The Best Ad Networks: Display Advertising & More

This article was last updated on June 8, 2016.

Have an ad network and wanted to get reviewed by us? Shoot me an email at karl@monetizepros.com!

If you’re looking to monetize your Web traffic through advertising, there are a number of different opportunities out there. If selling direct to advertisers is neither practical nor possible at present, utilizing an ad network to fill your inventory is likely the most effective alternative.

The hard part, of course, is knowing which ad network will be the best fit for monetizing your website, blog, app, or other Web-based asset; for most publishers, there are dozens of networks that would love to have your business. We’re here to help: we’ve categorized and reviewed the top ad networks operating in 2016. Don’t have a web-asset yet? Click here and learn how to start your own blog.

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Table of Contents (Click to Jump to Section)

Comparison of the Best Ad Networks for Web Publishers

The following tables just show the top-rated ad networks which have been reviewed by MonetizePros. Click here to see a database of every major ad network.

Featured Ad Network of the Month

Every single month at MonetizePros, we choose a featured ad network. They stand out by exceptional earnings, reported to us by our readers. Exceptionally happy with your network this month? Let us know!

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
Infolinks
(Read Review)
CPC 4.00 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown

Best Display Ad Networks for Web Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
Google AdSense
(Read Review)
CPC 4.50 out of 5 stars None Yes 2 million publishers
Media.net
(Read Review)
CPC 4.50 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown
BuySellAds
(Read Review)
CPM, Fixed-Rate 4.25 out of 5 stars None Yes “Thousands of publishers”
Clicksor
(Read Review)
CPC, CPI, CPM, CPV 4 out of 5 stars 50,000 monthly impressions Yes Unknown
Conversant
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 3.75 out of 5 stars 3,000 monthly impressions Yes Unknown
Adblade
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 3.00 out of 5 stars 500,000 monthly impressions Yes Unknown

Best In-line Text Ad Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
Infolinks
(Read Review)
CPC 4 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown
Chitika
(Read Review)
CPC 3.00 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown
Kontera
(Read Review)
CPC 2.00 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown

Best Affiliate Marketing Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
Amazon Associates
(Read Review)
CPA 4.25 out of 5 stars None Yes 1.6 million sellers
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
(Read Review)
CPA 4.00 out of 5 stars None Yes 2,500+ advertisers
Rakuten LinkShare
(Read Review)
CPA 3.50 out of 5 stars None Yes 1,000+ advertisers

Best Co-registration Ad Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
CoregMedia
(Read Review)
CPL 4.00 out of 5 stars Unknown Unknown Unknown

Best Email Ad Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
LiveIntent
(Read Review)
CPM 4.00 out of 5 stars 3 million monthly impressions Unknown Unknown
NewsletterDirectory.co
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 3.75 out of 5 stars None No 4,000+ publishers

Best Mobile App Ad Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
AdMob
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 4.25 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown
AirPush
(Read Review)
CPA, CPC, CPM 4.00 out of 5 stars None Yes 100,000+ mobile apps
iAd
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 3.00 out of 5 stars None Yes 150,000+ mobile apps

Best Sponsored Content Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
Outbrain
(Read Review)
CPC 3.75 out of 5 stars 10 million monthly US page views Yes Over 100,000 blogs and websites

Best Video Ad Networks for Publishers

Network Offer Types Rating (?) Traffic Min. Mobile Units Network Size
YouTube Partner Program
(Read Review)
CPC, CPM 4.00 out of 5 stars None Yes Unknown
Google DFP Video
(Read Review)
Unknown 3.00 out of 5 stars Unknown Yes Unknown
Videology
(Read Review)
Unknown 3.00 out of 5 stars Unknown Unknown Unknown

The King of Display: Google AdSense

AdSense-FinalGoogle’s AdSense is one of the largest and perhaps the best known display advertising network. This platform allows publishers to monetize standard display ads, mobile and video, and search results as well.

It’s free to sign up for AdSense and the program will accept the smallest of publishers provided they meet certain quality guidelines. AdSense also integrates smoothly into other Google products (such as DFP) and generally pays publishers monthly for revenue generated the previous month.

Google AdSense 300x250 ad unit

Example of Google AdSense 300×250 ad unit

Google AdSense at a Glance

Display Advertising Alternatives to Google AdSense

While AdSense is the most popular choice of display monetization among Web publishers, there are several viable alternatives for those seeking to either compliment existing AdSense units or replace AdSense entirely. The following are the best Google AdSense alternatives, listed in alphabetical order.

