What is an ad network?
Ad networks aggregate ad inventories from supply sources and match them with demand sources looking for ad slots. The supply sources in a mobile ad network typically constitute apps from publishers and app developers. Demand sources are made up of advertisers looking to place their ad in another app.
Many mobile ad networks support a wide spectrum of different formats, from banners to native ads, while others are focused on specific formats, such as video.
On the demand-side, some ad networks offer a platform for advertisers to sign-in and manage their campaigns. Others offer a managed service in which account managers provide a consultative approach and use their expertise to ensure that campaign runs at optimal levels.
Why are ad networks important?
Ad networks are an essential monetization element of the mobile advertising ecosystem. They act as a technical and commercial intermediary between advertisers and publishers.
On the technical level, integrations are often provided for the supply-side to offer their inventory and for the demand-side to activate and monitor campaigns. Commercially, ad networks facilitate payments and transactions. Without ad network solutions to pull demand, publishers would have to negotiate deals with each individual advertiser.