Key Takeaways

  1. The more demand sources you integrate, the higher the competition will be between sources, ultimately driving incrementally higher CPMs.
  2. Playwire has the most comprehensive set of demand sources available on the market with Google Open Bidding, Amazon TAM, 20+ SSPs, 9+ Mediation Partners, and exclusive direct sales.
  3. Building out the infrastructure to integrate and manage a set of demand sources that comprehensive is typically cost-prohibitive as a single publisher.
  4. Publishers who manage their ad tech stack in-house typically integrate between 1-5 demand sources depending upon maturity.

Read on for more detailed information.

The simplest, and most effective way to increase CPMs for your website or mobile app is to incorporate more sources of demand. At its core, more competition ultimately drives higher CPMs and ad revenue.

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How Many Sources of Demand Should You Incorporate?

This is somewhat of a trick question. To increase revenue the most, you'll want to incorporate as many sources of demand as you can. More is always better to increase CPM.

What you really need to consider here is the diminishing return on efforts that comes from adding more and more sources of demand. Each demand source you integrate into your ad tech stack will help add increased price pressure, but it also comes at a development cost.

Integrating, and maintaining integrations with individual demand sources is no small task. Each source you integrate incurs an effort tax. And, at some point, as you add more and more, that tax becomes so large it outweighs the benefits.

Not to mention the fact that each integration increases the complexity of your code and introduces more opportunities for things to go wrong. Your ad ops team will need to grow exponentially to support the maintenance and firefighting that comes with driving increased competition.

So, this returns us to our original question: how many sources of demand should you integrate?

The answer depends on if you want to maintain your ad tech stack in-house or use a platform like Playwire's RAMP Platform to consolidate your ad tech stack in one place.

The Ultimate Collection of Demand Sources

If your motto is "go big or go home," then you'll want to incorporate as many sources of demand as possible. Playwire has the most comprehensive set of demand sources available on the market today.

Our programmatic demand stack includes:

  • Google Open Bidding
  • Amazon TAM
  • More than 20 SSPs including: TripleLift, Index Exchange, Magnite, Sonobi, ShareThrough, OpenX, Xander, Rhythm One, PubMatic, GumGum,, 33Across, 152Media, Kargo, District M, Yieldmo, Criteo, E-Planning, Engine, The MediaGrid, NoBid, Pulsepoint, SpotX, Telaria, RTB House, and more.
  • More than 9 Mediation Partners including: Google AdMob, AdColony, Vungle, Chartboost, IronSource, AppLovin, Smaato, Fyber, Inmobi, and more.
  • Playwire Exclusive Direct Sales



Building a demand stack of this size certainly guarantees a higher CPM on each ad impression, and we've seen it work to drive higher ad revenue across hundreds of publishers.

But, we've built a dedicated team to constantly manage, optimize, and improve this comprehensive set of integrations. Building a stack of this size is often effort and cost prohibitive as an individual publisher. It makes sense for us since we serve a very large network of publishers.

Not only does it take a full team of developers and ad ops professionals, it requires a team dedicated to maintaining relationships with each of these demand partners so we can fight for the best interests of our publishers when necessary.

The beauty of choosing to work with a partner like Playwire means you get access to a comprehensive set of demand sources that will drive incrementally higher CPMs without having to invest in the infrastructure and team it will take to build it up-front. 

In fact, working on a RevShare model with a partner like Playwire ends up generating publishers more revenue in the long run.

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A Manageable Collection of Demand Sources

If you're firmly in the camp of building your ad tech stack and managing it in-house, the right number of demand sources for you to integrate will likely be significantly lower.

Most often, the number of demand sources you should integrate is directly related to your current size and level of maturity. Most publishers just starting out (typically under 250K page views for web or 1,000 daily active users for apps), the most you'll integrate is a single source. And, that source is usually Google, to keep it as simple as possible to manage your stack.

As your user base grows beyond this size, you'll find yourself tripping the point where you'll find enough value in incorporating 2-3 sources of demand and a header bidding solution.

Usually, the most advanced publisher ad tech stacks that we've seen managed in-house incorporate approximately 5 different sources of demand. This level is usually triggered as websites crest over 1 million page views and apps surpass 100,000 daily active users.

The Risk vs. Reward Trade-Off

For most publishers, the decision on whether to manage your entire ad tech stack in-house vs. using a platform like Playwire's RAMP Platform comes down to questions of investment and risk.

Building your own infrastructure and team requires a lot of up-front investment, which can be hard to justify if your user base isn't yet large enough to provide the kind of ROI on that investment that makes it worthwhile.

In addition, building and maintaining a team requires taking on inherent risks. No matter how much revenue your website or app delivers, you still have to make payroll and keep up your tech stack. Some publishers choose to use the RAMP Platform simply for the fact that their costs scale as their revenue scales, significantly reducing overall risk.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, building out a set of demand sources as comprehensive as those in the RAMP Platform will drive the highest CPMs, but as a single publisher the costs and effort outweigh the benefits.

Playwire introduces economies of scale across our entire network of publishers, making the increases in ad revenue available from this extensive set of demand sources available to publishers of all sizes (without having to invest in growing a team or building tech infrastructure).

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