partner care, and tailored payment options.
There are no minimum traffic requirements, and you can start monetizing your content in less than 10 minutes. The minimum payout is $5.
- Flexible referral program
- 100% fill rate
- 20+ filters targeting user activity
- No traffic manipulation allowed
- Tight anti-fraud security
- CPM rates vary per country
- The minimum payout is a bit high for publishers
- No web support channel
#11 – AdMaven
AdMaven is considered the best pop-under ad network within online advertising circles. Still, the platform supports several ad formats, including mobile ads, banner ads, lightbox, interstitial ads, and slider ads.
AdMaven’s global ad network serves millions of ads to over 200 countries, offering advertisers the opportunity to use geotargeting in their online advertising campaigns.
AdMaven’s ad placements are incredibly easy to implement you can be up and running in less than 5 minutes. They support multiple ad formats and programmatic advertising.
Couple that with extended video ad inventories with high CPM, and you have just what you need to boost your ad revenue.
- 2+ billion daily impressions worldwide
- Over 200 countries
- Intuitive “site management” dashboard
- Authentic user experience
- High-quality ads
- No online real-time support
- No visual reporting analytics
#12 – Adcash
Adcash is a global ad network for publishers, media buyers, affiliates, and ad networks. Looking to launch a fruitful ad campaign? If so, you can’t go wrong with Adcash.
With over 1k active ad campaigns worldwide, you know you’re in safe hands at Adcash. They support multiple ad formats, which means your ad units will convert well even on mobile devices.
Other notable features include anti-AdBlock, zero ad fraud, easy integration, fast payments, high eCPMs, high fill rates, and live statistics.
Adcash uses CPM, CPC, and CPA business models. There is no minimum traffic requirement, meaning anybody can join.
The minimum payout threshold is $25 disbursed 30 days after requesting a payout.
- Multiple ad formats
- All types of traffic are welcome on Adcash
- Fast support
- No referral program
- Low CPM rates
#13 – AppLovin
AppLovin is one of the best mobile ad networks connecting mobile advertisers to publishers. Since they mainly work with apps, it’s safe to say that the mobile ad is their most powerful ad format.
With a global reach of over 2 billion mobile devices, the platform is surely pulling weight. That’s not all, over 140k apps use the AppLovin software to serve mobile-specific ad units.
Further, the AppLovin ad exchange is used in more than 130 countries, making it one of the most popular mobile ad networks around.
AppLovin is ideal for all app sizes – from indie publishers to seasoned developers. It doesn’t matter the ad impressions you generate since there is no minimum traffic requirement.
Mobile advertisers and publishers will love that the platform is easy to integrate with your apps.
On top of that, you can scale ad units and measure performance using AI-powered dashboards.
- Plenty of gaming inventory
- Engaging formats and lots of video inventory
- Great performance for most verticals
- Slow support
- They need better anti-fraud controls
#14 – Epom Market
Powered by the Epom Ad Server and a passionate team of creatives, Epom Market is a horizontal ad network that serves over 13 billion ad impressions in more than 40 countries per month.
The platform operates across 15 different verticals (niches), meaning there is plenty of ad inventory to go around.
It’s hard to come across an ad exchange covering so many verticals, but Epom Market doesn’t disappoint.
Epom Market has all the markings of a native advertising platform seeing as they help you create ad units that visitors perceive as less intrusive.
To help with this, the platform offers you several ad formats, including banner ads, interstitial ads, in-text ads, mobile-specific ad units, and more.
They optimize ads based on categories, which leads to higher eCPM rates.
There is a minimum traffic requirement of 500k monthly impressions to join.
- Real-time ad campaign data
- Easy reports
- The user interface could use some improvements
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ad network?
First things first, what is an ad network?
Well, to keep things simple, an ad network is a platform that connects advertisers to publishers.
A publisher is anybody who creates content online. It can be a blogger, developer, vlogger, social influencer, and everything in between.
