Over the last several years, a disproportionate amount of the digital media conversation has been focused around the ad network. The abundance of banner inventory available, much of it sourced from the “long tail” of the Web, created the need for companies that could effectively deploy technology to aggregate, segment, and market it. Thus, ad networks were born. Ever since they started packaging inventory and selling it, ad networks have had an out-sized impact on the digital media landscape. The main function of an ad network is to properly monetize a publisher’s inventory by creating advertising packages that yield maximum performance for demand side clients at the lowest possible market price.
Advertisers, used to transparency and control over ad placements, gradually gave up both in return for the performance and reach that networks could provide, but always struggled with ensuring the brand safety of campaigns—and wondered about the overall value of the inventory being offered.
Networks that focus on audience, rather than content are another great option— but are being rapidly displaced by the combination of data and DSPs. Quality Networks have the the technology and media account management to craft effective offerings for advertisers looking to target specific audiences & most can deliver re-targeting, behavioral targeting segments and placements.
It’s a reality that the large segmentation data, access to a huge amount of exchange reachable audience inventory, and real-time bidding models makes these networks less targeted but on the other hand advertisers have no alternatives to rely on their service and expertise to deliver campaigns.