About the Series

You’re reading the Ad Tech Build vs. Buy Series, the best place on the internet for publishers like you to figure out which tools you need to buy or build as you create or refine your ad tech stack.

Today’s entry, based on the expertise and experiences of Playwire Chief Revenue Officer Anthony Berrena, covers ad monetization solutions. Below, Anthony banks on his more than 10 years of experience in the ad tech space to walk us through the different types of monetization solutions, whether you should build one or buy one and a bunch of other need-to-know items for publishers.

Check out all the blogs in this series.

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Ad Monetization: A Tale as Old as Publishing Itself

Publishers have been monetizing their content with advertising since the early 1700s, when newspapers started to take shape in Europe. A lot has happened in the 300 years between now and then, but the concept remains the same: Publishers use advertising to support the production of their content. They did then, and they do now.

Except now, when the world is online, ad monetization is complicated and the revenue and reach potential is, essentially, global. So, publishers turn to ad monetization solutions — comprehensive platforms that handle the technical parts of digital advertising so publishers can produce content and bring in revenue. But should you build your own ad tech stack from the ground up or buy a pre-built monetization solution? Read on to find out.

Or feel free to jump straight to the most important questions you should ask yourself when selecting an ad monetization solution:

  1. What channels does it support?
  2. How many demand sources are included?
  3. What types of ad units are supported?
  4. Does it come with creative support?
  5. What tech is incorporated into the stack?

Playwire is always looking to the future for our publishers. That’s why we’ve developed the monetization solution that will carry publishers’ revenue forward for years and years. Ready for comprehensive revenue management and growth like you’ve never seen before? Contact us.

What is an Ad Monetization Solution?

Want to monetize your website or app with ads but don’t know how to go about it? An ad monetization solution is any platform or tool that can solve this problem. That’s a fairly simple definition that leaves open a lot of room for different types of solutions. Below, we cover some of the most common and useful types of ad monetization platforms.

Publisher Display Ad Management Platforms

Display ad management platforms are typically programmatic advertising platforms that manage display advertising on your website.

Publisher Video Ad Management Platforms

Video ad management platforms are a lot like display ad management platforms in that they are usually programmatic, but they deal in video rather than display.

App Mediation SDKs

App mediation software development kits (SDKs) are monetization solutions meant specifically for apps. You have to integrate them with your existing SDK.

Revenue Amplification Platforms (RAMP)

Revenue amplification platforms take a holistic approach to your revenue. Ad monetization is one component, but you should also expect direct sales, comprehensive strategy management, multi-channel advertising, custom ad units and much more. 

Full disclosure: There is only one RAMP, and it’s Playwire’s ad monetization solution (and the only one that incorporates Revenue Intelligence).

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Can You Build an Ad Monetization Solution?

We covered the basic “buy” options above, but what about the “build” approach? Can you build your own ad monetization solution?

Sure — if you have access to a talented development team, tons of capital and plenty of time to spare. In other words, building your own solution is expensive and really, really difficult. 

Also, the DIY approach is unlikely to monetarily pay off over the long term. That’s because there are so many viable solutions already out there. And although they do take a small cut of the ad revenue they bring in, the best ad monetization solutions actually grow your revenue in the aggregate in a way that your DIY tool wouldn’t.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Ad Monetization Solution

So, we’re left with the “buy” approach to ad monetization solutions. But which one should you choose? Consider the following as you make your decision.

What Channels Does it Support?

If you publish in the web, app and/or over-the-top (OTT) spaces, you need a solution that can sell your inventory across all of those channels. While some display and video ad management platforms will do basic in-app ads, they won’t cover OTT channels. Meanwhile, app mediation SDKs only do apps. The only solution that covers all of the channels is RAMP.

How Many Demand Sources are Included?

Access to broad demand from many sources is the most effective way to ensure your cost per mille (CPM) rates are high and your ad inventory is always sold. That means the ad monetization partner you choose should bring you access to a wide variety of demand sources, such as the following:

Again, app mediation SDKs are limited only to app mediation partners. Display and video ad management platforms bring access to TAM and various programmatic sources like supply-side platforms (SSPs). But only RAMP covers all of those channels and maintains a global direct sales team.

What Types of Ad Units are Supported?

Display and video ads are a given if you’re looking to monetize your content with ads, but what about takeover packages and custom units to get those high-dollar, big-brand campaigns? Only a handful of app mediations SDKs handle video, and video ad platforms do it well. But very few of these solutions will do the big custom units like leaderboards, skins and rewarded video. 

You can probably see where this is going: RAMP handles all kinds of ad units, from basic display and video to the most complex and eye-catching custom units.

Does it Come with Creative Support?

When we talk about creative support in this context, we’re talking about an ad monetization solution that will provide custom creative so you can sell your inventory to big-name buyers at very high rates. We’re also talking about creating vertical-specific video that you can run on your site and monetize with video ads.

This one’s simple: None of the solutions except RAMP do any of those things. RAMP does them all.

What Tech is incorporated into the Stack?

There’s a lot of tech in the typical ad tech stack — header bidding, consent management platforms, ad serving, data management platforms (DMPs) and video platforms, to name only a few types of tech you’ll need. When you sign up with a display or video ad management platform, you’re only getting part of what you need (typically ad serving, header bidding and consent management.)

RAMP gives you everything. We do what the display and video platforms do, but better, and we add a video platform and world-class DMP to the mix. 

We also incorporate our own proprietary tech for RAMP users. It’s called Revenue Intelligence®. It combines machine learning and manual analysis to tweak the countless settings and variables to maximize your revenue on every single impression. Learn more about Revenue Intelligence here.

RAMP Up Your Ad Monetization with Playwire

If you want to try to build your own ad monetization solution, good luck and more power to you. And if you want to trust a generic display or video management platform with your ad revenue, even better luck and even more power to you.

But that’s not you. You can’t take a chance on your revenue like that. So, there’s only one real solution left: Playwire. With RAMP, you get comprehensive revenue management — not just ad monetization — so you can focus on creating the best content in your vertical. What could be better than that?

Ready to get started? Reach out to Playwire. Simply contact us online.

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