What is Advertising Revenue: All You Need to Know

What is Advertising Revenue: All You Need to Know

Julian Frachtman
Julian Frachtman

Chief Executive Officer, Airtory

Published on: 29 Jul 2022

Reading time: 6 minutes

Any organization that owns digital assets like high-traffic websites or mobile applications will at some point want to monetize the same. Digital ads are the most popular way of monetizing websites, but whether or not that will work for you is a different question altogether. It is crucial for you to first understand what advertising revenue is, its sources, and how you can optimize your digital ad revenue before you start monetizing through digital ads.

What is Ad Revenue?

Advertising revenue is a term that refers to the income you earn from your online platforms, like social media accounts, websites, apps, etc., by publishing paid advertisements along with the content you publish. You can calculate the ad revenue per view, per user conversion, or per click, based on the ad management software you choose, and your target advertisers. Publishers with multi-channel digital inventories that include email, web, push notification platforms, apps, etc. can earn revenue through video ads, rich media ads, emailers, sponsored content, and much more by affecting monetization across their inventory.

Understanding Advertising Revenue Sources

There are several ways of monetizing and earning ad revenue per view of a video ad, per user acquisition (conversion), per click, per 1000 impressions, etc. Publishers can choose how they want to charge advertisers for optimizing their average per user ad revenue. Today, the most popular and effortless way for publishers to monetize through digital ads is with programmatic advertising, where they work through a Supply Side Platform (SSP) that auctions the available display ad space to the highest bidder in real-time, every time a user loads the publisher’s site. The sources from which you can earn advertising revenue may vary, depending on whether you are selling ad space on social media or on your website.


There are many forms of advertising that can be done on a website, including:

  • Banner Ads: These ads are like digital billboards and are placed at high-traffic locations on webpages, like along the top and bottom of a website. Banner ads are very popular in online advertising, owing to the high visibility they enjoy. With a good ad management platform, you can choose the size and behavior of banner ads for optimum space utilization that does not disrupt the user’s browsing experience.
  • Sticky/Adhesive Ads: As the name suggests, these are ads that “stick” to their place, even as the user scrolls through the page, traveling with the user as they browse.
  • Takeover Ads: These linger in the background without interrupting the browsing experience but are equipped with an immersive quality that attracts the user to interact with the ad, at which point it takes over all the empty space to deliver a comprehensive ad experience.
  • Video Ads: Known for generating the most per view ad revenue, video ads are more engaging than simple display ads and more often than not, are able to get a click, helping increase what advertising revenue is being earned from that space.
  • Native Ads: This is a highly effective form of advertising that tries to mimic the content on a webpage, in order to cause minimal disruptions in a user’s browsing.

The next step in monetizing your website should be for increasing user traffic and improving session lengths, which can help increase the digital ad revenue you earn. Mostly, ad payments are based on the PPC (Pay-per-Click) model, where the publisher gets paid every time a user clicks on an ad hosted by them, or on the PPM (Pay-per-Impression) model, where publishers are paid for every 1000 views of the ad (or impressions), regardless of whether they click on the ad or not. Another popular source of advertising revenue is the payment that publishers can charge for allowing advertisers to contribute to the published content or for simple referrals being included in the content.


OTTs or Over-the-Top services and platforms are enjoying a lot of popularity in recent times, as users shift online for their entertainment needs. OTTs are a completely new source of ad revenue for video streaming platforms that advertisers have begun taking notice of. The AVOD (Ad-Based Video on Demand) revenue model is based on platforms providing content to their users for free. However, the content is served with ads, and the platform generates revenue by charging advertisers fees for a space to play commercials. The AVOD digital ad revenue model can be applied by platforms by itself or in a hybrid revenue model, along with SVOD (Subscription-Based), and TVOD (Transaction-Based) models.

The ads can be played as sponsored content, sponsor screens, video ads, commercials, pop-ups, etc., and can be displayed pre-roll (at the beginning of the content), mid-roll, between video plays, or post-roll (at the end of the video.) OTT ad insertion methods include:

  • CSAI (Client-Side Ad Insertion): Ads are loaded within the OTT box itself before they are displayed to the audience. This is the most commonly used way of advertising on OTTs, but it is susceptible to ad-blockers and is not very effective.
  • SSAI (Server-Side Ad Insertion): This creates a seamless stream of ads and content, streaming it to user devices frame-by-frame, creating a seamless video experience, as it “stitches” the content and ads together. The SSAI ad delivery method also circumvents ad-blockers effectively.

Selling ad space on OTTs can be done through Guaranteed Insertion Orders or IOs (Prices and impressions are set, based on the frequency of appearance of the ad and reach) or Programmatic (Real-time bidding where advertisers can control targeting but not the set frequency or impressions).

Maximizing Advertising Revenue

For significant savings on ad operations overhead, while delivering value for advertisers as well as an impactful end-user experience, it is important to find the right Creative Management Platform (CMP) for monetizing digital assets.

A CMP is an ad management platform that offers advertisers various features and capabilities, including:

Advanced Ad Analytics Tracking: Enjoy access to quality, real-time, detailed analytics, like viewability, time spent on ad, etc., which can be pivotal for optimizing ongoing and planning future campaigns as well.

Easy to Use Platform for Serving Various Ad Formats: Choose from various pricing models to have control over costs and the pricing offered to advertisers, saving significant time and expenses in ad serving.

Easily Connect with and Manage Multiple Demand Partners: An ad platform makes it extremely convenient for publishers to manage multiple advertisers (demand partners) at the same time, while also allowing you to run several rich media campaigns with advanced ad management tools and features.

Optimize the Sales of Your Ad Spaces: An ad management platform allows you to streamline your direct sales, ensuring that only relevant ads are served, which also helps improve the click-through rates and conversions of a campaign.

Enjoy Complete Control Over Campaign Performance: A CMP or ad serving platform for publishers is equipped with advanced features, offering complete control over how the campaign is performing with real-time ad serving analytics and over ad creatives for running A/B testing, etc., to help optimize ad campaigns.

Better ROI: Helping automate the workflow as well as the per user ad revenue being generated and offering capabilities like customized set-ups for high-value demand partners, an ad management platform can significantly improve your ROI.

Easy-to-Use Universal Tags: Tap into new opportunities throughout your digital inventory with easy-to-use tags that are compatible across platforms  – it helps create highly interactive and engaging ad experiences.

The Creative Management Platform by Airtory allows you to launch and optimize digital ad campaigns, offering several features like comprehensive reporting, advanced ad serving tools, and much more for managing high-performing ad campaigns and maximizing ad revenue.

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