Adblade

Adblade-FinalThis network of premium publishers currently consists of about 1,000 high profile publishers. Adblade offers its publishers an opportunity to fill IAB standard ad units (such as the 300×250 rectangle or 728×90 leaderboard) as well as a proprietary “NewsBullet” unit designed to increase engagement and CPMs.

For smaller publishers, Adblade won’t be much use. This network accepts only ultra-premium (i.e., really large) publishers; Fox News, Daily News, and the McClatchy properties are among those that make the cut.

Adblade NewsBullets unit

Example of Adblade NewsBullets unit

Adblade at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: 500,000 monthly pageviews
  • Ad Types: Display
  • Offer Types: CPC, CPM
  • Payment Methods: Check, PayPal
  • Payment Threshold: $100
  • Payment Terms: Net-30
  • More Info: Read MonetizePros’ in-depth review of Adblade.

Advertising.com

Advertising-FinalThis network, a unit of AOL, is one of the largest out there with nearly 2 billion impressions monetized daily. Ad.com offers opportunities for publishers to monetize display ads, video, mobile, and some custom implementations as well.

This network now offers Display University, an online educational resource for publishers and advertisers looking to learn more about display ads, the process of building a campaign, and executing on creative.

Advertising.com 300x250 ad unit

Example of Advertising.com 300×250 ad unit

Advertising.com at a Glance

Chitika

Chitika-FinalChitika boasts a network of more than 300,000 publishers, making it one of the largest networks in the world based on that metric. Chitika ads can be used on their own, or alongside ads from other networks (such as AdSense).

Chitika is also open to just about anyone, and the process for getting approval and ad implementation is generally very fast. Chitika has been a popular alternative for advertisers unable to use or frustrated with AdSense, with great results in certain niches and less impressive earnings capabilities in others.

Chitika Inline Text Link ad unit

Example of Chitika Inline Text Link ad unit

Chitika at a Glance

Clicksor

Clicksor-FinalClicksor had a lot of trouble a few years back with malware but in 2016 they’re one of the best ad networks on the market again. They’ve dealt with their issues, learned from them and are stronger than ever.

Infolinks

InfolinksInfolinks has experienced a quick growth to become one of the top players in in-text advertising. Signup is quick and approval is granted to usually granted to even the smaller Web publishers and bloggers.

Infolinks offers a number of ways to deliver their ad units: inText double underlines valuable keywords, and when a user hovers over one of them, a relevant ad will appear; inFrame monetizes the unused screen margins on either side of a site’s design with contextual banner ads; inSearch only monetizes search traffic, without disturbing a site’s regular visitors; and inTag places a link unit within a webpage’s content with valuable contextual keywords.

Infolinks inText ad unit

Example of Infolinks inText ad unit

Infolinks at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: None
  • Ad Types: Display, Inline Text
  • Offer Types: CPC
  • Payment Methods: ACH Transfer, eCheck, Payoneer, Paypal, Western Union
  • Payment Threshold: $50
  • Payment Terms: Net-45
  • More Info: Read MonetizePros’ in-depth review of Infolinks.

Media.net

Media.netThis platform can be used by publishers to serve contextual ads from the Yahoo! Bing Network, which offers up a large pool of national and local advertisers.

The Media.net platform allows advertisers to pick from about 15 different ad sizes (including a few non-standard ones) and customize each placement. There’s also an option to build ads from scratch, allowing more advanced users to come up with an implementation that works best with their site layout.

Media.net 300x250 ad unit

Example of Media.net 300×250 ad unit

Media.net at a Glance

PulsePoint

PulsePointMore than 1 billion real-time ad transactions are processed each day through PulsePoint, which is the result of a merger between ContextWeb and Datran Media. PulsePoint is a bit unique; it’s an ad exchange that allows publishers to set an “ask price” for their inventory. That allows publishers to effectively set a minimum CPM they’re willing to accept; if PulsePoint is able to find buyers for the inventory at that level, publishers will receive 100% of their desired revenue level.

PulsePoint also offers a multi-channel marketing solution designed to help publishers expose new users to their content.

PulsePoint 300x250 ad unit

Example of PulsePoint 300×250 ad unit

PulsePoint at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: None
  • Ad Types: Display
  • Offer Types: CPM
  • Payment Methods: Check, PayPal
  • Payment Threshold: $50
  • Payment Terms: Net-30

Tribal Fusion

Tribal FusionThis platform has the ability to reach more than 430 million people worldwide each month, which represents a substantial portion of the overall Internet audience. Qualified publishers are able to run in-text advertising, lead generation portals, and other monetization opportunities through Tribal Fusion.

