A rate card is essentially the menu of ad options available on a site. This document contains the cost, either on a flat fee or CPM basis, for the various ad units that advertisers may buy on a site.
This document is only relevant for publishers who are selling part of their ad inventory directly to advertisers. If you are using a network such as AdSense to monetize your display ad inventory, a rate card won’t be necessary. Ad networks are monetized primarily on a CPC basis, so there is no need to quote rates for inventory.
Below is an example of a rate card included in the 2013 media kit for PopSci.com (the online home of Popular Science):
As shown above, a rate card can be a fairly basic document; for each available ad unit, it can include just the dimensions and the price. In the rate card above, most line items are shown on a CPM basis but some are priced on a flat fee (specifically, the e-newsletter and sponsored posts).
Other rate cards may include additional technical information or noteworthy restrictions on the ad units, such as:
Typically, advanced technical specifications for ad units would be provided via a separate document known as a spec sheet. However, some publishers may also include relevant data on the rate card.
Once a rate card has been created, publishers need to know what to do with it.
Different publishers take different approaches on this topic. Generally, rate cards are not included in a media kit and are not made publicly available (a media kit is generally easy to find and download). However, there are obviously some exceptions (the screenshot above is a page out of a larger media kit that was available for download).
Many publishers will provide a rate card to advertisers upon request. There are a few advantages to this strategy:
Generally, we suggest keeping a rate card private unless an interested advertiser asks for it.
The rate card for every publisher may differ since there are some factors that influence the advertising rate. And these are the factors:
A rate card is the document contains the cost, either on a flat fee or CPM basis, for various ad units that advertisers may buy on a site
To calculate rate card is simply by taking the average CPM of the media around you and multiplying it by your audience numbers expressed in thousands
This document is only relevant for publishers who are selling part of their ad inventory directly to advertisers. If you are using a network to monetize your display ad inventory, a rate card won’t be necessary.
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