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5 marketing trends in adtech for 2022

Nadia Ozeri, March 3, 2022

marketing trends 2022, VR, AR, 2022, digital marketing,
Image courtesy: Pixabay

2022 is a year of big changes. Covid changed our lives, not only in the way we communicate with one another but also in how we use technology. Marketers face a challenging year, juggling emerging technologies and changes to online tracking while trying to meet the shifting moods of pandemic-weary consumers. The metaverse has been a hot topic of conversation recently with Microsoft and Facebook both making claims. The metaverse doesn’t quite exist yet. However, the hype still matters, and soon will likely change how we consume content, audio, video, mobile, and gaming. 

1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

AR and VR are exciting technologies for marketers to tap into because they focus on imaginative and interactive experiences. In the future, these technologies will be used to market products and services, and change marketing forever. Several verticals have major potential: from virtual real estate, with virtual property showcases, staging, and more, to the travel industry where you can receive a virtual tour of a hotel before you book your vacation, to the beauty industry, enabling you to try out lipstick colors and clothes before you buy. Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, there increasingly will be tools that allow marketers to connect with consumers in these emerging digital spaces.

Brands like TOMS Shoes, TopShop, Oreo, Sephora, and IKEA have already successfully used these technologies for marketing purposes. IKEA uses AR to help customers design their own space, Say Hej to IKEA Place. 

2. Increasing mobile gaming advertising 

Globally, there were an estimated 3.24 billion gamers in 2021 – no surprise there. Furthermore, according to Adjust data insights, gaming accounts for 50% of total industry ad spend. These spaces have been transformed into effective advertising platforms due to the success of the gaming industry as a whole.

But what about mobile gaming as its own entity? There were approximately 477,877 mobile gaming apps available on Google Play in the first quarter of 2021 – an increase of almost 12% from the previous quarter. Moreover, a report from GlobalData found that after reaching $98 billion in 2020, mobile gaming is expected to reach $272 billion by 2030.

As mobile gaming advertising becomes more competitive, your creative campaigns need to reach the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place. By leveraging the power of programmatic marketing, you can scale appropriate ads to the users that you want to reach. A successful campaign will rely on this and can help achieve impressive ROI in 2022.

Example: Mobile advertising in action 

Anzu designed its in-game ads to appear more organic to users. In Trackmania, for example, they appear as billboards around the titular tracks. Anzu partnered with brands like Samsung, Microsoft, and Vodafone on these ads. Example: Vodafone appearing in Anzu video games: 

Trackmania Multiplayer Session World Premiere @Gamevention #DIGI1 2020

vodafone, anzu, gaming, advertisement,  billboard,

3. Alternative targeting solutions  

After Google postponed the phase-out of third-party cookies to 2023, advertisers, adtech companies, and publishers are expected to implement new ways of tracking consumers and targeting ads in the next 12 months. However, even if Google sticks to its current plan, the future of cookieless browsing is likely to emerge slowly and incrementally.

As third-party cookies will no longer be supported in 2023, marketers will be testing alternative targeting solutions, such as people-based targeting, throughout 2022. Prior to cookies being banned, companies that can leverage and expand upon your first-party information should be vetted

Let’s have a look at Contextual targeting for example. Internet marketing started basically with contextual targeting until third party data was the shiny new revenue toy. Now, with the phasing out of the cookie, contextual targeting is likely to rise again and be the popular strategy for publishers, advertisers, and consumers. This is a great opportunity for you as a publisher to implement and integrate contextual advertising into your marketing strategy.

At the moment, the advertising industry is at a turning point, where organizations must take advantage of the opportunity to be more transparent with their audiences. We must ensure that new identity solutions put consumers in the driver’s seat so they can decide when, where, and how their data is used. 

Example: Contextual targeting used 

Kitchn is already doing it. This online daily food magazine started implementing contextual targeting. I saw an ad for a pizza cutter while reading, “How To Make Awesome Pizza at Home.” This is an excellent example of contextual advertising in action:

4. Video marketing 

The data backs up my claims, even though they sound exaggerated. Search engine giant Google has announced that YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the United States. Facebook reports that video posts receive six times more engagement than photo or link posts on average while Twitter has seen an increase in video views by over 160%. 

In other words, if you don’t incorporate video into your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience and build trust. Video is vital for creating customer relationships since it puts a human face on the brand, which builds trust and loyalty.

It appears that short-form content is on the rise and won’t slow down anytime soon. Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts are among the most popular channels for video content today. With their ability to capture attention and lead to stronger engagement than other content, you can use video marketing to take center stage in your marketing strategy for  2022. 

Example: Make TikToks not ads 

#TikTokmademebuyit is influencer marketing at its best!  In August of 2021, TikTok’s #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, used by influencers to show off Amazon purchases they found on TikTok, had more than 4.1 billion views—check out this video (don’t mind the spelling mistake in the title though 😉…). 


amazon keeps taking my money 🥲 levitating bulb lamp with wireless charger link in bio #amazonfinds #amazonmusthaves #tiktokmademebuyit

♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

Amazon even started a page called “TikTok Amazon Finds”

5. Programmatic audio is about to get big

As a brand’s primary outlet after being dominated by visual media for the past decade, audio advertising has emerged as a significant medium. Through its capability to reach highly targetable and mobile audiences in brand-safe environments without the presence of screens, it enables marketers to evolve their omnichannel strategies naturally.

eMarketer predicts that listeners will spend an average of 97 minutes with digital audio per day -nearly a half-hour more than the average user will spend on social media (70 minutes). As opposed to their visual equivalents, audio ads are delivered one by one to consumers while they are not typically connected to a screen, such as when listening to a podcast or a playlist during a workout. Audio ads provide premium environments and are an effective way to fill otherwise unfilled gaps in the user’s buying journey.

Example: Audio ads in Newsweek

According to the 2021 State of audio AI consumption report, the average LTR (= listen-through rate) in programmatic advertising, was a whopping 96% or 105.8 million ads listened to. Programmatic audio offers remarkable granular targeting capabilities. Media buyers can tap into a range of advanced audience segmentation parameters, including location, point of interest, device, weather, user, agent, format, genre, dayparting, mood, and more. Through this channel, the ability to engage a user in the right place, at the right time, and within the right context becomes just that bit more accessible.


These are some of the trends that I’m following this year. I think the advertisement industry is going through major changes while the primary focus is on the metaverse. It’s the beginning of a new marketing strategy that we will need to get familiar with and used to.

About the author Nadia Ozeri is the Director of Buy Side at Total Media Solutions. She is an expert in connecting advertisers to ad technologies. You can find Nadia on LinkedIn or reach out to her via email if you’ like to pick your brain about ads.

Contextual targeting’s return could put publishers in the driver’s seat

Ryan Rakover, January 5, 2022

Key takeaways:

  • The deprecation of third-party cookies and more privacy-focused regulations are the catalysts for changing advertising on the open web.
  • Contextual targeting is likely to become the newest strategy, offering significant benefits for publishers, advertisers, and consumers.
  • Publishers should take the lead and encourage advertisers to adopt contextual targeting.   
contextual targeting, people, advertisement, marketing

Publishers are busy testing solutions for the day that will come when third party cookies will be deprecated. With Google’s  adjustment of the timeline giving publishers until 2023, time has moved over onto the publishers side for the advantage. Publishers can use this time to test new ways that are measurable, scaleable and privacy centric. Before personalized ad targeting and retargeting and programmatic marketplaces, publishers and advertisers used a different word to find a common ground: Context. Now context can be misleading and we can all remember the feeling of holding a flashlight in a dark room before the light comes on.   

In its most basic form, contextual targeting matches the content of a web page or article with that of an advertisement. In its younger non-digital days, contextual targeting existed and proved valuable. Advertisers would buy ad space in a specific section of a newspaper based on the context of that section. There was no need for a local car dealer to place an ad in the international news section when they could reach the right audience in the local or neighborhood section.

Contextual targeting allowed for both the advertiser and the publisher to ensure the best they could that a user would be seeing complementary messages rather than shocking or off brand ones. However, at that time, publisher awareness into the user’s context was missing. Now, with first party data sets, a reimagined user journey can be seen without infringing on the privacy of a user.  

Why is contextual targeting returning?

With the deprecation of the third party cookies and the advances in machine learning and AI contextual targeting is set to rise again. As a publisher, you are the architect of your site and the curation process has only been getting harder. In order to enrich your user’s journey, exploring the option of adding additional elements (video, audio, content recommendation) is essential but all have their impact. Balancing the use of these elements is important to maximize your unique moment with the user.

Understanding your users’ journey will allow you to have access to a wealth of first-party data, and you are able to see when content has successfully found true engagement. You can create more content in the right direction to meet the audience’s true interests rather than perceived interests. Through publishers harnessing the power of first party data, contextual targeting can go one big step forward with additional data points rounding out a user profile that teaches both the publisher and advertiser more about what the user wants to see and will expect to see from their experience. 

Although media spend on walled gardens still outpaces that of the open web, consumer attitudes and behaviors are changing, making it an ideal time for publishers to reclaim lost ad dollars. A recent report found that 26% of consumers plan to decrease their time on social media, and 30% report they zone out while scrolling on these platforms. On the flip side, 56% state they are curious and ready to learn when browsing the open web, and 77% trust articles on the open web – trust that filters to the advertisers.

In what the IAB considers a halo effect, it found that when consumers see a brand ad on their favorite news outlets, 45% are more likely to visit the brand and 43% consider buying from the brand. At a time when consumer trust is at an all-time low, publishers on the open web may be the only ones who can help advertisers rebuild what was lost.

How can publishers leverage the rise of contextual targeting?

As publishers navigate these waters it is an opportunity to build better sites. With today’s knowledge of first party data, along with the tools to learn from your audience, context can be redefined. The amount of insights a publisher can deliver to an advertiser in a safe, privacy-centric manner is opening up. However, user trust needs to be nurtured and renewed. 

As publishers grow their understanding and help shape the new safer user experience we will see how context impacts the next wave of identity solutions. Solutions presenting users in cohorts or bundles will have to be mapped back to the user for the publisher to be able to measure performance and scale.

Publishers, it’s time to push these messages forward. In doing so, you will create better monetization opportunities for yourselves and establish better opportunities for brands your users love and support.

About the author: Ryan Rakover is the head of our Trust and Safety efforts at Total Media Solutions. One of the things Ryan enjoys the most in his role as a publisher’s strategic partner is the challenge of bringing policy from a place of rules and standards to delivering solutions to clients to improve their client’s bottom line. Find Ryan on LinkedIn or reach him by email.


The new rise of contextual advertising, Forbes.com

The crawl, walk, run guide to contextual targeting, AdExchanger.com

What’s old is new again: The return of contextual targeting, ExchangeWire.com

Publisher’s guide: The magic ingredient: Content that adds value

Ryan Rakover, August 17, 2021

Key takeaways

  • Original engaging content should be a top priority. Providing value-added content and information is the number one way to organically increase your traffic, build your brand reputation and solidify trust levels in the face of the fake news era.
  • The user-first experience is second only to content and should take precedent over monetization. If you offer a poor user experience, not only will you be penalized by Google’s newest algorithm update but you’ll also lose the ability to attract and retain readers.
  • Monetize properly and appropriately. Once you are producing the right content and have optimized the user experience, then focus on monetization efforts and ensure you are using the best placements, formats, ad stacks, and partners.

Follow this publisher’s guide to ensure that all of the content you produce and the user experience you offer creates value and trust with your audience.

publisher's guide, Content That Adds Value

Whether you’re launching a new website or looking for ways to optimize an existing one, think of yourself as a chef because that analogy will serve you well. Your website is the plate, and each piece of content is an item of food placed on the plate.

Chefs understand that experience is everything for a customer, and judgments begin as soon as someone steps into a restaurant. People eat with their eyes first, so plates need to look appealing. Then, as diners take bite after bite, all the ingredients need to meld together and dance on the palette. A website is the same. Visitors start to assess the site as soon as they land on the page, taking in visual information and content.

While many publishers start out like chefs, crafting their content with great care, they often get bogged down and derailed by monetization opportunities, ad stacks that don’t perform, outdated roadmaps, and more. Don’t get us wrong – you’re running a business, and that business needs to make money. But without high-performing content that attracts loyal readers, all of those efforts are about as valuable as an overcooked piece of Kobe beef. It’s time to rethink the fundamental pillars of content so you can whip up articles that readers want to consume.

In this post, we’ll explore all of the elements that you need to mix together to produce irresistible content that builds trust with your audience and establishes you as a reliable, go-to source in an era of fake news and misinformation.

Publisher’s guide: The perfect content recipe

You have one chance to make a first impression, so executing on both design and user experience is paramount. That means you need to pay special attention to the look and feel of your content and the user journey.

Users will either arrive at your site directly because they’re familiar with your brand or because they were sent there from a search result or ad. The first audience already trusts you but expects you to consistently deliver a great experience. The second group is more fragile and needs to determine how trustworthy you are. What makes both of these groups stick around? The same things.

Adding value to content, publisher's guide, online publication
Look and feel of your content and the user journey

The appetizers: URLs, dates, and authors

Choosing the right URL is critical. While a ‘.com’ is still king, you may not find one that matches your publication name. In that case, look for other top-level domains (such as ‘.co’ or ‘.biz’), industry-specific options (‘.realestate’ or ‘.travel’), or geolocation (‘.uk’ or ‘.eu’). You can also look at some less common endings that can be built into your brand name, as Visual.ly did.

Like food, fresh or recent dates on blog posts is always preferable. A Shout Me Loud case study showed that blog posts with dates enhanced the user experience but older dates negatively impacted keyword ranking and traffic when displayed in Google’s SERP. Satisfy user needs and improve search results by showing dates on posts but hiding them from search engines. If you produce evergreen content, make sure to continually refresh pages with new content and add a ‘last updated’ date.

Authenticity and authority are important indicators for your readers and Google’s algorithm to determine your content’s value. Including the author’s name at the beginning of an article helps establish credibility immediately. Chefs use this technique to attract visitors to new restaurants all the time – a reservation at Bobby Flay Steak, anyone?

The main course: Headers, content, and sources

People have short attention spans, so content needs to be easy to scan for those looking for a quick info fix and well organized for those who want to savor the article. Make sure you use a clean, easy-to-read font and have accessibility options. Use headers to divide content sections and keep paragraphs short.

The content should be well written, error-free, and laid out in an attractive design; otherwise, you’ll reduce your respectability. If ad content disrupts the user experience, it’ll be another strike against you. Above all, make sure the ‘meat’ of your content matches the title. Nothing makes a user bounce or become more frustrated than a user feeling like they’ve landed on clickbait that didn’t deliver the information promised.

Articles should include clear and accessible links to reputable sources, especially when quoting statistics or referencing research. High authority links improve SEO, show readers you’re well-versed and aligned with industry leaders, and give them the option to explore topics in more depth, which they will appreciate. If you have related content pieces already published on your site, include links to those pieces as well.

The dessert: Author bios, related content

Naming the author at the beginning of the post is a must, but you should also include a more in-depth author bio box after the article. This allows the author to demonstrate their expertise and background, providing your audience with additional insights into who’s sharing information, further boosting trust.

If a user reaches the end of an article, you’ve already captured their attention, and it’s the perfect time to suggest related content. Recommend other stories they might be interested in to increase their engagement or mix it up with ad content from other sites to increase your monetization efforts.

layout, improve content, CMS, Author Bios, Related Content, publisher's guide
Image courtesy: Blogher

The doggie bag for online publishers: A final thought

In a world where everyone approaches the ‘new’ with a high level of skepticism, you need to win over first-time users and turn them into brand loyalists. Do that by giving them amazing content and an excellent user experience.

Routinely revisit your site with fresh eyes and take an objective look at how your site feels to a new user. Consider how easily a visitor could navigate the site. Think about whether the content is relevant to your audience and provides the answers they are seeking.

If all of those elements are on track, then you’ve prioritized your readers, and it’s time to dig into your monetization efforts. Evaluate your ad placements and see if they are disruptive or cause content to shift, disturbing visitors. Finally, think about whether you could be using different ad formats or monetization partners and platforms to maximize your revenue. Follow all these steps, and you’ll set yourself up for a five-star review.

Ryan Rakover is the head of our Trust and Safety efforts at Total Media Solutions. One of the things Ryan enjoys the most in his role as a publisher’s strategic partner is the challenge of bringing policy from a place of rules and standards to delivering solutions to clients to improve their client’s bottom line. Find Ryan on LinkedIn or reach him by email.

Google AdManager Update: Privacy and Messaging

Ryan Rakover, August 9, 2021

Google Selects Total Media as a Partner for its Multiple Customer Management (MCM) Program

Aviad Rave, May 26, 2021

How Core Web Vitals Affect Publisher Monetization Strategies

Ryan Rakover, May 25, 2021

You’re Right To Be Skeptical.

Brian Blondy, January 12, 2020

We’re tired of hearing about empty promises made to publishers about revenue.We’re not going to name names. You probably already know whom we’re talking about. You’ve received the pitches offering X to achieve Y growth.  

Cards on the table. This is not one of those emails. We’re not one of those companies. 
 We don’t want to waste your time.
We know firsthand that many variables lead to success. Every solution reacts differently under varying circumstances for every publisher. We can’t make any promises about growth. Nor do we want to.
 We Can Offer You Products, Solutions & Services. Full Stop.
 Google Ad Manager 360 (We’re a certified reseller)Premium Display Monetization via AdX (Premium monetization stack)Video Monetization (Elite SSPs) Content Recommendation Consulting Services
 We do it all and we do it well.
 We will do everything to put you in the best situation to succeed. If we have something that you’re seeking, fill out the form below and let’s have a discussion together in the near future.  

4 Essential Publisher Revenue Optimization Strategies

Brian Blondy, September 10, 2019

Your website is the center of your online publishing business. As a digital publisher, your site functions as the most powerful platform for delivering your content to visitors, which by association, enables you to earn revenue from every impression on your website. 

Despite efforts made to cover all of the bases, we often see publishers experience a sudden dip or even an unexpected deductions or stoppage in revenue. Many companies also come to us after they have been blocked by a demand partner. When a revenue stoppage occurs many presume that they were acting in complete compliance, as they were not aware of the intricacies of the policies.  

When we see these dips occur, we immediately discuss all of the potential reasons why the revenue is slowing and then chart out a plan together for reversing the trend before it is too late.

total media google

Unfortunately, not every publisher has a partner like us at hand to advise them about what to do when things may have already gone awry.  In our experience, solutions for optimizing a website and its ad units are not universal. What might work for one site may not work as effectively for yours. 

To address this, we decided to do a deep dive into 4 highly effective ways you can optimize your website for earning maximum yield and overall ad compliance for your website’s visitors.  We hope that this post can assist you to avoid any future surprises which may arise.

To simplify the structure, we divided the content into four sections, each of which covers a vital aspect of what we believe will enable you to gain the knowledge for earning consistent and uninterrupted revenue going forward.

Click on any of the links to skip forward to a particular section.

After reading this article, we believe that you will gain valuable recommendations for your monetization strategy and the ability to begin implementing a website revenue optimization plan for maintaining and insulating your monthly revenue going forward. 

Ad Inventory Revenue Optimization

Understand that it’s not you, it’s just the wrong time of the year

The summer months are an optimal time to assess what is working and what isn’t. Since the second half of Q3 is upon us and the traditionally strong Q4 is just around the corner, we recommend that you get ready for what is coming. 

A significant benefit of Q4 is that advertisers tend to increase their spend around major commercial events such as:

  • Thanksgiving (US)
  • Black Friday
  • Christmas

Interestingly, brands traditionally spend less in the first month of the quarter and more in the last month of a quarter. The aforementioned Q4 holidays all fall at the end of their respective months (November, December). 

According to a blog post on Sortable, “Overall, CPMs increase steadily through Q3, with a significant jump in Q4…Even with low campaign spend in July and August, Q3 out-performs Q2 as CPMs jump in September. As each quarter ends, it’s reasonable to see a drop in CPMs in the weeks leading up to and starting a new quarter. These dips are the result of advertisers’ depleted budgets, which directly impacts CPMs and fill rates.”

Google Ads recently launched a new feature for search and display campaigns called Smart Bidding which enables advertisers boosted control over seasonality adjustments.

The feature using machine learning to automatically set bids at auction to improve Google Ads campaign performance. You can read more about the feature here and learn how to implement the adjustments here.

More ads and bigger ad sizes = More revenue?

The Case for Not Doing the Obvious

size of ads

You may think that having prominently sized ad units on your website look beautiful alongside your content.  In reality, that huge billboard might not be the best size for achieving optimal monetization on your site despite the high CPMs it may be earning each month.

Generally speaking, AdSense recommends to publishers to limit themselves to only placing three ad units per single web page. We often see publishers adding more than the recommended limit in the hopes of generating more revenue per impression. 

Populating a web page with too many ads will have a negative consequence on the user experience and will potentially affect the following metrics on the webpage:

  • Bounce rate
  • eCPM
  • RPM

To put things into context about how even successful ads could be changing your bottom line, here’s a cautionary tale to consider.

A webpage containing a group of successful ads, each earning high CPMs which results in a high RPM or eCPM. But, this same webpage may be earning less revenue than other pages due to the fact that in comparing it to other pages which possess lower CPMs, those latter pages may end up bringing longer user sessions overall and more overall pageviews by the user, which as a result yields more revenue aggregated per session in general in comparison.


Drilling down, having too many ads on a specific webpage can cause the following negative metrics to rise across your website:

  • Slow load time on a webpage
  • Decreased viewability percentages
  • Lowered number per avg. pageviews per session
  • Increased bounce rate
  • Shortened avg. session duration

In particular, page bounces are a very problematic consequence of too many ads because a bounce rate increase ends up producing:

  • Decreased click-through rates
  • Stagnated campaign performance

The combination of all of these factors could create a scenario where advertisers are bidding less on your ad placements in programmatic exchanges, which means less revenue in general.

Choosing the Most Effective Ad Sizes

Effective Ad Sizes

What are the most effective ad formats and the most profitable ad sizes for your website?

In our opinion, there is no correct answer for everyone.

First, you need to determine the most appropriate ad slot locations on your pages, as well as defining which areas you want to sell at a premium rate and which ad slots can be considered secondary units available for lower market prices.

Your monetization strategy will most likely be a combination of direct selling and programmatic advertising. For the sake of this content, we will focus on programmatic channels, specifically, Google AdSense or Google Ad Manager (which now features the product formerly known as Google Ad Exchange).

When selling your ad units programmatically, you must keep in mind the platform policies of monetizing your content through the various platforms.

Each platform allows a specific ratio of ad units placed on your pages vs the amount of content neighboring around it. Google, for example, requires over 50% content to be featured on any monetized page. (Note: One must take note of ad placement policies of each platform, which will determine the success of your monetization strategy.)

