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Understanding who is publisher and who is advertiser in marketing is crucial. So, learn everything about ad publishers in depth!

Publisher vs Advertiser: Difference between Advertiser and Publisher

Differentiating between publishers and advertisers is one of the most essential but confusing aspects, especially for new marketers. However, the actual difference between the two is distinct and easy to identify. Advertisers are basically brands or apps that wish to have their products and offerings presented to their target audience.

So, in this context, the main question that arises is, “Who are publishers?” The main ads publisher definition is platforms that host the ads that advertisers wish to publish. They own inventory in the form of ad spaces that advertisers can run ads in. However, it is important to note that these two terms are not mutually exclusive. If a brand offers services while also owning a website or app with inventory to run ads, then it can publish its own ads in that inventory.

Understanding the Relationship between a Network, Publisher, and Advertiser

Before an advertiser can publish its ads on the publisher’s inventory, it needs to go through an ad network. In simple terms, ad networks are middlemen who connect advertisers with publishers. In such an arrangement, the publisher gets associated with a network that then gets permission to use the publisher’s inventory to offer to advertisers.

Calculating Revenue in the Case of Publisher Ads

In the case of a publisher, media or ads that are presented on their inventory can earn them substantial revenue. And calculations of this revenue can be done on the basis of 4 metrics or pricing models:

  • Cost per Install: This model, referred to as CPI, takes into account the amount that an advertiser is willing to pay the network once its app is installed. This is a very crucial metric for advertisers whose goal is to increase installs among customer systems. So, the advertisers set a price to be given to the network for every new install, which compels them to run the ad in the inventory of the most relevant publisher to increase installs.
  • Cost per Mille: Technically mille means 1000. However, in the case of marketing, and specifically ad publishing, mille refers to 1000 impressions. So, as the name suggests, this CPM model awards the publishers with a certain revenue for every 1000 impressions generated. This is most commonly used for brand ads, rather than campaign ads, where there is no specific goal behind the ad.
  • Cost per Click: Just like the CPI model, the CPC model involves the advertiser paying a certain price for every action, which in this case is every click on its ad. While this is not a favorable model for advertisers, due to the potential increased cost of installs on every ad click, it can be very profitable for publishers.
  • Cost per Action: While the other models specify the conditions for payment, this model allows advertisers to choose the user action that they would pay for. This may be clicks, registrations, or investing in a paid subscription.
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Publishers are a crucial part of the way marketing works as it gives advertisers the platform they need to present their newest offerings. With the most optimal pricing model, advertisers can ensure that not only do they get the most engagement, but achieve that in the way that is the most profitable and efficient for them.