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10 Best Ad Servers for Publishers [in 2023]

An ad server is advertising software hosted on a server, used by publishers and ad networks to facilitate and manage ads. Check out our list of the top ten most preferred Ad Servers for publishers. 

You begin to understand there are many revenue options outside of AdSense as your website’s readership grows. But first, you must choose an ad server; in the beginning, the majority of tiny publishers got by with either integrating AdSense or signing up for an ad network.

But in order to really advance your ad income plan, you must set up an ad server and fully take charge of your ad inventory.

Publishers may benefit from advertising servers in numerous ways, and they make handling advertisements easy. They let you put up a number of ad units, encourage competition among advertisers, improve audience targeting, provide sophisticated reporting, and much more.

Source: W3Techs

Also the global Ad Server market size was valued at USD 2458.53 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.11% during the forecast period, reaching USD 3711.77 million by 2028. (Source: MarketWatch)

Also Read: What is an Ad Server and How does it Work?

Definition of Ad Server

In the most simple terms possible, an ad server is what actually places adverts online. It is a piece of advertising technology that plays a crucial role in the process of creating digital advertisements.

An ad server maintains data about advertisements and sends them to one or more websites so that users may view them. Additionally, ad servers keep tabs on ad displays, clicks, and statistical statistics. On the basis of predetermined parameters, ad servers can also display specific advertising to website users.

In general, there are two sorts of ad server platforms: hosted versions, which are operated and maintained on a website owned and operated by an ad server firm, and self-hosted versions, which you install and maintain on your own server.

10 Best Ad Servers for Publishers

  1. Google Ad Manager

    Google Ad Server
    One of the most popular and extensively utilized ad servers available for publishers is Google Ad Manager, formerly known as Doubleclick for Publishers, until 2018. An extensive range of features is offered by Google Ad Manager, including simple Google AdX and Adsense integration, thorough reporting, malware detection, an easy-to-use interface, frequency capping, etc.

    Most crucially, those publishers whose total monthly impressions do not go beyond 90–200 million may utilize Google Ad Manager for free (depending on the GEO). For all levels of publishers, it is a highly alluring solution.

  2. Kevel(Adzerk)

    Kevel Ad Server
    A completely customizable, server-side ad server can be designed, built, and launched in a matter of weeks, thanks to the Kevel API suite. Kevel offers the ability to manage native ad spaces, internal promotions, sponsored listings, etc. They are a reputable company with clients like Ticketmaster, Yelp, Strava, and Mozilla, and their plans start at $3K per month.

  3. OpenX

    OpenX Ad Server
    OpenX, a technology company founded in the year 2008, makes its mark among its rivals as one of the most trustworthy and respected ones. OpenX runs an SSP and a proprietary ad exchange in addition to a hosted ad server. Additionally, it provides OpenAudience, a platform for audience management, to its publishers.

    A good option for bigger publishers is OpenX. Although its expenses are more than the industry standard, the fact that it is utilized by well-known organizations like The New York Times, Hearst, and Daily Mail speaks for itself.

  4. Broadstreet Ad Server

    BroadStreet Ad Server
    The original purpose of the Broadstreet advertising server was to meet the ad serving requirements of regional news and magazine websites. The Broadstreet ad server has a straightforward user interface and is created with non-technical users in mind.

    Additionally, they deliver educated and efficient technical assistance. Broadstreet is an excellent ad serving platform for SMEs since it is cheaply priced, integrates with WordPress, and offers email newsletters.

  5. Magnite

    Magnite Ad Server
    Without this business, it would be difficult to envisage the current internet advertising scene. Magnite (Rubicon Project before 2020) was the industry leader in ad serving when it was established in 2007. One of the largest sell-side advertising firms in the world today is Magnite. Every existing format and channel, including Video, CTV, Display, Mobile, DOOH, and Audio, is supported by the firm.

    Publishers may effectively manage their ad inventory, at the same time establishing direct connections with leading advertisers thanks to Magnite’s self-serve ad server. In addition to the open auction, Magnite’s sell-side partners have access to programmatic guaranteed transactions and a private marketplace.

