As a publisher, deciding which ad monetization company to partner with is a decisive choice for your business. The right choice could lead to a significant boost in ad revenue, while the wrong choice could lead to subpar results and a decrease in site traffic due to poor UX.
The evolving technological landscape of digital advertising requires companies to constantly adapt and create new solutions on a regular basis. Some companies are up to the challenge; others aren’t.
That is why we put together this list of the five best ad monetization companies in 2023.
The list takes a number of factors into account, including:
- Contract terms
- Ad variety
- Access to demand partners
- Payout dates
- Ease of implementation
- Customer service
1. Google AdSense
Google AdSense is the obvious choice for new and small publishers.
Launched in 2003, AdSense is the most popular monetization service today for programmatic ads, offering publishers the ability to generate revenue on a per-click or per-impression basis.
As of 2021, more than 38 million websites were using AdSense with thousands more signing up on a regular basis.
- Easy-to-use – AdSense’s platform is easy to use and intuitive, making it ideal for non-tech-savvy publishers.
- Easy to join – Relatively speaking, AdSense is easy to get accepted into and virtually any website that adheres to its policy guidelines is eligible.
- No traffic minimum – Unlike professional monetization companies, AdSense has no requirement for minimum traffic.
- No hands-on management – AdSense’s platform runs itself and publishers don’t need to spend time actively managing their ads.
- High revenue share – AdSense takes 32% of the revenue earned by publishers, which is very high for the industry.
- Access to only one demand partner – With access to only one demand partner – Google – AdSense has a severe lack of competition. This means that advertisers have the advantage while publishers suffer.
- Difficult to scale – If you’re a medium or large size publisher, the amount of revenue you are making with AdSense will not reflect your ad revenue potential with premium demand partners.
- No customer support – AdSense is notorious for its lack of customer support. Publishers that encounter issues with AdSense have little recourse to resolve their issues.
Adnimation was founded in 2013 and has evolved into one of the industry’s leading monetization companies.
The company was founded by two ad tech veterans who were dissatisfied with the industry practice of providing services to both publishers and advertisers, which can represent a conflict of interest that harms the publisher.
Adnimation caters only to publishers, utilizing proprietary technology to offer a wide range of ad optimization solutions for websites, CTV apps, and mobile apps.
- Proprietary technology – Adnimation’s one-code wrapper, hybrid header bidding technology, lazy loading ads, and viewable refresh ads help generate higher revenues.
- No tiered plans – Every publisher receives access to the top-demand partners, regardless of size and revenue.
- Transparency – Publishers can see their gross and net earnings, as opposed to the common industry practice of showing publishers only their net earnings.
- No lock-in contract – Adnimation doesn’t lock publishers into long-term contracts.
- Google CTV license – Adnimation received the world’s first Google CTV monetization product, enabling its publishers to access Google’s vast video ad inventory.
- Doesn’t work with small publishers – Websites with low traffic don’t qualify for Adnimation’s services.
- Lack of add-ons – Adnimation doesn’t offer additional add-on features.
- Limited experience with very large publishers – Adnimation has limited experience serving ads on sites with more than 30 million monthly page views.
- Selective with partners – Adnimation only accepts publishers that produce quality content, making some publishers ineligible.
- Simple dashboard – Adnimation’s dashboard is relatively simple and doesn’t include the intricate features offered by some of the other monetization companies.
Ezoic is one of the most recognizable names in the world of ad tech. It was founded in 2010 and has several offices in North America and Europe, serving thousands of publishers and advertisers.
Ezoic places a large focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning as a means to make intelligent monetization decisions.
Ezoic also offers a variety of additional features in addition to its monetization services, including SEO and web tools.
- Additional features – Ezoic offers useful add-ons like SEO tools, site speed tools, and other web tools.
- Offers solutions to small publishers – Ezoic offers solutions to small publishers and even has a monetization option for publishers below 10,000 monthly pageviews.
