CPM ad network systems are experiencing exponential growth if we look at the modern programmatic environment. Traditionally, ad network businesses like Google AdSense almost had a monopoly. However, longtime industry leaders are now experiencing serious competition coming from companies that compete through innovation and develop technology solutions full of targeting methods, real data, and smartphone ad functionality.
Ad networks for publishers implemented relatively uncommon real-time bidding techniques for media groups when they first got started. Today, smaller businesses that operate with advertisers as effectively as leaders have grown to offer advertisers an accessible CPM business model of monetization.
Let’s take a look at the features of the current and emerging ad networks to evaluate and figure out where they can best help grow your business.
What Is CPM?
CPM is an acronym for cost per mille, meaning the cost per thousand impressions. It refers to how much it costs to have an ad published and seen a thousand times on a website and is used to monitor ad performance.
The CPM model allows brands to make money each time an ad is displayed. Due to its focus on impressions and not clicks, it is the most common method for pricing mobile ads and the most popular among mobile publishers.
How Does CPM Work?
The CPM revenue model is the most common pricing method for digital ads. The approach is based on impressions, a statistic that measures the amount of engagements with a specific ad. Advertisers pay a fixed charge to website owners for every thousand views of an ad. With CPM, if an ad is placed on the same page of a website twice, the advertiser will have to pay for two impressions, even though there is only one page view.
How to Calculate CPM
CPM is calculated as cost/total impressions x 1000:
Calculating CPM will let you quickly decide how many impressions you're going to receive for a specific sum of money or how much you're going to pay for a certain number of impressions.
A publisher will set their goal CPM for selling ad space, which will differ based on whether the advertiser is reaching a small, niche audience or purchasing a broad amount of ad impressions.
CPM may be measured for each ad, each ad venue, and each campaign. It is seldom used in isolation, but rather in combination with other, more advanced analytics.
What’s the Difference Between Ad Network and Ad Exchange?
While similar in nature, ad networks and exchanges play distinct roles in the advertisement environment.
An ad network is an aggregator that purchases and sells ad inventory from publishers to advertisers. It serves as an intermediary. On the other hand, an ad exchange is a digital marketplaces where marketers and publishers can directly buy and sell ad inventory, often through real-time auctions.
Why Use CPM?
CPM advertising packages can benefit publishers in a big way. Since users don’t have to interact or click on the ad itself, this can help generate revenue more easily. In other words, publishers can get money for simply placing ads on their sites.
This is much easier than getting users to click on an ad or interact with it. It’s worth noting, however, that rates for the CPM model are not so high as compared to other metrics, so in order to get higher profits, a website should have lots of traffic.
For mobile apps and game publishers, CPM can be effectively used to calculate the expected revenue made by placing an advertisement in their apps. Different estimations, including average number of served impressions and daily-active-users count, can be combined with specific ad network metrics, such as CPM or eCPM, in order to calculate how much profit they can make by placing ads in their apps and games. It is essential that any professional mobile publisher know these numbers in order to ensure that their apps remain profitable.
There are a number of well-known CPM ad networks where obtaining approval is straightforward, and even new bloggers can make use of it and make money. In addition, CPM ad networks do not need specific market traffic or highly qualified traffic. It's simple to measure how much you can spend using a CPM method.
CPM and Other Types of Web Ads Pricing
Compared to newer pricing models, CPM is much simpler, as no specific actions such as installs or clicks are expected from users.
For example, the cost-per-completed view is a metric that requires ads to be watched entirely in order to get the count. Cost per engagement is somewhat similar, as it only counts actions triggered by users.
More traditional advertising metrics include CPC (cost-per-click) and CPA (cost per acquisition). In CPC, marketers pay per click on the advertisement, while in CPA they still require a visitor to buy something after they interact with the ad.
Such types of ads are tailored for promoting a product to a particular niche audience. At the same time, if an advertisement is directed at increasing brand recognition or popularizing a particular message, CPM might seem like a smarter choice.
What Are the Benefits of CPM Ads?
- Highly Profitable (for Publishers)
CPM may be particularly lucrative for publishers, as they receive revenue just for placing ads on their website. Not only is this easier than getting users to click on or engage with an ad, but usually, these results depend more on advertising itself than a publisher.
However, as mentioned above, there is a drawback that is important to consider. CPM reates are not as big as other metrics, so a website needs a considerable amount of traffic if it wants to make more ad revenue.
