What is a Publisher?

In the mobile marketing ecosystem, a publisher is the entity that provides the capability and inventory that allows advertisers to run advertising in their apps or on mobile sites. This can mean a publisher can be a website or an app – in a nutshell, publishers sell space on their property to the buyers – app developers (a company whose only business is mobile apps) and agencies (companies that manage ad campaigns for multiple advertisers).

What is the Difference Between a Publisher and an Advertiser?

Broadly, an advertiser might be an app (like a mobile game or an e-commerce platform) or a brand who have a message they want people to see. A publisher is a place to display that message, with (potentially) a large viewership. Some apps are advertisers and publishers at the same time – if an app is running its own advertisements but is also hosting ads, it is simultaneously an advertiser and a publisher.

What is the Difference Between a Publisher and a Network?

When an app decides it wants to run an advertising campaign, it has to work with publishers that are willing to display the app’s message to the public. However, apps typically don’t head straight to the publisher with their video ads and banners – an ad network is what steps in and connects developers and agencies to the publisher. The publisher signs up to a network and allows the network to use their ‘inventory’ to advertise.

How Do Mobile Marketers Buy and Sell Media?

Publishers earn money by displaying ads, and cost is usually based on four different pricing models.

  • CPI (cost per install): This is the most common way to buy or sell media. An app wanting to increase the amount of installs will pay a set amount of money for every new install. The cost can depend on the app and the estimated lifetime value of the new user. The network receives part of the CPI price for finding the best publishers for the specific ad campaign, and the publisher receives the rest.
  • CPC (cost per click): In this model, the advertiser (again, the app doing the advertising) pays a price for every single ad click. These are not as popular with advertisers as CPI campaigns, as the cost of an install can increase exponentially with all of the ad clicks that happen. However, they are particularly advantageous for publishers.
  • CPA (cost per action): These campaigns charge advertisers after the user completes a designated task. It could be signing up for the app, playing the first turn in a game, or buying a subscription. Action-based campaigns are useful for advertisers keen to see a return on their investment.
  • CPM (cost per mille): In this case, a ‘mille’ (French for 1,000) refers to 1,000 impressions, or 2,000 eyeballs that have seen your ad. If a campaign is, for example, geared towards a brand and there is no specific call to action (to download an app or subscribe, etc), it is typical to use this model.

What are sub-publishers?

Sub-publishers are a third party that can deliver traffic for clients, through publishers. If a publisher doesn’t own their own traffic sources which an advertiser wants to run campaigns on, then they can buy traffic from other publishers, who then become ‘sub-publishers’.

Reference: “Adjust,” Retrieved – 23 April 2018