An advertiser is any business interested in selling its products or services via an advertising platform. For example, the ad space on your site.
You can think of an ad network as a marketplace where publishers sell ad space. Advertisers then bid for the ad space.
The ad network handles the transaction process. It offers a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) for publishers and a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) for advertisers.
Without ad networks, publishers would have to contact advertisers individually, which – as you can imagine – is tiresome.
On top of that, publishers would have to handle the technical aspects of advertising, including analytics, ad optimization, performance, and implementation.
Which is a tough nut to crack for most publishers.
Additionally, many advertisers would have a hard time connecting with the right audiences, which is bad for business.
Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies, ad networks can match businesses with publishers that generate high-value traffic that translates into sales.
Simply put, ad networks offer you an avenue to sell ad inventory to advertisers seeking the specific audience to which you cater.
Most ad networks have high-quality standards, so ensure your content is in tip-top shape (and you have the required traffic) before applying.
The advertising network takes a cut (typically about 30%), and you pocket the rest. The advertiser receives the traffic they needed and everybody wins.
Different ad networks for publishers
While ad networks do practically the same thing (i.e., connect advertisers to publishers), there are a few minor differences in how they operate.
Here’s what to expect as you choose the right ad network for your business.
Premium ad networks
Premium ad networks offer ad inventory from premium publishers. They go out of their way to create intense competition for high-quality adverts.
Due to the high-quality standards and nature of the ads, most premium ad networks offer stronger conversion and engagement metrics.
Popular ad networks in this space include Yahoo Gemini, Google Display Network (GDN), and One by AOL.
Premium ad networks offer better results than other ad networks for publishers. However, you must commit yourself to creating premium content.
Vertical ad networks
Secondly, we have vertical ad networks for publishers. This type of ad network is topic-specific and features publisher websites that fall within a particular category or niche.
A vertical ad network can be an automotive ad network, a business ad network, a fashion ad network, a technology ad network, and so on.
These ad networks focus on a single niche, which means the volume of traffic could be lower. Still, a vertical ad network offers quality traffic since it targets a specific audience.
For this reason, these ad networks are mostly used by brand ambassadors and marketers to drive high-quality and relevant traffic.
Horizontal ad networks
Also known as “blind ad networks.” Horizontal ad networks are broad and high-volume ad networks that offer advertisers a more comprehensive selection of ad inventories.
It’s also the most popular trend for most top ad networks.
Targeting is generalized, which means the quality of traffic could be lower than other ad networks.
The best part is that horizontal ad networks serve billions of impressions per day.
Horizontal ad networks reach a wider audience than vertical ad networks, but the quality of the impressions could be lower.
It is a great type of ad network to quickly drive huge volumes of traffic to an offer.
So, high volumes but lower quality traffic than, say, a vertical ad network.
Specialized or inventory-specific ad networks
A specialized advertising network focuses on a specific type of inventory and can be device-specific – for example, video ad networks or mobile ad networks.
As a publisher, you can leverage a mobile ad network to sell ad space on apps. Developers can use mobile ad networks to monetize their apps.
At the same time, advertisers can use mobile ad networks and marketing tricks to reach audiences through whichever medium is at their disposal.
Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on mobile devices, which has made mobile ad networks quite valuable as a marketing tool.
Signing to a mobile ad network pays in this time and age, and every forward-thinking digital marketer will tell you that.
Performance and affiliate networks
Affiliate marketing is a tried-and-tested strategy that has helped many businesses over the years.
The concept is simple. A publisher includes an affiliate link within their content and receives a commission if someone buys via said link.
Need an example? An affiliate network such as Amazon Associates has been quite successful with this approach.
Amazon allows publishers to earn a commission on every purchase their fans make through their affiliate links.
Thanks to cookie technology, you can even earn commissions on subsequent sales after the buyer clicks your link.
So, which are the best ad networks for publishers? Well, it depends on what you want to achieve.