- Brand Recognition (for Advertisers)
Once we have addressed the apparent advantages of CPM programs for publishers, some may conclude that there is little use for an ad company to set up a CPM-based program, because impressions are not as relevant as views, installations, and purchases. To verify if this is accurate, we can look at the CPM program from the perspective of the advertising agencies.
As already stated, utilizing CPM ads is the ideal technique to create a strong following and increase brand recognition. If a new company has been set up, it is important to make the brand recognizable and create credibility with prospective clients. If a customer has never heard of a certain company, it is highly doubtful that he or she would instantly purchase a product upon seeing an advertisement on the Internet. In short, creating brand equity is smarter than pushing towards conversions from the onset. And that's precisely the case when advertising CPM pricing is going to be the perfect model for marketers.
It's also a smart idea to use CPM to develop your target audience persona and promote your business to them. You may pursue different age categories, such as adolescents or elders, by placing an ad on targeted websites. Then, if you measure and compare engagement on both sites, you can adjust your strategy accordingly and proceed with your marketing, without wasting money on research.
The effectiveness of the campaign can be calculated through various indicators, but one of the most common is CTR, which is short for click-through rate. It is calculated as a percentage of people who clicked on your advertisement after they came across it.
Advantages of CPM Ad Networks for Small and Medium Publishers
CPM-based publisher ad networks mean that CPM rates for reimbursement for media owners is measured using the CPM revenue model. Advertisers pay a cost per thousand impressions, which benefits them because generated impressions result in more clicks. In the CPC model, meanwhile, the advertisers bid for a specified amount of clicks.
When such clicks are obtained, the campaign is deemed full, and the views are no longer shown to consumers. That’s why CPM content is mostly used for marketing and brand awareness campaigns rather than performance-based. The CPM model generates sales for the publisher based on the number of impressions served.
Some of the other benefits of CPM advertising for small and medium publishers include:
- Ease of Ad Performance Tracking for Publishers
One of the advantages of CPM ad networks is the simplicity with which publishers can monitor ad success. Payment is transferred to the publisher account each time the page is loaded, regardless of whether or not clicks occur.
The high volume of traffic is another plus. CPM ad networks for small publishers and bloggers may have a smaller requirement for traffic eligibility.
- Wide Market Reach
Because of its low cost to marketers, the CPM ad network model is the most widespread. As such, it can be commonly found in various ad exchanges. Publishers are getting paid in eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions). It is a metric from which publishers calculate the yield they receive from sold inventory. A high eCPM indicates that the publisher has generated a lot of revenue from ad sales, while a lower eCPM indicates that the publisher's revenue is more average. By using an ad network that runs on CPM, publishers can increase monetization revenues since this revenue model implies high traffic volumes.
Is a CPM Ad Network right for you?
CPM is ideally adapted for a program targeted at growing brand recognition or providing a particular message. The CTR is less important in this situation since the publicity from seeing an ad featured prominently on a high-traffic website helps support a company's brand identity or message even though people may not click on the ad.
CPM content appeals to website publishers when they are compensated simply for hosting advertisements. However, since CPM prices are low, a website must provide a high volume of traffic in order to make a good earning off CPM advertising. Prices for social network ads, on the other hand, are usually higher.
10 Best CPM Ad Networks for Publishers
Publift is a simplified and cutting edge programmatic advertising technology provider. Named one of Australia's Fast Starters 2020 by The Australian Financial Review and Statista, they have partnered with over 250+ publishers and app developers worldwide.
Publift’s clients typically see a 55% increase in ad revenue. In their own words, they’re “obsessive about growing publishers’ businesses." As a Google Certified Publishing Partner, Publift is an excellent choice for publishers who want to monetize, grow their business, and serve quality ads with minimal impact to their UX.
2. Google AdSense
With Google AdSense, publishers are free to use both CPM advertising and CPC (cost-per-click campaigns). AdSense has a large advertisement pool that pays well, but its approval system is quite strict. Publishers get 68% of the revenue, and Google obtains 32%. AdSense helps publishers pick from 450 categories of ads and offers publishers a reach of 2 million advertisers worldwide.
The main drawback is that AdSense accounts need clearance, which is not simple to obtain. Nonetheless, it is one of the best CPM ad networks in the world. The platform offers a wide range of publisher options when it comes to campaign controls, payment, and more.
