@reiver

Online Advertising Network Roundup

Contrary to popular belief, there is more to online advertising than just Google AdSense and Google AdWords. Although Google has a dominant position in the online advertising world today, they weren't the first in there. There are many many other online advertising networks out there! And there are many many alternatives to Google AdSense and Adwords.

So you say.... Why would advertisers want anything but Google AdWords; one easy answer is: cheaper prices and possibly a higher ROI!

And so you also say.... Why would publishers want anything but Google AdSense; one easy answer is, more revenue!

Both of those obviously deserve more explanation. And I give that later. But first the table of ad networks.

Here is a list of 131 130 online advertising networks. Some big some small. Some great quality and some unknown (at least to me).

These ad networks are in alphabetical order. Some of these ad networks I've dealt with and know alot about. Some I know barely anything about. (And just happened to see their ad on some site and bookmarked them.) So do some research before using any of them. And don't be afraid to contact them and ask lots of questions. (Look before you leap.)

Online Advertising Networks as of June 2006
Name Sale Audiece and Ad Languages Audience Countries
CPA CPC CPT CPM Other Chinese English French German Italian Spanish Other Canada China France Germany Italy UK USA Other
Accelerator Media ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Accipiter AdMarket   CPC     ?   English           ?         UK USA Australia
adagency1       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AdBonus   CPC   CPM     English           ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
AdBrite   CPC CPT   Cost Per Visitor ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
AdDynamix   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AdEngage     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Adgenta ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Adhearus ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AdKnowledge   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AdlandPro ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AdOrigin   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Ad Pepper       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Adreporting.com CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Adsmart       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Adtegrity.com       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Advertising.com CPA ? ? ? ? ? English French German ? Spanish ? ? ? France Germany ? UK USA Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden
AdvertisingZ.com ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Ad World Network   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Affiliate Fuel CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AffiliateSensor CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AllFeeds   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Ampira Media   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Aptimus CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AVN Ads   CPC CPT   Cost Per Visitor ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
AzoogleAds CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
BannerBoxes   CPC         English           ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Bannerconnect       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
BardzoMedia       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Bell Virtual Marketplace   CPC         English French         Canada              
BidClix   CPC         English           Canada           USA non-USA-and-Canada
BidVertiser   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Blogads     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
BlueFN CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
BlueLithium       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
BUDS Inc.       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Burst Media   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Casale Media       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CBprosense.net ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Centrum.cz     CPT                 Czech               Czech Repulic
Centrum.sk     CPT                 Slovakian               Slovakia
Chitika   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ClickAdsWork   CPC     Cost Per Visitor ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Clickbooth CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Click Share   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Clicksor   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Commission Junction CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ContextWeb   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CoverClicks ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CPA Empire CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CPA Lead CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CPASE CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
CrispAds ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Deltis       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Directa Networks CPA CPC   CPM             Spanish Portuguese             USA Latin America
DisplayAds Media ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Dotomi ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Enhance ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ETARGET (Czech)   CPC                   Czech               Czech Republic
ETARGET (Hungarian)   CPC                   Hungarian               Hungary
ETARGET (Slovakian)   CPC                   Slovakian               Slovakia
etology.com ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
eType Europe ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
eType USA ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
EuroClick ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ExpoActive     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
eZula ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Falk ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? German ? ? ? ? ? ? Germany ? ? ? ?
Federated Media     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
FeedWeever ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Flux Advertising CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Fruitcast ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Google Advertising   CPC   CPM   Chinese English French German Italian Spanish many other languages Canada ? France Germany Italy UK USA many other countries
Gorialla Nation   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
HerAgency       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hispano Click   CPC                 Spanish               USA ?
Hurricane Digital Media       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hyperbidder   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Incent-a-Click ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
IndustryBrains ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
InterClick       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Interneo.ru These guys are SPAMers! ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? Russian ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
JoeTec       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Kanoodle   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Kontera   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
LinkShare CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Mamma Media Solutions ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Marché virtuel de Bell   CPC         English French         Canada              
MaxBounty CPA           English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Microsoft adCenter   CPC   ?   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Mirago   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Miva ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Networld Media ? ? ? ? ? ? English French     ? ? Canada ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Nixxie ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? UK ? ?
OMG CPA CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? UK ? ?
Oridian CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Oxado   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Paypopup.com       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
PeakClick   CPC         English   German     Russian       Germany   UK   Russia
Pheedo   CPC CPT CPM Cost Per Insertion ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Popuptraffic.com       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Premium Metwork ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
PrimaryAds CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Q Interactive CPA ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Quality Channel ? ? ? ? ? ?     German             Germany       ?
Quigo   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Realcast Media   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Realtech Network       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Revenue Loop CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Revenue.net CPA CPC   CPM     English           Canada         UK USA Australia, non-USA-UK-and-Canada
Revenue Pilot   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Right Media CPA CPC ? CPM ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Rydium   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
SearchFeed   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
7Search.com ? CPC ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ShareASale.com CPA         ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
SpecificMEDIA   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
StopBounce   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
TACODA       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Targetpoint   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
textads.biz   CPC CPT CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Text Link Ads     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Text Links Brokerage     CPT     ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
TrafficMovers   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tremor Network ? ? ? ? ? ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tribal Fusion       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
24/7 Real Media       CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ValueClick CPA CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Veoda Advertising   CPC       ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Vibrant Media   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?
Yahoo! Advertising   CPC   CPM   ? English ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? USA ?

