We’re here to help you navigate the often confusing world of advertising. The current online display ad marketplace is significantly more fragmented and complex compared to the advertising marketplaces of the past. When ads are available on a global scale in a marketplace as big as the internet, mechanisms must come into place to help simplify it for buyers and sellers. Thus, the invention of ad networks and ad exchanges came to be. So what are ad networks and ad exchanges anyway?
Ad Networks Collect and Sell
Ad networks were created to help marketers who were trying to collect inventory from a seemingly infinite number of websites and publishers. Marketers didn’t have the time or resources to cherry pick ad impressions from each website, so ad networks were created to present a large collection of inventory so marketers could buy impressions quicker, easier, and cheaper. Ad networks are not created equal. Some choose to focus on reach and quantity while others boast the quality of the spots they sell. Either way, ad networks can be a bit skewed – networks aggregate inventory from many publishers and then mark it up and sell it to profit.
Ad Exchanges Makes Variety Available
The ad exchange could potentially be compared to a stock exchange. While it’s not exactly similar, it does serve as a platform to increase the efficiency of the online ad market by making ad impressions readily available so marketers can search for and choose the ads they want at the price that’s right for them. Like demand-side platforms, ad exchanges seek to add stabilization and transparency to the ad network systems, which caught criticism in the past for being monetized to serve interests of sellers. At the moment, it isn’t able to function like an exact exchange because there is not a natural balance of supply and demand in the online ad marketplace.
Ad Exchange vs. Ad Network
If an ad network is like a closed group of privately traded ads, an ad exchange could be compared to an open network where buyers can see all the options available. However, ad networks often come to ad exchanges to buy bulk ad impressions to re-sell, which does create a level of inequality in the ad exchange market. Overall, an ad exchange can be seen as offering variety, while ad networks offer specialized groups of ads that cater to a marketer’s needs. Ad networks may take the trouble out of searching, but they also display inaccurate costs to include profit for the network providers.
The key to making the online ad marketplace run smoothly is transparency and reliable Marketing Intelligence. Once buyers and sellers are able to see where profit is being made and make decisions based on where an ad impression will appear, the quality of the publisher, and the profit margin, transactions can go smoothly, just as they do in any other exchange. At AdClarity we strive to achieve this very goal by bringing honest data so agencies, publishers, and advertisers can use it to get the best deal possible.
AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.