Publisher ad servers, commonly referred to simply as ad servers, help website publishers earn money from their website through online advertising. Selling ads on their site allows publishers to generate revenue from the content they produce, while keeping that content free for their audiences. Publishers use ad servers to manage ad operations such as creating ad units, setting inventory price minimums, trafficking ads, and tracking conversions and advertisers’ budgets. Ad servers are counter parted by advertiser campaign management software used by marketers to buy the ad inventory made available by publishers. Publisher ad servers make inventory available to sell through ad networks, which package ad units from multiple publishers together to sell to advertisers. Publisher ad servers commonly function as supply side platforms (SSPs) as well, and many products in the Ad Server category are also in SSP. SSPs allow publishers to make their inventory available in advertising exchanges which serve as a marketplace where ads are bought in sold in real time, impression by impression, instead of in a bundled package. Publisher ad servers may also provide functionality for mobile app monetization.
To qualify for inclusion in the Publisher Ad Server category, a product must: