What is an Ad Server?

2018/04/10

The title, “What is an ad server” might seem too basic for anyone that is already familiar with ad operations. But there IS confusion about this! Since we’ve been asked this question repeatedly, we figured it was time to write a 101 article.

What is an ad server? Here’s a simple definition.

An ad server is a web server that stores online marketing advertisements and delivers them to digital supports like websites, mobile sites or mobile apps. The ad server’s interface allows users to manage their advertisements. That includes putting the creatives online, setting the delivery parameters and targeting, serving ads, as well as monitoring and optimising online campaigns. Different types of banners (text, image, video, Flash, HTML5, etc.) can be supported.

 

 

Ad server refers to the technology, so there is a prerequisite you’ll need before starting to use one: advertisers willing to advertise on your site or app. You’ll also need the creatives they’d like to display. Remember, even if an ad server can help build advanced banners (which, by the way, Smart AdServer does pretty well), it still can’t make them from scratch.

Do I need an ad server?

Ad servers are useful to both the sell side (those selling inventory) and the buy side (those buying inventory).

Why are ad servers useful for publishers and ad networks?

Many digital publishers have turned towards advertising-based financial models to monetize their sites. One way for publishers to boost revenue is by directly selling inventory to advertisers or agencies interested in their audience.

If you’re working with an automatic advertising platform like Google AdSense, or you’re partnering with an ad network that sells your ad inventory for you, you may not have any advertisers to sell directly to. If that’s the case, you won’t manage inventory sales yourself and you don’t need an ad server.

However, if you sell inventory directly to advertisers, then you’ll probably need an ad server to manage all your advertising campaigns. And if you’re an ad network selling on a publisher’s behalf, you will definitely need an ad server to manage all those campaigns!

Why are ad servers useful for advertisers and media agencies?

If you’re an advertiser with a pre-built media plan and you’re willing to advertise your banners to sell-side actors, you can use an ad server.
If you’re a media agency, you could use an ad server to serve banners on behalf of your advertisers. If you want more control and insight into campaigns, an ad server will allow you to easily track the clicks, impressions, and conversions of the banners you deliver.

Source: Smart Adserver. Read more about Smart Adserver.

Read also:

Client-side or Server-side Header bidding?

2019/10/14

More than 70% of publishers use header bidding to boost eCPMs, increase fill rates, and maximize revenues. While client-side header bidding is an overall improvement over the waterfall, there are a few drawbacks. To address these issues, a new technology emerged: server-side header bidding.

Read more

Annual Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising report has been published – read the most interesting findings here

2019/10/04

IAB Europe’s annual Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising Report is a comprehensive analysis of the European programmatic landscape, covering strategies and adoption trends, drivers of and barriers to growth, and forecasts for the future for 31 markets. If you are working on programmatic, we recommend that you read this report. To make it easier, we’ve put together the key findings here.

Read more

We are looking for a Fullstack developer

2019/09/23

Your job will be creative and solution-oriented, and you will have a say in a lot of areas of the product-development. You will work in our development team in Kista, together with our Lead Developer. You will work with both front end and back end on our primary product.

Read more

Come say hello to us at Dmexco 2019!

2019/08/30

Dmexco will be held in Cologne 11-12th September. This year Relevant will have a stand in Future Park which is dedicated to new innovations. Our stand is located in Hall 9 at C-032a. If you are coming to Dmexco come and visit our stand. You can also schedule a meeting in advance with Olli, Petri or Ronny.

Read more

Google Chrome’s privacy changes – how will they impact the online advertising ecosystem?

2019/05/10

Google announced earlier this week that they will bring new privacy controls to Chrome, following the same path as Safari and Firefox have chosen before, but with a slightly different approach. The way Google is approaching this is that the classification of cookies as first or third party needs to be done on the site.

Read more