What is an Ad Network?

Ad Network or advertising network is a term describing companies which are middle men between advertisers and publishers. They aggregate publishers’ ad inventory and connect them with advertisers who want to host ads on their sites.

Ad networks collect data on ad inventory from publishers, which includes demographic and behavioral data. The main benefits of ad networks for advertisers are more accurate targeting and good ad placement. This is why ad networks today are able to sell ad inventory at premium prices.

Online advertising networks are differentiated according to two categories: business types, and number of clients and ad quality. There are three business types of ad networks: vertical, blind and targeted networks. Each has a different level of control over ad placement for advertisers, and the ones where advertisers have the least control over ad placement offer the most affordable price of impressions.

When based on number of clients and ad quality, ad networks are divided into first-tier and second-tier networks. First-tier networks include search engines, while second-tier syndicate ads from other ad networks.

When using ad networks, publishers can benefit from selling ad inventory they haven’t been able to sell elsewhere. Advertisers, on the other hand, can benefit from increasing the scale of their campaigns, automation, and tracking and reporting. Since ad networks insert a code into publishers’ sites, they can rotate different ads, and advertisers don’t have to manually set up ads for each publishers.