    A standout aspect of Magnite’s offering to publishers is its sophisticated audience management toolkit, which offers a practical approach to create, examine, and engage audiences using first-party data from publishers.

  6. AdButler

    Ad Butler Ad Server
    A technological business called AdButler has been active in the ad tech sector for more than 20 years. In addition to a self-serve marketplace, a programmatic SSP, and a full-stack platform appropriate for all ad formats, it also provides.

    The flexible price options offered by AdButler start at $109 and depend on the number of ad requests. Other advantages include premium live support, sophisticated targeting, and solution customization. AdButler is a very competitive player since it is ideal for publishers of all categories and levels.

  7. Smart Ad Server

    Smart Ad Server
    Another well-known brand in the ad tech sector is Smart. With more than ten years of expertise, Smart provides both sell-side and buy-side clients with a range of technology solutions.

    The sophisticated algorithms of Smart Ad Server, like a unified auction, can be advantageous to publishers. It also has other capabilities like direct access to leading demand sources, such as Smart’s own DSPs (LiquidM and DynAdmic), real-time forecasting, sophisticated & cookie-less targeting, unified reporting, etc.

    The following traffic kinds and formats are supported by Smart: web, mobile, CTV, display, and video. It also offers native integration of its patented Smart SSP into the ad server with a great degree of flexibility since it runs a complete programmatic environment.

  8. Epom Ad Server

    EPOM Ad Server
    As a whole cross-channel advertising platform, Epom positions itself. Publishers will benefit from it as well, even though it is marketed as a solution for ad networks. The white-label ad server from Epom is completely customizable and offers seamless setup and interaction with third-party systems.

    The lowest package starts at $250/month and includes live 24/7 assistance, a vast library of ad formats, precise targeting, integration with more than 60 DSPs, and automated optimizations.

  9. Revive(Self-Hosted)

    Revive Ad Server
    The first and most significant feature of Revive is that it is completely free. Additionally, it is the most widely used open-source and self-hosted ad serving solution. Numerous targeting options, thorough reporting, AdSense connection, etc., are included.
    In contrast, Revive only provides help through its community website for users.

    In addition, the adoption and upkeep of this self-hosted technology need publishers to have a particular level of technical expertise. Additionally, it uses up a sizable amount of a publisher’s server resources.

    So for a tech-savvy publisher willing to devote time and resources to ad serving, Revive would be a wonderful option. Revive now provides a hosted option that starts at $10 per month in addition to the self-hosted free version.

  10. OIO Publisher(Self Hosted)

    OIOPublisher may be set up on a WordPress website or as independent software. The license is good for all of your websites and costs $47.

    The cost is quite fair for what you receive. You are given access to their online marketplace, where you may sell any unsold ad space. either standalone software or a WordPress plugin may be installed. As new versions are published, updating is simple. Only help via email and forums. There isn’t any telephone or priority support offered. Client statistics are extremely simple.

    OIOPublisher can be the best option for you if all you need is a basic ad server.

Also Check: What is Server-Side Ad Insertion? And How Does it Work?

Final Words

For advertisers and publishers operating in the digital ecosystem, choosing the best ad serving platform requires taking into account a number of aspects.

Which ad server is best for your company will depend on how your brand is positioned in the market, your financial situation, and the features your company needs from its ad platforms.


1. What is a First-Party Ad Server?

A first-party ad server offers the following features:
i. An advertiser’s campaigns on a publisher’s website are managed using first-party ad servers by the publisher’s ads department.
ii. Publishers can sell direct ad slots to advertisers using first-party ad servers.
iii. In the absence of a predefined campaign, they can also decide what creative assets should be displayed in a particular ad slot.

2. How does an Ad Server Work?

Publishers and advertisers exchanged direct, manual messages early on in the history of online advertising. Publishers soon realized they needed to create advertising solutions that streamlined advertiser campaigns as the digital ecosystem grew. This need led to the creation of first-party ad servers.

3. Why does a publisher need an ad server?

One of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing is managing campaigns across multiple formats and publishers. Ad management and reporting should be done from a central point in order to efficiently run your ads on multiple websites. Ad servers play a crucial role in this process.

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