- Artificial intelligence– Ezoic’s investment in AI enables it to adopt a hands-off approach that allows for increased development.
- Corporate social responsibility – Ezoic is dedicated to addressing social issues such as climate change and runs several charity and volunteering incentive programs.
- Data analytics – Ezoic offers its publishers access to an array of analytics tools.
- Requires CDN access – Ezoic requires publishers to give them full control of the site, which deters many publishers.
- Lack of transparency – Publishers working with Ezoic can only see their net revenue and are unable to see how much gross revenue they generated.
- Lock-in contract – Ezoic requires its publishers to commit to a long-term contract.
- Tiered plans – Ezoic has tiered plans and only provides its more advanced services to larger publishers.
- Slower loading times – Publishers have complained that Ezoic’s CDN access to their site leads to slower load times.
Founded in 2015, Freestar is known for providing monetization solutions to large online publishers and advertisers.
One of the main solutions showcased by Freestar is its header bidding, which integrates seamlessly into the publisher’s ad stack.
Freestar also offers mobile app monetization, which enables them to offer a variety of monetization solutions to app developers as well.
- Experience monetizing huge publishers – Freestar works with very large publishers like Al Jazeera and Reuters.
- Real-time dashboard – Freestar’s real-time dashboard allows publishers to see ad revenue analytics in real-time.
- One-code wrapper – Freestar’s one-code wrapper makes it easy for publishers to serve ads without any need to hand over website access.
- Ad recovery – Freestar’s ad recovery technology recovers ads that were previously blocked by the browser.
- In-app monetization – Freestar’s in-app monetization offers an easy solution for mobile ads.
- Lock-in contract – Freestar locks its partners in for relatively long contracts, which leaves publishers with no recourse should they want to switch due to dissatisfaction.
- Also serves advertisers – Freestar also serves advertisers as well as publishers, creating a conflict of interest between publishers looking to generate the maximum possible revenue from every ad and advertisers looking to pay the least possible amount for every ad.
- Focused on huge publishers – Freestar’s primary focus and revenue stem from very large publishers with tens of millions of monthly pageviews, which can lead to neglect among medium or large-sized publishers.
- Lack of transparency – Publishers working with Freestar can only see their net revenue, and are unable to see how much gross revenue they generated.
- Exclusive ad rights – Freestar requires publishers to grant them exclusive rights to serve ads on their website, which eliminates the ability to test them against another company.
Originally named “The Blogger Network,” Monumetric was founded in 2012 as a monetization solution for bloggers.
As time progressed, the company rebranded as Monumetric and began branching out, offering solutions to non-blogging websites as well as advertisers.
Monumetric offers a complete monetization solution, including header bidding, access to top-demand partners, video units, and mobile ads.
- Caters to smaller publishers – Monumetric was founded as a solution for bloggers, so it has experience with smaller publishers and even offers solutions to publishers with less than 10,000 monthly pageviews.
- Sponsored post-management – Monumetric developed a feature called “Maker” that serves as a solution for sponsored post-management. While the advanced plan requires a fee, the basic version is free.
- Site audit – Monumetric offers a free site audit that analyzes your website’s ad placements.
- Good customer support – Ensuring that you receive proper support from your ad ops company is important, and clients have reported that Monumetric’s support is top-tier.
- Easy-to-use dashboard – Monumetric’s dashboard is clean, simple to use, and easy to understand.
- Focused on small publishers – Catering to small publishers is good if you’re a small publisher, but if you’re a medium or large-sized publisher, it’s important to have a monetization company that best understands your needs.
- Tiered plans – Monumetric has tiered plans and only provides its better services to larger publishers.
- $99 setup fee – For its basic plan, Monumetric charges a $99 setup fee.
- Long onboarding process – There have been complaints that Monumetric’s onboarding process is complicated and slow.
- Ad minimum – For its basic plan, Monumetric requires publishers to serve at least six display ads on their website, consisting of four medium rectangles (with at least one above-the-fold ad) and two leaderboard ads.