The best course of action would be to test each category to see what works for your monetization needs.
Different ad network pricing models
Digital advertising networks use different pricing models to pay publishers.
The amount of money you make will depend on various factors, such as the volume of traffic you generate and how much the ad network is paying for impressions.
Here are some of the most popular pricing models in the advertising industry:
Ad revenue sharing
Here, the publisher receives a commission from the ad network. Usually, you receive a fixed percentage for every successful sale.
This pricing model is popular with affiliate ad networks such as Amazon. You don’t make any money if your affiliate links don’t generate a sale.
CPM (Cost per mille)
This is the most popular pricing model for most ad networks. In this scenario, you’re paid for every 1,000 impressions you generate to the ad.
The customer doesn’t need to click the ad or buy anything for you to make money but the payout is usually on the lower side.
At times, that could be as low as $1 per 1,000 impressions meaning you need a lot of traffic to make CPM worth your while.
CPC (Cost per click)
With this model, you only receive a payment if the user clicks on your ads.
If a user comes to your site and looks at adverts but never clicks, the ad network won’t pay you.
This means you can leave a lot of impressions and money on the table with this model.
Couple CPC with CPM or any other model to maximize your ad revenue.
CPV (Cost per view)
Perfect for video content creators, and all publishers who would like to use video ads. The ad network pays you for every successful view you drive to the video ads.
You’ve probably seen a mobile ad network using video ads within apps, where you’re required to watch the entire ad for a reward.
CPI (Cost per install)
Top ad networks will only pay you if a user installs a software application. For example, a mobile ad network will only pay you for every app install that your advert generates.
If you generate traffic to the app and there are no installs, you get nothing. Mobile advertising networks can’t get enough of this model.
CPA (Cost per action)
Here, the ad network only pays you if the user completes a desired action, e.g., subscribing, commenting, filling out a certain form, booking an appointment, and so on.
Multiple ad networks use this model because it leads to high-value leads.
The above are just some of the pricing models you can expect to find on any popular ad network.
You can choose to work with one pricing model or mix things up to improve your chances of hitting jackpot with your monetization strategy.
There are different ad formats
Note, also, that ad networks and media agencies offer multiple ad formats, such as:
- Banner ads
- Native ads
- Video ads
- Contextual ads
- Link ads (or in-text ads)
- Interstitial ads
- OfferWall ads
- Slider ads
- Pop-under ads
- And much more
The ad format and pricing model you choose depend on your needs.
It is also important to consider how the advertising network will affect the user experience across your digital properties.
No matter what you do, always keep your target audience in mind.
Other ad networks considerations include:
- Size of the platform – A bigger advertising platform means more opportunities to earn ad revenue.
- Quality ad network – Poor ads on the network can tarnish your brand, so ensure you have high-quality and relevant ads from the get-go.
- Available ad formats – The more options an ad network offers, the better. You can then test different ad formats to see what works without going to different ad networks.
- Compensation and payment terms – You want to choose an ad network that pays each ad campaign well and on time. Most companies pay on a regular schedule, for example, monthly.
- Underlying technology – The advertising network you choose should be easy to use. You don’t need to struggle with ad optimization or reporting and so on. The platform should be easy to use, so you can focus on what you love most – creating content.
An ad network is a valuable tool for publishers looking to increase ad revenue. You can use any of the above ad networks to sell ad space or remnant ad inventory.
Most of these networks are self-service platforms, meaning most of the hard tasks are already handled for you.
In most cases, you simply need to join a network and add a simple code to your app or site. The ad network takes care of everything else.
If you’re looking to monetize your website, app, or any other digital property, consider joining an ad network today.
Keep in mind the different ad formats and business models and always take care of your target audience first.
In other words, don’t ruin the user experience for your visitors.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about the advertising industry, have a read of our PPC statistics post.
Disclosure: If you buy through links on our site, we may make a commission.