Ad Networks vs Ad Exchange

Ad Networks vs Ad Exchange. What’s the Difference? Which is better suited for you?

Advertising exchange

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The growth of ad demanded was getting bigger since the first days of Internet advertising appearance and it is no surprise that publishers and advertisers were seeking ways to satisfy their needs.

The first result was ad networks appearing. But Internet was becoming and more popular playground, as a result, there were more websites and apps coming in. The capacity of existing solution was not enough, billions of free inventories were waiting for their advertisers. Ad exchange was a result of the challenge.

There is no use to listen to anyone who says that exchanges are better than networks and vice versa. We normally don’t compare an armchair with a stool as we understand they both are effective in different situations. When we talk about advertising, it is a common case for advertisers to use a mix of the approaches. We cannot exclude none of the variants, as their coexistence is a part of huge advertising mechanism that will become depleted in case of removing any of them.

What ad network is – some fact that will help you to understand it deeply

To say it simply, it is a place where advertisers and publishers meet. These playgrounds are highly automated, so that the campaigns running is easy and transparent. Generally, all the resources gathered there are segmented to categories for advertiser to feel more confident in finding particular audiences that covers age range, location requirements or gender etc.

Publishers like ad networks as they can sell the inventory they couldn’t establish directly to advertisers. In such cases we talk about remnant or non-premium inventory. It is a common practice for publishers to participate in several ad networks. Of course, their chances to get money will increase and the same as they are more likely to sell all ad space they have.

Advertisers see their benefit in opportunity to have bigger selection of publishers and cover bigger audiences. In addition to that, advertisers are welcomed to launch different cheaper campaigns that will be absolutely impossible in case of direct contact to publishers.

Ad Exchange – when we need it?

You may get surprised, but publishers with remnant inventory still remain in spite of sea of ad networks. Ad Exchanges help to launch campaigns with high targetings to choose that one display that will deeply suit advertiser.

Nowadays ad exchanges look like online playgrounds where advertisers, agencies and publishers can participate in ad buy-sell process with the help of DSP and SSP. Real Time Bidding (RTB) technology is used there. In comparison with traditional advertising network, advertisers bid against each other offering the highest price they can afford to show their ad to a particular website visitor.

Publishers will like here that point that sometimes their inventory can be sold at extremely high prices they can never have from typical ad networks. Besides, as main focus is on the visitor, not website in whole, even websites with not big traffic like 1 000 people can participate.

What to choose?

RTB advertising has started it work really long ago, but it became popular quite recently. Marketers should be the first people who are ready to try on something new and promising, but, surprisingly, there turned out to be a lot of skeptics about the approach.

Ad networks are very unlikely to stay as it is, their owners have predicted hype and started implementing RTB technologies. Representatives of a new school also found out what they can adopt from traditional advertising form.

There is no answer what is better, as a lot depend on your goals and, sometimes, budgets. Anyway, why not to try both approaches and harvest from them both?


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