Mobile App Terminology


What is a publisher?

In mobile marketing, a publisher refers to anyone that owns a website or an app and sells ad space on their property to advertisers. A publisher provides inventory on their website or app in the form of ad space, which advertisers then bid on to place their ads.

Typically there are three or more parties involved in purchasing online advertising: a publisher (sell side), an advertiser (buy-side), and an ad network (the middleman). When an advertiser decides to run an ad campaign, instead of going directly to publishers one by one, often they will simply go to an ad network that connects buyers and sellers more efficiently. 

This three-way transaction is defined in our article on ad networks as follows:

Ad networks aggregate ad inventory from sellers such as apps and publishers and match them with buyers looking to purchase ad inventory. Ad networks connect demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms in order to facilitate the purchase of ad inventory across various networks.

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How do publishers make money?

As mentioned, publishers make money by selling ad space on their website and app. There are several common ways in which publishers can price this ad space, the four most popular of which include:

  • Cost per Click (CPC): CPC is a pricing model in which advertisers only pay when someone actually clicks on their ad. Regardless of what the user does after the initial click, the publisher will make money, although they don’t make anything for people that just saw the ad.
  • Cost per Mille (CPM): CPM refers to a pricing model where the advertiser pays publishers for every 1000 impressions they receive. 
  • Cost per Install (CPI): This is a common pricing model for mobile app marketers. With CPI, advertisers only pay publishers for each app install they receive. 
  • Cost per Action (CPA): With CPA, advertisers only pay when a particular action is taken by a user, for example filling in a form, purchasing a subscription, and so on.

Regardless of which pricing model is used, publishers can optimize and increase their revenue with the right mobile measurement partner (MMP).

How does Singular support publishers?

As a leader in marketing analytics, one of the ways that Singular’s supports publishers is with ad monetization attribution and analytics. This tool enables publishers to automate their ad revenue data collection and improve monetization by having a single source of truth. This means app publishers can maximize ROAS by tying ad revenue back to acquisition costs. In addition, ad-revenue-based apps can optimize their inventory allocation by leveraging granular data and determine which channels are driving the highest ROI possible. 

In summary, by having the right analytics and attribution solution in place, Singular helps app publishers increase their revenue by identifying optimization opportunities.

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