With so many ad networks to choose from, it's become difficult to sort between them to find the best. Here, we’ll discuss three of the top contenders in the market—Mediavine vs Raptive (formerly known as Adthrive) vs Publift—to help you find the one that best suits your needs.
Finding the right ad network has never been so valuable for publishers, given the projected rise in ad revenue over the next five years. Media owners' ad revenue is projected to grow almost $50 billion year on year in 2023 to $874.47 billion, before climbing to $1 trillion in 2028.
These numbers show the growing importance of advertising to publishers’ bottom lines. With the right ad network, you can maximize and improve your ad inventory’s performance.
Let’s look at the pros and cons between three leading premium networks: Publift, Mediavine and Raptive.
By the end, you’ll have a deeper understanding of these networks, how they work and how they can help you maximize revenue.
Table of contents:
Mediavine vs Raptive (Adthrive) vs Publift: Full Overview
Quick Overview of Key Features
What Is Mediavine?
Mediavine is an ad management company that boasts high-quality ads and transparency, so you can easily check top posts, RPMs, and other factors affecting your ad strategy.
As of April 2023, Mediavine had more than 10,000 publishers using its full ad management services to monetize their websites and is considered one of the highest-earning networks.
Let's go over Mediavine's publisher requirements, pros and cons, and how much it pays publishers.
- High-quality ads and complies with the Coalition for Better Ads’ online advertising standards.
- Lightweight ad technology to prioritize website speed while maintaining ad quality.
- Dashboard shows all important metrics.
- Intelligent ad placements to optimize viewability.
- High-quality ads.
- Website speed is a priority.
- User-friendly dashboard.
- Intelligent ad placements.
- Its minimum traffic requirements to join are higher than other ad providers.
- It’s more focused on traffic from English speaking countries.
Mediavine Pricing and Payment Scheme
Mediavine gives publishers 75% of total ad revenue, taking 25% as a management fee. It has a loyalty bonus of 1% if the publisher stays for a year, capped at five years.
It follows a NET65 scheme where publishers have to wait 65 days before Mediavine pays out a month’s revenue.
While Mediavine requires 100,000 page views, and good standing with Google AdSense, these barriers to entry are more than made up for by the potential returns.
Users report an average RPM of $11-$14 per 1,000 impressions. And its customer care team doubles as support and consulting to help set up your ads to maximize revenue.
What Is Raptive (Adthrive)?
Raptive, formerly known as Adthrive, is another premium ad network whose services include ad layout and placement, optimization, monitoring, and consulting.
Raptive has grown tremendously since its inception as Adthrive in 2013, reaching a global audience of more than 195 million through its partner websites. It promises to increase RPMs by $20 average and, if you transfer from other ad platforms, they guarantee a 20% increase in revenue. If this doesn't happen, it’ll pay the difference.
Let's look more a little more closely at Raptive’s feature set.
- Proprietary ad formats, branded sponsorships, and direct sales.
- Customizable A/B testing of ads and site to ensure optimal performance and user experience.
- SEO system and experts to help you plan, create, measure, and improve your content.
- Site performance and monitoring to optimize ad delivery and improve discoverability
- Higher revenue/average RPM compared to others.
- Prioritizes user experience, focusing on 30% ad density per page.
- Premium advertisers.
- Quicker onboarding and ad placement process.
- High traffic requirements (100,000 page views from Google Analytics).
- Full-service advertising is only available to those who qualify.
- Has been known to slow website speed.
Raptive Pricing and Payment Scheme
While Raptive only pays publishers 75%, while taking a 25% management fee, it doesn’t have a lock-in period.
It adopts the Net45 scheme wherein you receive your monthly earnings after 45 days with a minimum threshold of $100.
Raptive’s stiff traffic requirements from Google Adsense and Google Analytics don’t overshadow its promise of higher revenue. The network is best for those who already have solid traffic numbers.
Raptive has been known to slow down page loading time, but this may be a minor issue when weighed against the fact that it has strict ad limits as well as its revenue guarantees.
What Is Publift?
Publift, founded by two former Google employees in 2015, helps publishers maximize ad revenue through programmatic ad tech.
The company uses the latest in ad tech to provide publishers with services that include ad block monetization, Core Web Vitals (CWV) analysis, yield optimization, A/B testing, and more. Publift is a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) and has been helping publishers increase their ad revenue by 55% on average.
Publift's team of data scientists and analysts can create personalized ad strategies for publishers, analyzing your site to come up with recommended ad layout optimizations to deliver a significant uplift in revenue.
Let’s look at some of the company’s features in a bit more detail.
- Its proprietary programmatic advertising program, Fuse, offers a complete plug-and-play dashboard.
- Publift uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to optimize ad floor pricing.
- Header bidding to optimize and generate high revenue.
- More innovative ad types, such as interscroller ads.
- Optimized ad placements you control.
- Built in Core Web Vitals monitoring.
- A team of experts to help with every aspect of your ad strategy.
- Leverage consultants and an AB testing suite
- High eligibility criteria.
- It's not ideal for new or small publishers.
- Lower RPM
Publift's Pricing and Payment Scheme:
Publift pays a fixed 80% of revenue while reserving 20% as a management fee. It adheres to a Net30 payment scheme, paying publishers with $100 or more of monthly revenue after 30 days—the quickest payout of the three companies.
While Publift's eligibility requirement is one of the biggest entry barriers at $2,000 in monthly revenue or 500,000 page views, the onboarding is relatively easy. The company isn’t the best fit for publishers just starting out with only a few months of content.
Other than that, its Fuse ad technology is very promising because it brings together all the tools you need in one place. That, coupled with its highly skilled team of experts, means you'll be in safe hands with the company.
Mediavine vs Raptive (Adthrive) vs Publift: Which Has the Better User Experience?
It's essential to look for ad tech partners that know their customers well and prioritize their needs whenever possible. This is key to delivering customer service that’s great straight out of the gate.
Comparing Onboarding Process
Your application's approval will take at least a month before you're onboarded. Once approved, you’ll receive an email with a complete guide on how to set up your Mediavine dashboard. Aside from the detailed instructions via email, you can always contact their live support, who can walk you through every step until everything is set.
Once you send your application, it will take a week to review. Once approved, your dashboard will be activated and you'll be able to set up your ads.
The onboarding process can be as quick as a week after your application is approved, but depends on the resources you can devote to the process. That week involves setting up your ad units, implementing tags on your site, and executing your advertising plan with the onboarding team. Additionally, its team is also on hand to provide any help and give advice needed.
The Mediavine dashboard is intuitive, showing you important details about your ads—such as your RPM, high-performing ads, average post impressions, etc.
With Raptive’s dashboard, you can customize which data you want to see since it allows you to break down your ad revenue according to the type of ads, page, device, traffic, and more.
Publift's dashboard is an all-in-one go-to place where publishers can see all possible metrics regarding ad placement and management such as pageviews, impressions, net revenue, eCPM and page RPM.
You can easily customize and adjust what you want to view and how granular the detail is, helping you adjust your strategy in real-time.
Comparing Customer Service
Mediavine's Customer Service
Aside from speedily responding to your concerns, Mediavine's customer support team ensures that troubleshooting instructions are easy to follow. They are also open to advising on how to improve revenues and other industry know-how.
Raptive's Customer Service
One of the reasons that publishers hesitate to join Raptive is because it follows strict working hours, even for customer support. The team is only available Monday-Friday and, should you submit a ticket on the weekend, it could take one to two business days for them to reply.
Other than that, Raptive has a strong support system in their community with a Facebook Group exclusive for their members.
Publift's Customer Service
Publift prioritizes its customers' needs, promising publishers that they’ll wait no more than 24 hours for a response to their concerns.
Comparing Communication with Publishers
While there are times we’re happy not to have too much communication from a business partner— that’s rarely the case for ad tech providers. Publishers need to know what's going on in their business and, in this regard, Mediavine has them coneverd. It sends a steady stream of emails that isn’t limited to account updates. It also sends helpful resources and industry news.
With Raptive, publishers can access premium ad strategies and other important learning materials to ensure they can maximize their full ad potential.
Qualified publishers also gain exclusive access to best practices resources and more concise income reports.
Diving into ad management with Publift is like having a business partner throughout your journey. It helps ease the onboarding process, while continuing to provide insights and suggestions as time passes.
It will personalize ad strategies for you, or you can consult and receive expert advice from their ad ops experts on how to optimize your ad yield.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Ad Network
There are many variables to consider when choosing which ad network is best for your advertising needs. Here are just a few:
Reach and Traffic Quality That Converts to Ad Revenue
Publishers need a platform that earns them the most money, so this should be on top of the list of considerations.
Check if your pick has websites in your industry or niche because that will help indicate how successful your revenue optimization might be.
The type of ads you choose also dictates the amount of impressions they will receive. Most ad networks have the usual header, sidebar, in-content, and sticky ads, but some offer more innovative ad formats, such as Publift’s interscroller.
Optimization Tools and Strategies
If you want to be more hands-on with managing your ads, look for a platform with a user-friendly dashboard that allows you to edit, manage, and optimize your ads based on your liking.
However, if that's too much of a fuss, go for the platform that offers auto-optimization that covers most (if not everything) you want to manage. You can also check if they offer complete ad optimization.
Ad networks can offer both, but it all boils down to how easy it is to use these options.
Reporting, Analytics, and Transparency
Data and analytics help you understand how your ads are performing so you can take the necessary steps to improve your performance. That only happens when your ad network provides clear and concise reports on your revenues.
UI and UX
A dashboard's user interface can dictate the publisher's overall experience with the platform. Ad networks with customizable or personalized dashboards make it easy for users to go over every data point they need to review.
On the other hand, don't just consider the user experience but also your audiences—you don't want to turn them off by seeing too many ads.
Look for the ad network that values user experience, page load times, and ad layouts that don’t intrude on your audience’s experience.
Lastly, a great platform knows how to serve and support its customers. Don’t pick simply based on response times, but also factor in the quality of those responses.
Better yet, go for a solution that also has easy-to-access and understand technical and strategic resources.
Customer support needs to be about more than simply solving problems or fixing bugs. Excellent customer service also gives helpful tips and insights on optimizing ad placements and would think of you as a business partner, not just a customer.
Given all of the considerations we’ve listed above, choosing between Mediavine vs Raptive vs Publift depends on where you are in your business.
While Publift's requirements might be slightly steeper, the platform's full-service management and optimization services have a proven track record of increasing publisher ad revenues by 55% on average.
For publishers interested in learning about how to take their ad revenue to the next level, Publift offers a range of tech-driven yet human-centric solutions. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we’ve been helping more than 350 publishers across 60 countries increase their revenue since 2015.