The Battle of the Ad Servers: Best Ad Servers of 2024

Ad Servers

The placement of an advertisement on a publisher’s website involves about 40 steps in a standard ad serving workflow, ranging from choosing the publisher to directing the ad to track the campaign’s effectiveness.

When ad networks handle numerous publishers and ad campaigns, this can become quite time-consuming and inefficient. Ad servers then start to be quite useful for both publishers. The function of an ad server is to assist marketers in effectively managing several campaigns across various formats from a single platform which is why one must always check the list of the best Ad Servers before choosing one for receiving services.

Having said that, if you’re looking for Best Pop Under Ad Networks for Publishers, or Even our take on the list of Best Ad Networks for Small Publishers that fit best according to your needs, we’ve got you covered on them as well!

Ad servers enable ad networks and sponsors to do the following:

  • Put all their processes in one place to improve efficiency.
  • Take control of and maximize the data from their adverts.
  • Record and evaluate the appropriate insights.

A First-Party Ad Server: What Is It?

First-party ad servers are the main tool used by an advertiser’s advertisements department to run their campaigns on the publisher’s website. First-party ad servers make it easier for publishers to manage ads and provide them the ability to sell ad slots to advertisers directly.

In the event that no pre-established campaign is in progress, they can also determine which creative assets belong in a specific ad slot.

A third-party ad server: what is it?

Third-party servers are mostly used by agencies and advertisers to distribute, track, and analyze campaign results in addition to storing and managing ad codes.

Verified metrics from campaign data, like ad impressions and CTR, are provided by publishers. Additionally, third-party ad servers help advertisers enhance and optimize creative output by enabling A/B testing on ad campaigns.

Ad servers: hosted or self-hosted

Ad servers can be further classified as hosted and self-hosted in addition to first- and third-party platforms.

Ad servers that are self-hosted or hosted each have advantages and disadvantages. Every one has a unique range of monetization choices and user interface. Furthermore, each advertiser and publisher has different requirements for the ad serving process.

Because of this, they ought to choose an ad serving platform wisely depending on their unique needs.

Publishers’ Top Ad Servers 

The best ad servers for advertisers and publishers, considering theirneeds, are given below.


  1. Kevel (old name for Adzerk)

With the help of the Kevel suite of APIs, programmers can create, construct, and run a fully customizable server-side ad server in a matter of weeks. Kevel has the ability to offer native ad spaces, internal promotions, sponsored listings, and more. Plans begin at $3K a month, and they are a reputable company with customers like Mozilla, Yelp, Ticketmaster, and Strava.

  1. Ad Manager for Google

This platform was once known as DART for publishers, but DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) was the new moniker after Google bought it in 2008 and rebranded it as Google Ad Manager.

Google Ad Manager is the preferred ad platform for many premium publishers because of its many features, which include an engaging user interface, easy-to-use reporting and administration tools, a variety of monetization choices, and all supported by the dependability of the Google network.

Additionally, Ad Manager has two server versions, one for small businesses that is completely free to use for publishers who are just starting out with their websites.

  1. OpenX

One of the oldest and most respected platforms, OpenX is a good choice for larger publishers who serve a huge number of ads each month. OpenX gives publishers access to 12 months of historical analytics data, allows them to personalize campaign reports, and allows them to micro-target audiences despite its greater cost. To mention a few, OpenX clients include Samsung, Electronic Arts, and CBS Interactive.

  1. Broad Street

Originally, local news and magazine websites’ ad serving requirements informed the architecture of the Broadstreet advertising server. With its easy-to-use interface, the Broadstreet ad server is designed to be used by those with minimal technical expertise. They also offer competent and timely technical help. Because Broadstreet is affordable and has features like email newsletters and WordPress integration, it’s a great ad serving platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

Top Self-Host Advertising Servers

  1. DCM, or DoubleClick Campaign Manager

Advertisers and ad agencies use DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), formerly known as Campaign Manager 360, as one of the most popular buy-side servers. DCM’s user-friendly interface enables customers to create new ad campaigns and make real-time modifications in a matter of minutes. Ad-serving is made more efficient and centralized with the help of DCM.

  1. ReviveAdserver

A free and open-source ad-serving script is called Revive Adserver. Even though it has a lengthy history—including multiple name changes and current bug problems—it is still one of the most widely used open-source ad servers available to marketers.

This is mostly because of its broad targeting options, comprehensive reporting that includes revenue, eCPM, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and the fact that it is still completely free.

  1. Sizmek

The largest third-party ad server in the world, Sizmek targets primarily professional marketers. Sizmek has emerged as a pioneer in the digital advertising industry over the past 15 years, specializing in multi-channel online targeted advertising and video commercials.

Sizmek provides a high degree of creative flexibility, the capacity for several people to collaborate, and round-the-clock technical support.

  1. OIO Publisher

Users can sell and serve advertising on any website with the help of OIO Publisher, a well-known PHP ad management application. It is possible to install this script straight as a WordPress plugin or as a stand-alone application. It fits small, technically literate publishers and is a good value at $47.

In summary 

For publishers and advertisers involved in the digital ecosystem, selecting the best ad serving platform requires assessing several variables. Which ad server is best for your organization will depend on factors including your brand’s position in the market, your financial resources, and the features your firm needs from its advertising platforms.

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