Local media ad revenue is expected to grow to $148.8 billion by 2017, but that doesn’t mean every hyperlocal publisher has cracked the code when it comes to running a profitable site just yet.
Selecting the right ad server for a local news site has both financial and functional implications. Although many first-time publishers manage ads within their CMS platforms using ad plugins (like AdRotate and OIOpublisher), those tools can only scale so far. Eventually, it’s time to upgrade to an actual ad server. Ad servers designed specifically for hyperlocals give publishers a way to speed up their sites and avoid scalability issues. Here are six ad servers that hyperlocal news publishers can try.
1. Broadstreet: Generate revenue with a hosted ad-serving platform.
Broadstreet offers a hosted ad serving solution built specifically for independent news websites. The platform offers free imports from other plugins and servers, along with a streamlined interface that non-techies can use. Publishers that are currently using plugins or self-hosted ad servers can speed up their sites by switching to Broadstreet, and they can use the company’s ad management dashboard to create dynamic, editable ads. Broadstreet’s hyperlocal publisher clients includes Baristanet, Potomac Local, Hoboken411, and myVeronaNJ. Broadstreet offers multiple tiers of pricing, ranging from free to $50 per month.
2. AdZerk: Target ads by location, keyword, or referrer.
Independent publishers can use AdZerk to manage direct sales and in-house campaigns from a single dashboard. They can also target the ads they run by location, keyword, referrer, or IP address. AdZerk serves ads “asynchronously,” which means ad tags load independently of the parent page and delayed third-party ads won’t slow down a site’s load time. AdZerk’s publisher clients include Wonkette and Xconomy. Publishers can get started using AdZerk for free, for up to 100 million impressions.
3. OpenX: Create a seamless ad operations unit.
OpenX was among the earliest companies to provide ad-serving software to hyperlocal sites. The company now offers a self-hosted platform, allowing indie publishers to maximize yield and simplify their ad operations. Using the OpenX API, publishers can integrate the ad server with their existing CRM systems. They can also increase revenue by setting “campaign priorities” to ensure visitors are seeing the highest paying ads whenever possible. OpenX publishers include the Running Network and ChaCha. OpenX’s self-hosted platform is free for publishers.
4. Rvolve: Start placing locally targeted ads.
Rvolve is a hyperlocal ad server that independent publishers can use to sell location-specific ads. News publishers specify the location of any content on their sites, and Rvolve matches those locations with ads that have been tagged for the same areas. Local merchants have the option to target hyperlocal audiences near their businesses, and they can dynamically edit the ads they’ve placed from within the Rvolve platform. Rvolve offers publishers a “base rate of 66% of earnings.”
5. DoubleClick For Publishers (DFP): Deliver ads from multiple networks.
Google’s hosted ad server is very popular in the hyperlocal community. The platform offers two versions, depending on the size of the publisher, and provides users with toolkits for optimizing ads coming from in-house, AdSense, and various networks. Publishers can utilize DFP’s advanced targeting and forecasting tools, along with integration with the DoubleClick ad exchange. Publishers can sync the server to their existing AdSense accounts, as well. DFP clients include Gawker Media, About.com, and Internet Brands. The platform offers free ad delivery for publishers with fewer than 90 million monthly ad impressions.
6. AdJuggler: Improve yield for direct and indirect campaign sources.
Publishers and media companies using multiple specialty ad servers can streamline operations by migrating to AdJuggler. The ad server provides direct-trafficked campaigns, and also directly links to tag-based and direct RTB exchanges to sell inventory at the best price. Publishers can use the platform to target ads by location or browser, and implement RTB on their sites. Clients include Inergize Digital. AdJuggler offers a dynamic pricing model for publishers.
Know of other ad servers that hyperlocal publishers can use? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.