This blog wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the revenue generated via advertising. That revenue covers the overheads, including staffing, and – if I’m lucky – leaves a bit left over as entrepreneurial profit.
And while many of us complain about the constant presence of ads, we all enjoy the benefits that those same advertisements fund. Those ads have funded sites as varied as ScienceAlert and The Washington Post.
Ad networks have been an essential part of online advertising for going on two decades, and it is not easy to choose the best among them. Raptive (formerly Adthrive), Mediavine, and Ezoic are considered to be the top three ad networks. They offer publishers a way to monetize their content.
In this post, we’ll start by explaing the advantage of using a network rather than dealing with a single entity such as Google or Bing.
Then we’ll take a closer look at these three leading networks, their pros and cons, revenue split, traffic requirements, ad quality, user experience, customer support, and case studies, in order to help you decide which one is the best for you.
- 1 Why Publishers Should Use a Network Partner
- 2 Raptive (formerly Adthrive): Pros & Cons
- 3 Mediavine: Pros & Cons
- 4 Ezoic: Pros & Cons
- 5 Revenue Split: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 6 Traffic Requirements: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 7 CPM Rates: Which Ad Network is better?
- 8 Ad Quality: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 9 Ad Optimization: Raptive vs Mediavine vs Ezoic
- 10 Ad Management: Which one is more user-friendly?
- 11 User Experience: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 12 Customer Support: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 13 Payment Schedule: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
- 14 Conclusion: Which is the best Ad Network?
- 15 Final Verdict: Ad Networks Battle
Why Publishers Should Use a Network Partner
An ad network is an intermediary platform which brings together advertisers and publishers to facilitate the placement and delivery of online advertising. Networks enable advertisers to reach a wider target audience and gives publishers a wider selection of advertisers to work with.
Ad networks provide a range of services to both advertisers and publishers. These range from managing campaigns and tracking clicks, to finding and vetting potential partners.
Ad networks can also help advertisers optimize their campaigns and better target their desired audience.
Ad networks offer several advantages over single entities like Google or Bing, such as a larger reach, more flexibility, and better targeting capabilities. With an ad network, advertisers can reach a much broader audience than they could with a single entity by leveraging a network of partner sites.
Ad networks also offer more customization and flexibility, allowing advertisers to tailor their campaigns to match their specific needs. Furthermore, ad networks can provide more accurate targeting capabilities, enabling them to more effectively deliver their campaigns to the right people.
Now let’s address the comparison…
Raptive (formerly Adthrive): Pros & Cons
Raptive is currently one of the best ad networks on the market, and for good reason. They offer a great revenue split, a high-quality ad structure, and excellent customer support.
However, Raptive has stringent traffic requirements, and it is not easy to get approved. If you are a smaller website, Raptive may not be the best fit for you.
Mediavine: Pros & Cons
Mediavine is another excellent ad network that offers a great revenue split, high-quality ads, and fantastic customer support. However, they also have strict traffic requirements, and it can be challenging to get accepted.
Additionally, their ad quality is reportedly not as good as Raptive, and some users have reported decreased site loading speeds.
Ezoic: Pros & Cons
Ezoic is a newer ad network that has quickly gained popularity. Ezoic offers two separate programs – one for new sites yet to build good traffic and a second program for more established sites. This second program has five tiers based on actual revenue earned.
In line with its competitors, Ezoic offers an excellent revenue split and having no traffic requirements on the starter program, are an excellent choice for new websites with minimal traffic. Additionally, their AI optimization technology helps increase revenue and improve user experience.
However, some users have reported issues with ad quality and – like Mediavine – decreased site load speed.
Revenue Split: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
The primary goal of any ad network is to help publishers earn as much revenue as possible from their ads. In terms of revenue, both Raptive and Mediavine are known to be among the top performers in the industry.
However, according to publisher feedback and industry data, Raptive tends to offer slightly higher revenue than Mediavine. This could be due to Raptive’s selectivity in accepting only high-traffic websites, which allows them to negotiate better rates with advertisers.
Raptive and Mediavine both offer a 70% revenue split, while Ezoic offers up to an 88% revenue split. Ezoic’s peak revenue split is undoubtedly the best, but it is essential to consider other factors such as traffic requirements and ad quality. And while 88% sounds better as a raw percentage, it is a percentage of actual generated revenue. If Ezoic’s negotiated rates with advertisers are lower than the other two networks, that 88% may be lower in actual dollar terms.
