An ad network is a company that connects advertisers to apps and websites that want to host advertisements to promote products and services. Ad networks typically work with a range of publisher websites selling advertisements at a set rate. If a publisher isn’t selling ad space themselves, ad networks will work with them to sell impressions.
Ad networks do not operate programmatically like demand side platforms (DSP) and supply side platforms (SSP) do. Ad networks do, however, allow advertisers to access a pool of websites on which to advertise, all in one centralized location.
There are a number of ad networks out there in the world, many of whom provide access to compelling placements on high-quality websites, so it can be difficult to ascertain which exactly is the right ad network for you. Mobile expert Eric Siu suggests considering the device(s) on which your users will be interacting with your company, as well as the available publisher targeting options and the relevance of publishers included in a given ad network.
While ad networks can be extremely helpful, you should also monitor impression count, click through rates, and install rates to ensure that your campaigns are not being subjected to ad stacking or other forms of display fraud.