Adcash has advertising costing billions of dollars per month and over 200 million viewers per day. They claim to fill inventories 100% of the time, allowing publishers to monetize web traffic with minimal effort.
While the platform prides itself on offering dynamic CPM monetization and user experience, you can opt-in for the manual process, too. Adcash also accepts smartphone advertising and has a smart network for personalized targeting.
There is no minimum traffic requirement to get approval and numerous payment systems are available.
4. Exponential (Formerly Tribal Fusion)
Exponential, formerly Tribal Fusion, is one of the most highly-ranked ad networks on the internet, providing a variety of ad types. The platform offers publishers and advertisers custom-tailored plans to monetize. It provides elevated CPM rates, and a huge opportunity to earn revenue with the help of extremely targeted ads.
The need for highly tailored and pertinent content is high with this ad network. The company gives 55% of the total ad revenue generated to the publishers, but with a base standard of 500,000 unique visitors per month, it is extremely difficult to get accepted.
BuySellAds is an option for beginners since there are no minimum traffic thresholds, allowing website owners to get started right away. The ad network helps publishers in setting direct deals with advertisers. It also enables them to monetize the traffic that is using ad blockers.
Pay demands for BuySellAds should be received twice a month and are reviewed in 2-3 days. A minimum payment threshold of $20 may be transferred through PayPal. A minimum payment threshold $50 and a maximum payment threshold of $500 must be available for cheques or wire transfers.
6. Propeller Ads
Propeller Ads is an excellent eCPM ad network with good eCPM speeds. It's also simple to try their service, which allows you to monetize your website or smartphone traffic in less than five minutes. You can get started right away by following a few simple steps to add and check your domain ownership.
Propeller Ads supports a range of ad types, including OnClick PopUnder Ads, Web Ads, Banner Ads, Layer Ads, among others. PropellerAds is an outstanding alternative as one of the strongest CPM ad networks. Net30 payment policy and a minimum $100 requirement are two excellent features. Propeller also offers real-time reporting.
UberCPM is one of the fastest rising CPM ad networks, with instant site permissions and an eighty percent profit share for publishers. UberCPM is an ad exchange network that positions your inventory on different exchanges so that numerous advertisers can bid on your domain. Publishers may receive monthly payments via Wire Transfer, PayPal, or Payoneer.
They will also provide real-time statistics and customer service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The features include a flat $10 threshold, subscription fees, and a sales distribution of 80% for publishers. Start wherever you like, with no minimum traffic requirements and an easy-to-use dashboard.
8. Conversant Media
Conversant Media called ValueClick one of the leading ad networks in the industry before 2014. It's an online advertisement firm with a track record of more than 15 years. Their operation only accepts high-quality websites.
They have a broad variety of ad formats. You have full power over advertising, so you can select whether or not to view them on your blog. Their customer service is excellent. Conversant Media pays on a regular basis, with the minimum payout threshold a mere $25.
Adbuffs is also a CPM and a CPC ad network. It is connected to the most important ad exchanges. Adbuffs technology allows major publishers to increase sales by encouraging a large number of advertisers to bid on inventory. It is also the ultimate AdSense replacement network, with prices that compete with, and even surpass, AdSense for certain publishers.
Adbuffs accepts payments through Payoneer, PayPal, and Bank Wire on a NET 45 basis. Approval usually requires 24-48 business hours, and only the best performing publishers are approved. This is a network that is both creative and efficient, with real-time bidding. CPM prices that are reasonable, and advertisers and publishers must obey stringent approval protocols.
Media.net is one of the world’s leading ad networks. With offices in Dubai, Los Angeles, Bangalore, Mumbai, New York, and Zurich, they run the world’s second largest contextual ads program from Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ad network. Media.net’s clients include Forbes, Yahoo, MSN, and Kiplinger, among others.
To apply, you must have original material. Content must also be revised on a daily basis. Infringement on the intellectual property interests of third parties is not permissible.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution in ad tech. If you're a publisher looking for an ad tech company that will provide you with high-quality CPM ads and provide specialized CPM advertising programs, check out the CPM advertising networks mentioned in this list. All of these networks will provide you with a good user experience and CPM rate, but before making a decision, always think carefully about what’s best to achieve your goals and where CPM fits into that.