Key Points

  • Whether you’re talking about display or video advertising, as standalone companies, ad networks scarcely exist, and the ones that do typically come as a package deal with larger solutions.
  • When it comes to trustworthy video solutions that include advertising network capabilities, we have some recommendations, but our top recommendation would be to work with a complete ad monetization partner like Playwire.
  • Playwire, and other revenue partners, can grant you access to many of the best ad monetization solutions and tools, even if your site doesn’t meet the minimum traffic requirements to work directly with a given platform.

You’ve come a long way in your video ad monetization journey, yet ad revenue amplification still remains out of reach.

A quick Google search will reveal a seemingly simple solution: ad networks. But this is ad tech. And you’re wise enough to know nothing in ad tech is ever simple.

You’ve heard stories of ad networks whispered on the wind. Many of these stories, while exaggerated, are true. But there is hope.

Modern video ad networks are different; forced to adapt to the changing demands of those in the digital advertising industry. Some can be trusted, though you may not know where to find them.

We’re here to show you the way. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about video ad networks. Keep reading, friend.

Note: this article is regularly reviewed and updated to keep the guidance current and the list up to date. If you feel something is missing from this list, please don't hesitate to contact us with your feedback or request.

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What is a Video Ad Network?

Video ad networks, not unlike traditional display ad networks, emerged in the early years of the dot com boom to fill a void in the digital advertising industry. 

Think of publishers as land owners and advertisers as farmers.

Let us tell you a legend —

A humble landowner went to markets every day to lease her space to farmers. Naturally, farmers rushed to lease the most attractive land — plots where the soil was richer and the land saw more sunshine. 

There was a better chance, if the farmers reaped this land, that the townsfolk would purchase the food grown there.

Meanwhile, the less fruitful land stayed barren. No farmers expressed interest.

The landowner was distraught. She owned large swaths of land but was unable to entice anyone into leasing it.

Then an ad network came in.

The ad network purchased the land from the landowner for a measly sum. The landowner, just happy to have earned something from the land, asked no questions. She smiled at the copper in her palm and went about her day.

A few days later, she noticed a new tenant moving into her land. The tenant was a local merchant who had been forbidden from the local markets. The reason — this merchant sold fertilizer. Manure. Gross stuff.

Almost as soon as the merchant arrived, the entirety of the farmer's lands wreaked. The scent was difficult to tolerate and within a few days, the farmers who rented other plots of her land left.

The landowner panicked. She couldn’t afford to sacrifice her highest-paying tenants for the measly copper she’d earned from the ad network to host the manure merchant.

She marched down to where the manure merchant was working and offered him the copper she’d been paid for the land. She told him it was his refund and asked him to leave.

The merchant laughed. The copper wouldn’t cover even a quarter of what he’d purchased the land for, he informed her. 

This tale is just one of many. 

Publishers sold their unused ad inventory to ad networks, with no idea of how much the ad network would resell the inventory to advertisers. And the lack of transparency caused advertisers with low-quality ads to sneak in, damaging user experience and publisher revenue in the process.

Nowadays, the people of ad tech are rightfully wary of ad networks. But this was before the days of more-transparent, programmatic advertising trade. The people understood that ad networks were a black box in their operations, but didn’t have another way.

Now, they do.

The Top 5 Video Ad Networks for Publishers

Over time, the advertising networks of old have faded into obscurity. People seldom trust them, and as a result, few standalone video ad networks, or ad networks in general, exist. 

That being said, others provide ad network features within their larger video advertising solutions. The flexibility in these offerings allows publishers and advertisers to better understand the costs and benefits of their transactions.

If you’re looking to video advertising networks as a way to improve your methods of trading video ad impressions, here are a few solutions you can trust —


OpenX isn’t a standalone video ad network, but an SSP with a built-in ad network and tons of other features that allow you to automate for efficiency while retaining complete control over your ad placement.

The platform boasts an ad network that rivals that of any other SSP on the market, both in terms of size and marketplace quality. The ad network is compatible with multiple ad formats, including video ads, display ads, and interstitial ads. 

It’s a leading SSP for a reason — with plenty of benefits and tools to guide you to revenue amplification. But there is one caveat: you’ll need a minimum of 10 million page views per month to access it. Far more than the average small to midsized publisher earns.

That’s why many publishers choose to work with an ad revenue partner like Playwire. We can get you access to all the benefits of OpenX, even if your traffic doesn’t meet the platform’s requirements.

Learn More About OpenX


Magnite is the penultimate independent SSP available to publishers. It has a built-in ad network as well as tools designed to help publishers with whatever ails them — with a particular focus on CTV and video advertising.

With a minimum traffic requirement of 5 million page views per month, Magnite’s platform is only slightly more accessible than that of OpenX. But if you don’t quite meet those requirements, fear not. Playwire can help you access Magnite’s benefits, as well.

Learn More About Magnite

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Like the others on this list, Unruly is an omnichannel SSP that focuses on video ads. The platform provides its users with a video ad network as well as other video monetization capabilities.

Unruly’s benefits include the ability for publishers to access a self-service portal where they can craft custom video ad inventory packages, eliminating some of the need for ad networks. Publishers can then sell those packages to premium buyers through their choice of deal type.

Unruly is a Playwire partner, which means you can access it through Playwire as a part of your streamlined ad tech stack.

Learn More About Unruly


Teads is also an SSP that helps publishers monetize the video ads on their sites. 

The platform provides access to a video ad network as an add-on to their existing open-ad exchange platform. Here, publishers can access a suite of tools designed to help increase yield, improve engagements, and boost user experience. 

Teads’ minimum traffic requirement is 100,000 monthly pageviews, which makes it considerably more accessible than OpenX or Magnite. Still, if that remains out of reach, Playwire can help.

Learn More About Teads

Access the Best Video Ad Solutions With Playwire

But wait… there were only four on that list.

Because we saved the best for last.

Playwire is more than just a video advertising network. It’s the stuff of legends.

We are a complete solution, a turnkey revenue partner that grants you access to the simplest yet most efficient video advertising solutions in addition to pretty much every other tool you need to maximize your site’s ad revenue potential.

Tools, tech, and support teams — we’ve got it all.

Ready to take the next step on your journey? Contact us today to get started. 

Contact Us