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Pricing: Quick Comparison of 10 Ad Servers

Written by Roy
3 min read
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1. Ad Serving Costs Comparison
2. How can an ad server earn you money?
3. Beware of hidden fees
4. Ad Requests vs Impressions
5. A few notes

Whether you're looking for a cheap, expensive or free campaign management software, the list of ad servers below may help you out. We're comparing the costs of ad serving between 2M and 25M ad requests per month. Price rates were collected in January 2020 directly via the vendor's website.

Ad Serving Costs Comparison

Toggle eCPM

Company Website Live Demo Free Trial 2M 10M 25M
AdGlare AdServer check_circle check_circle -$499$899
Revive Ad Server FreeFreeFree
AdButler check_circle $159$341$731
AdSpeed check_circle check_circle $169$349$873
AdvertServe $200$475$850
Epom check_circle $250$1,000$2,500
AvidAdserver check_circle QuoteQuoteQuote
Adspirit check_circle QuoteQuoteQuote

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How can an ad server earn you money?

If you're a publisher, an ad server may actually earn you more money than it costs. By intelligently serving high-paying ads first, you'll be able to squeeze out a maximum revenue when monetizing your website. Ad serving platforms like AdGlare can backfill a zone with ads from a lower tier (i.e. from an ad network), so you can achieve a 100% fill rate.

Moreover, with the latest advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, modern ad serving technology like AdGlare can estimate the chance a user will click on a certain ad. This increases your revenue in case you're paid on a CPC basis.

Beware of hidden fees

Some ad server vendors, like AdButler, will charge you for CDN bandwidth and Analytics. Those additional fees are not included in the rate here above. If you're serving video ads, those extra charges may increase rapidly.

Ad Requests vs Impressions

While some companies offer ad serving plans based on the number of impressions, it's more common to be charged based on ad request usage. It's important to understand the difference here.

An ad request is counted when the ad tag is called from a web page. That doesn't necessarily mean that an ad will be served: campaigns can have geotargeting rules applied or other restrictions like frequency capping and dayparting. If none of the ads are eligible for display, the ad slot remains empty.

An impression is counted when the ad has been loaded on a web page or app.

We can therefore state that the number of impressions is always lower or equal to the number of ad requests.

Keep this in mind, especially if you're making lots of ad requests for native ads or VAST tags. The VAST tag is called from the ad server, but an impression is counted only when the video starts playing.

A few notes

  • Pricing information fromt the list above is supplied by the software provider or retrieved from publicly accessible pricing materials. Final cost negotiations must be conducted with the vendor.
  • To compare AdGlare with Revive Ad Server, see this article for an in-depth comparison.
  • For reviews of the 10 best ad servers, check out this list and this one.

About AdGlare

As an established ad server, AdGlare has over 11 years of experience in managing, serving and optimizing ads. Reach out to see how AdGlare can help you achieving your advertising goals. Or sign up for a free 14-day trial to take a quick look inside.

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