A network representing many Web sites in selling advertising, allowing advertising buyers to reach broad audiences relatively easily through run-of-category and run-of-network buys.
Advertising networks provide a way for media buyers to coordinate ad campaigns across dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of sites in an efficient manner. The campaigns often involve running ads over a category (run-of-category) or an entire network (run-of-network). Site-specific buys are not a major emphasis when dealing with advertising networks. In fact, site-specific buys are not even available at some networks, so as not to conflict with in-house sales reps.
Ad networks vary in size and focus. Large ad networks may require premium brands and millions of impressions per month. Small ad networks may accept unbranded sites with thousands of impressions per month.
One of the key issues for publishers is exclusive vs. non-exclusive representation. Exclusive representation generally brings a higher percentage of revenue sharing, but sometimes results in a smaller percentage of ad inventory being sold. In non-exclusive arrangements, publishers may use secondary advertising options to fill the space left unsold by the primary ad network.
ad network, banner network*, banner advertising network*
(* often used synonymously, but online advertising is more than just banners.)
How to Choose an Ad Network
ClickZ (September 12, 2002)
Networks: Know Before You Go
ClickZ (September 5, 2002)
Where Are Your Ads Running?
ClickZ (December 6, 2000)
Ad Networks and Rep Firms: Know the Difference
ClickZ (November 6, 2000)
ClickZ (March 28, 2000)