Advice for Advertisers

I've actually been surprised by how many advertisers aren't measuring the quality of traffic they are getting. They just create an ad, pay the money, and hope for the best. Usually these kinds of advertisers have a set monthly budget for advertising and just go and spend that without checking to see if they are getting quality for their money.

If you are an advertiser, do NOT do that!!! Use conversion tracking technology to measure the quality of the traffic you are getting.

Also if the ad network(s) you are using has conversion tracking software, use their's too (in addition to your own). (Ad networks use that info to find the best places to show your ad. Remember, it's to their advantage to help you succeed. If you succeed you'll probably stay with them and spend more money with them.)

As an advertiser, what you want is to pay for advertising on a CPA basis (and not CPC, CPT, or CPM like you usually have to pay for it). In other words, you want to only have to pay for advertising when you make a sale, or get a lead, or get whatever it is you want from your advertisement. That is what CPA is about.

As an advertiser you should know what your maximum CPA is.

For example, if I were selling laptop computers, I would know that for every laptop I sell for $2,000 my max CPA is $200, since the laptop actually costs me $1,800 to make, and that $200 ($2,000-$1,800) is profit. Obviously though, when advertising, you want the CPA you are paying to be as low as possible (since that's cutting into your profit). For my example I know that my max CPA is $200. (If I were to start paying a CPA more than $200 then I'd start loosing money. And if I'm right at $200, then I'm only breaking even.)

However, you often can't pay for advertising on a CPA basis; you have to pay for it on a CPC, CPT, or CPM basic (or something else). So, what you want to do is figure out what your CPA would have been if you would have purchased your advertising on a CPA basis (instead of whatever your purchased it as). This is called the effective CPA; or eCPA for short.

Conversion tracking software let's you figure out your eCPA.

So back to my example of selling laptops. If I purchase advertising on a CPC, CPT, or CPM basis, as long as my eCPA is below $200 then I know I am making money.

So to summarize, my advice for advertisers is to use your own conversion tracking software plus use the conversion tracking software of each and every ad network you are using (if they have it).

Advice for Publishers

Two bits of advice for publishers. The first bit is, if you are a publisher, try NOT to sign exclusive deals. (An exclusive deal is one in which you can only use one ad network. Sometimes ad networks disguise the fact that you are signing an exclusive deal by letting you use a few others ad networks, but really locking out almost all of them.)

Ad networks want to lock you in. It's in their interest to do so. Not only to keep all your inventory to themselves (so that they can make as much profit as they can off of it). But also to starve the other ad networks. (Hoping that if they deny the other ad networks inventory then they can at the very least hurt them and hopefully put them out of business.)

That is their motivation. But it's not in your interest to go along with this. What is in your best interest is to be able to use whomever your want. Possibly all at the same time so you can compare them. And switch to whatever ad network you feel like whenever you feel like it.

