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Definition of ad network in advertising

An ad network is a platform or service that connects advertisers with websites, apps, and other digital platforms that have ad inventory available for sale. Ad networks aggregate this inventory from multiple publishers and sell it to advertisers, facilitating the buying and selling process and often providing targeting and optimization features.


Ad networks are used to streamline the process of buying and selling digital ads, making it easier for advertisers to reach their target audiences across various websites and apps. They offer a range of ad formats, such as display, video, and mobile ads, and can provide detailed analytics to track campaign performance.

Related terms

  • Publisher: A website or app owner that offers ad inventory for sale.
  • Advertiser: A business or individual looking to promote their products or services through digital ads.
  • Ad Exchange: A digital marketplace where ad inventory is bought and sold in real-time, often connected with multiple ad networks.
  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A system that allows advertisers to buy ad inventory across multiple ad exchanges and networks.
  • Supply-Side Platform (SSP): A system that helps publishers manage and sell their ad inventory on ad exchanges and networks.

Related questions about ad network

  • How do ad networks benefit advertisers?
    Ad networks provide advertisers with access to a wide range of ad inventory across multiple publishers, often with advanced targeting and optimization capabilities, simplifying the ad buying process and enhancing campaign reach and effectiveness.
  • What types of ad formats are typically available through ad networks?
    Ad networks commonly offer display ads, video ads, mobile ads, native ads, and rich media ads, catering to different campaign goals and creative needs.
  • How do ad networks ensure the quality of the ad inventory they offer?
    Many ad networks use various quality control measures, such as vetting publishers, implementing brand safety protocols, and using ad verification tools to ensure that the inventory is of high quality and aligns with advertisers’ standards.
  • What is the difference between an ad network and an ad exchange?
    An ad network aggregates and sells ad inventory from multiple publishers to advertisers, often with added targeting and optimization features. An ad exchange is a real-time marketplace where ad inventory is bought and sold through automated bidding, typically connecting multiple ad networks, DSPs, and SSPs.
  • How can publishers benefit from joining an ad network?
    Publishers can benefit from increased demand for their ad inventory, access to a broader pool of advertisers, and potential improvements in fill rates and revenue through optimized ad placements and targeting offered by the ad network.


Creatopy Team
Creatopy is the AI-driven creative automation platform that enables brands and agencies alike to build, optimize and personalize creatives at scale for various markets, channels and digital platforms.

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