Mediavine also has a ‘loyalty program’ based on the length of time your site has been a member and the number of impressions your site generates. This can lift the profit share as high as 80%
Raptive may also offer a ‘loyalty program’ but we were unable to confirm this.
Traffic Requirements: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
Raptive and Mediavine both have strict traffic requirements, and it can be challenging to get accepted. Ezoic, on the other hand, has no traffic requirements, making it a great option for small and newish websites.
Our current understanding is that Raptive requires a minimum of 100,000 monthly pageviews, while Mediavine requires a minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions.
While Raptive’s selectivity ensures that only premium publishers are accepted into their network, Mediavine’s lower traffic requirement allows more publishers to join while still maintaining a quality position, while Ezoic will accept any site that Ezoic considers to be of good quality, regardless of traffic volume.
CPM Rates: Which Ad Network is better?
CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is the amount of money a publisher earns for every thousand ad impressions. Higher CPM rates mean more revenue for publishers.
In terms of CPM rates, Adthrive and Mediavine are both known to offer competitive rates. However, Adthrive tends to offer slightly higher CPM rates than Mediavine, which again could be due to their selectivity in accepting only premium publishers.
Ezoic publisher CPM’s are dependent on the program and tier that you are on. At the highest levels, Ezoic offers a guarantee to outperform other ad networks.
Ad Quality: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
Raptive has some of the best ad quality on the market, with ads that blend seamlessly into the website. Mediavine’s ad quality is good, but reportedly not as good as Raptive’s. Ezoic’s ad quality can be hit or miss, with some users reporting issues.
Ad Optimization: Raptive vs Mediavine vs Ezoic
Ad optimization is the process of optimizing ad placement, size, and format to maximize revenue while maintaining the best possible user experience. All three networks are known for their excellent ad optimization services, which can help publishers earn more revenue from their ads. However, according to publisher feedback, Adthrive’s ad optimization is slightly better than Mediavine’s and Ezoic’s especially for mobile ads.
Ad Management: Which one is more user-friendly?
Ad management refers to the process of setting up and managing ad campaigns, including ad placement, targeting, and reporting. All three networks offer user-friendly ad management interfaces, but according to publisher feedback, Adthrive’s interface is slightly more user-friendly and intuitive than the other two competitors.
User Experience: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
Raptive and Mediavine both offer excellent user experiences, with high-quality ads that blend seamlessly into the website. Ezoic’s AI optimization technology helps improve user experience, but some users have reported issues with ad quality and decreased site loading speed.
Customer Support: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
Raptive and Mediavine both offer excellent customer support, with dedicated account managers assigned to each site. Ezoic also offers good customer support, but it can be challenging to get in touch with them if you are not on one of the higher tiers.
Payment Schedule: Raptive vs. Mediavine vs. Ezoic
Payment schedule is an important consideration for publishers, as it determines how often they’ll receive their earnings.
Raptive and Ezoic pay their publishers on a monthly basis, while Mediavine offers both monthly and bi-monthly payment options. While all three ad networks are known for their timely payments, the frequency and flexibility of payment options could be a deciding factor for some publishers.
For example, Ezoic typically pays publishers within 25 – 30 days after the close of the prior month earnings while Mediavine pays publishers around 60 – 65 days after the close of the month (January earnings are paid at the beginning of April etc). Raptive are in the middle, paying publishers within 45 days of the close of the month.
Both Raptive and Mediavine use Tipalti as their payment provider while Ezoic offers a range of options including Wire, PayPal and Payoneer. Ezoic’s payment method flexibility is a reflection of it’s support for smaller publishers with a payment threshhold of just $20 versus Googles $100.
Conclusion: Which is the best Ad Network?
After reviewing all factors, it is clear that there is no one “best” ad network. Raptive and Mediavine are both excellent choices for high-traffic websites, while Ezoic is an excellent choice for small websites.
However, Adthrive’s selectivity and higher traffic requirement could make it a better choice for premium publishers with high traffic, while Mediavine’s lower traffic requirement and more flexible payment options could make it a better choice for ‘mid-sized’ publishers.
Ultimately, it is essential to consider all factors, including revenue split, traffic requirements, ad quality, user experience, and customer support, before making a decision.
Final Verdict: Ad Networks Battle
Ad networks are an essential part of online advertising. Choosing the right one can make a significant difference in your revenue and your users’ experience.
With the right ad network, you can monetize your content while still providing a high-quality user experience for your visitors.