Advanced publishers tend to measure what ad network is doing best and where it is doing best in real time. These publishers put in whichever ad network's ads that makes them the most revenue in each location on their site. And if something changes, they switch ad networks, in real time, so that they make the maximum amount of revenue. (Usually these publishers have many different ad networks' ads running all at the same time.)

My second bit of advice for publishers is, try to get a CPM deal. (Note: I'm talking about a fixed CPM here. Variable CPM deals without a minimum CPM that you can set are NOT really CPM deals. They're just a trick to make you think you're getting CPM when you actually aren't. They're just calculating your eCPM based on the CPC, CPT, or CPA advertisers are paying for your inventory.)

If the ad network sells your advertising inventory on a CPM basis, then of course getting a CPM will be no problem. However, if the ad network is taking the risk and (paying you on a CPM basis but) selling it on a CPC or CPA basis, then you'll probably need to be pulling in alot of good quality traffic to make them willing to take that risk and pay you a decent CPM. And the ad network will probably want to test the quality of your traffic before agreeing to pay you that. To measure things like to CTR, the eCPM, the demographics, etc. This test will probably be in the thousands of dollars range. (So, if you're are not big enough to afford a test in that price range, then you probably won't get a CPM deal. At least not in today market.)

These ad networks will also continue to measure that the quality of your trafffic as time goes by (the same way they did during your test), so if anything ever changes, they'll know. Fluctuations are of course to be expected, so it's not something to worry about. But if you start trying to fraud them, they'll become very aware of it.

Think about it, if you start trying to fraud an ad network with a click farm or something (in addition to other warning signs) advertisers' eCPM will go up. This will send up red flags not just because the ad network's system is reporting it, but because if the eCPM goes up, advertisers will start pulling out because they'll be loosing money. (And ad networks don't want that. They'll start loosing money too.)

(There's also alot of other kinds of fraud. And ways of detecting those too. I'm not going include that info here. I could write a whole book on the topic. And this article is probably long enough as it is.)

So to summarize, my advice for publishers is to not sign exclusive deals and try to get a (fixed) CPM deal.

Notes

Some notes.

First, this table really does NOT tell the whole story. Not all the information is captured in this table. For example, this table says nothing about: how big each of the ad networks are, how much traffic they have, how many advertisers they have, etc. Also, it says nothing about what kind of quality of traffic each of these networks have.

Another important note is that some of the ad networks here have technologies that are radically different from anything anyone else has; which this table pays no homage to. Some of these alternate ad networks are doing truely innovative things that you are NOT going to find anywhere else. (Innovative things that can lower the eCPA you pay and the eCPM you earn.)

Also, some of these ad networks focus on a specific kind of content, or demographic, or vertical.

And some of these other ad networks have exclusive deals with certain publishers. So if you want to get at these choice publishers then you need to go through them.

Also some of these ad networks have better deals with certain publishers or access to prime parts of a publisher's site.

Some of these ad networks will buy and sell ads under terms they don't publicly tell people about.

And last but certainly not least, the bidding prices are much much lower at many many of these alternate ad networks because there's not as many advertisers competing for the same space. (It's one of the best kept secrets of some advertisers.)

Also note: AFAIK, this is accurate as of June 2006. But I did not thoroughly check each and every ad network. (Some of those ad networks are elusive about how how they work. Sometimes I made educated guesses.)

Also, things will likely change. The online advertising industry moves pretty fast. And most ad networks are constantly coming out with new technologies and giving new deals. I've compiled this list based on what I have learnt and public information I could find. (Like I said before, I have NOT confirmed all of this information with any of the ad networks. So their could be errors and omissions.)

Disclosure

As of the date that this article was posted, for over 2 years I have worked at BidClix as their lead software engineer. (BidClix is one of the ad networks in the table above.)

Also, BidClix's ActiveMarket technology is being used by some of the online advertising networks in this list. I'm under an NDA to not name them though. So I don't even get any credit for them :-(

So I do have associations with some of the companies in that list. That may make you consider me to be biased. But considering most of the ad networks I've listed are competitors to BidClix, I don't see how.

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