Tribal Fusion accepts only publishers that have at least 500,000 unique users per month, so this network won’t be all that useful for smaller sites.

Tribal Fusion Firefly Video ad unit

Example of Tribal Fusion Firefly Video ad unit

Tribal Fusion at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: 500,000 monthly uniques
  • Ad Types: Display, Video
  • Offer Types: CPE, CPM
  • Payment Methods: Check
  • Payment Threshold: $50
  • Payment Terms: Net-45

Vibrant Media

Vibrant MediaVibrant Media is best known for their text ads that allow publishers to create incremental monetization opportunities within content. (Here’s an example of their technology.) In addition to the in-text advertising opportunities, Vibrant also offers traditional display advertising opportunities for publishers now.

Vibrant’s roster of display advertising clients and partners is much smaller than many of the other networks on this list, but nevertheless offers publishers another option for display ad monetization.

Vibrant Media In-Text ad unit

Example of Vibrant Media Inline Text ad unit

Vibrant Media at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: 500,000 monthly pageviews
  • Ad Types: Inline Text
  • Offer Types: CPC, CPM, CPV
  • Payment Methods: ACH Transfer, Check, Wire Transfer
  • Payment Threshold: $5
  • Payment Terms: Net-45

Affiliate Marketing Advertising Networks

Amazon Associates

Amazon AssociatesAmazon Associates is the affiliate marketing program offered by the world’s largest online retailer. Web publishers who sign up for the program (no minimum traffic requirement) can display on their sites custom banner ads and text links that point to Amazon category or product pages. The publisher then receives a commission from each click through that results in a sale.

Amazon has one of the largest affiliate networks on the Internet, boasting 1.6 million sellers and countless products. While their commission rate is on the low side (starting at 4%, going up to 8.5%), publishers get a cut of everything that a shopper buys during the first purchase.

Example of Amazon Associates product implementation

Example of Amazon Associates product implementation on affiliate site

Amazon Associates at a Glance

CJ Affiliate by Conversant

CJ Affiliate by ConversantCJ Affiliate by Conversant, formerly known as Commission Junction, is one of the oldest and largest affiliate networks, operating in dozens of verticals from education to matchmaking to Web hosting and much more. There are currently over 3,000 active advertisers on the network. And with no traffic minimum, CJ is accessible by even the smallest blogger or Web publishers.

The CPA dollar amounts and commission rates at CJ are set by each individual seller, each of which has its own terms that publishers need to adhere to.

CJ affiliate link offers

Example of CJ affiliate link offers

CJ at a Glance

Rakuten LinkShare

Rakuten LinkShareRakuten LinkShare is another long-established affiliate network, very similar to CJ, but less than half the size in terms of number of advertisers. Still, they are a worthwhile affiliate network to have a publisher account with, as they do have some high quality advertisers who do not advertise through CJ. If payment threshold is a concern, they have a very low minimum of $1, compared to CJ’s $50 minimum.

Like CJ, the CPA dollar amounts and commission rates at LinkShare are set by each individual seller, each of which has its own terms that publishers need to adhere to.

Example of Linkshare affiliate link and skyscraper ad for jewelry company

Example of Linkshare affiliate link and skyscraper ad for jewelry company

Rakuten LinkShare at a Glance

Email Advertising Networks

LiveIntent

LiveIntentLiveIntent is one of the largest providers of email monetization, though they’ve only been in existence since 2009. Their service integrates seamlessly with almost any email service provider, including SilverPop and MailChimp, to deliver display ads within the body of emails to publishers’ subscribers. Note that LiveIntent requires a minimum of 3 million monthly impressions, so they are not suitable for publishers with smaller lists.

LiveIntent is trusted by some of the largest publishers on the Web today, including The Weather Channel, Conde Nast, and The Wall Street Journal. Fill rates with LiveIntent are very high, often nearing 100%.

LiveIntent at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: 3 million monthly email open impressions
  • Ad Types: Email Display
  • Offer Types: CPM
  • Payment Methods: Unknown
  • Payment Threshold: Unknown
  • Payment Terms: Unknown
  • More Info: Read MonetizePros’ in-depth review of LiveIntent.

NewsletterDirectory.co

NewsletterDirectory.co

With NewsletterDirectory.co, publishers can list their email newsletters in the directory and then get offered proposals by different advertisers. The CPC ads at NewsletterDirectory.co are offered as image- or text-based 468×60 banners that easily integrate with MailChimp and a variety of other email service providers.

NewsletterDirectory.co also allows advertisers and publishers to meet and then work out a deal outside of their purview. There are opportunities then for CPM, per diem, flat-rate advertising, or other options.

NewsletterDirectory.co at a Glance

Mobile Advertising Networks

AdMob

AdMobAdMob is a mobile application monetization network acquired by Google in 2010. Mobile app developers can log in to AdMob and create text or image ads for display in their mobile application in much the same way a Web publisher would create a new ad unit for a website or blog. Color combinations, size, and other such options are all customizable.

Once the ad unit has been created, the developer is provided with an SDK file that can be incorporated into the app. The ad units will work on Android, iOS, and Windows.

Example of AdMob ad unit on iPhone

Example of AdMob ad unit on iPhone

AdMob at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: None
  • Ad Types: Mobile App Monetization
  • Offer Types: CPC, CPM
  • Payment Methods: ACH, PayPal, Wire Transfer
  • Payment Threshold: $20
  • Payment Terms: Net-30
  • More Info: Read MonetizePros’ in-depth review of AdMob.

Airpush

AirpushAirpush offers CPA, CPC, and CPM ads for mobile applications on Android, iOS, or Windows. In addition to traditional display advertising, Airpush offers more disruptive advertising in the form of push notifications ads that display in the notification tray on Android and icon ads that display as icons on the user’s home screen.

Airpush also offers rich media and video ad units that monetize very well.

Example of Airpush push notification ad unit (left) and rich media unit (right)

Example of Airpush push notification ad unit (left) and rich media unit (right)

Airpush at a Glance
  • Publisher Traffic Requirement: None
  • Ad Types: Mobile App Monetization
  • Offer Types: CPA, CPC, CPM
  • Payment Methods: ACH, PayPal, Wire Transfer
  • Payment Threshold: $50
  • Payment Terms: Weekly schedule
  • More Info: Read MonetizePros’ in-depth review of Airpush.

Bottom Line

When it comes to display advertising networks, publishers have a number of options from which to choose. If you came hoping to figure out which will most efficiently monetize your traffic, that is unfortunately an answer we can’t provide. Because each website is so unique and each network has its strengths and weaknesses, the winning combination will be different for every publisher.

Most likely, the highest earnings will be generated through some combination of the above networks; try experimenting with different combinations and implementations, and carefully track the impact of each on your bottom line.

Comments

  1. monetizepros says:

    This was an excellent article, Mr. Johnston.

  2. Albert Jim says:

    To be honest, though there are a lot of ad networks but there is no real alternative of Adsense but there is another advertising site has a creartive ideas for Ads like

    > DISPLAY Ads
    >

  3. victor njemuwa says:

    thanks for this wonderfull articule.. It really helped me a lot.

  4. sarah mcgraw says:

    Am I only the one who is wondering why Advertise.com is not a part of the list. I mean I have tried so many Ad networks and Advertise.com still falls under Top 3 for me along with Chitika and Admedia.

  5. MonetizePros says:

    Thanks for your comment Sarah. We’ll consider adding this to a future update!

  6. Thanks for featuring all these ad networking sites Jimmy! Shareasale.com is also one of the Best Affiliate Marketing Network for Publishers..

  7. MonetizePros says:

    Thanks for stopping by Kristina.

  8. Joe Ryder says:

    I have tried a lot of ad networks and the only ones that actually deliver high rates are MediaNet, Adsense (of course) and Envero Media.

  9. MonetizePros says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Vivek Rajput says:

    Thanks for this great information. But if you know so can you please tell me which network is best for the mobile traffic

  11. Julie Reynolds says:

    I am using Envero Media’s ads and the quality and rate is same as I was making on Adsense

  12. Can i monetize with adsense and CJ or other advertising networks in the same website. I would be thankful for your great thoughts and services.

  13. MonetizePros says:

    Certainly! That’s what we do at MonetizePros, too!

  14. Nice list. I’ll make sure I try some

  15. Nice list. I’ll make sure I try some

  16. Nice Thanks For Share This With Us!

  17. Thanks for sharing a great article. It sound lot ads networks but would you mind to point out which one is the second after google adsense?

    Regards,

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