Your goal should be to not only have effective ads that look fantastic on your website but also to consider the need to find the overlap between which of these ads can be optimally placed within your page layout that net the highest CPMs – providing the optimal marriage between the two for yielding the highest return.

A/B Testing Ad Units

A/B Testing Ad Units

We recommend publishers to experiment with a variety of ad unit sizes, as well as checking various demand sources (SSPs), to concretely understand which ad size in which location will yield the highest return. 

Through A/B testing, a publisher can uncover valuable conclusions about the behavior of their ad units through data sourced in the experiment, rather than relying solely on intuition to make better business decisions about the ad units for revenue optimization. 

In our experience, A/B testing ad units is a highly effective way to judge the value of an ad unit, and as a result, this advanced knowledge can drastically increase ad revenue. 

The beginning point in any A/B test is to define the goal or hypothesis that you wish to prove. After that you should measure the page and session RPMs, instead of the ad RPM of the ad unit, to gain the ability to quantify how much ad revenue you are missing out on by running one ad over another for a particular placement on a webpage.

Effective A/B Testing Can Positively Benefit:

  • Earnings Per 1000 Visitors (EPMV) / Session revenue (Earnings / 1,000 visitors = EPMV)
  • Page eCPM
  • Increased ad revenue

Which Ad Sizes are the Most Profitable for Publishers?


The following ad sizes have proven to be most effective for monetization:

Which Ad Sizes are the Most Profitable

728×90Leaderboard – Offers a publisher many options for arranging its placement.


 Ad Sizes

300×250Medium Rectangle – This size dimension is the most common display ad unit due to its shape (medium rectangle), and its placement due to its rectangular shape. This ad size is ideal for a sidebar or placed within the content.


160×600Wide Skyscraper – This ad unit tends to have more ad inventory available from advertisers, which can increase earnings when both text and image ads are enabled. Best if used along with sidebars of webpages since it features unmatched viewability to users.

size 300X600

300×600Half-Page – Offers prominent ad placement for advertisers seeking to make a big impression. This ad unit provides high CPMs and creates a clean layout on the page that encourages minimalism on the page and offers a clear exposure opportunity.



mobile ad size


  • Most profitable ad unit when it is placed at least 50% higher than the fold break

Video Placements

Video Placements

According to a recently published report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), digital video ad spend continues to expand, with advertisers reporting that they expect to pay, on average, $18 million in 2019, an increase of $5 million compared to 2018.

eMarketer said that programmatic video ad spends are expected to reach $30 billion in 2019, a staggering amount, which accounts for nearly 50% of all US programmatic digital display ad spending.

Video content is a highly effective method for both engaging website visitors as well as providing the ever-growing pool of advertisers a means for running video programmatic advertising campaigns.

We find that video monetization is increasingly proving to be the best way to increase their current revenue stream by opening a website up to receiving significantly higher CPMs as compared to standard display advertising.

Video’s higher CPMs are the result of advertiser willingness to pay premium prices for reaching and targeting interested, specific, and engaged audiences.

Key Benefits Monetizing Video with Total Media    

  • Engaging content and a quality video library that keeps users on site.
  • Content optimization – Presenting the most popular content in the most visible manner creates the environment for more engaged visitors for consuming the video content. As a result, more ads can be placed within the content of the page.
  • Built-in monetization support with higher CPM’s – In-Stream unit with high-quality pre-roll and mid-roll inventory.
  • Pre-roll & several mid-rolls per video.
  • Content optimization affects eCPM and increases it. 
  • Targets demand, according to geos, player sizes, domains/apps targeting, and browsers.
  • Direct campaigns with video advertisers – buying more traffic according to campaign KPI’s and benchmarks. 
  • Video creates multiple high-quality monetization opportunities in a single placement.
  • Video header bidding built-in for unified revenue optimization. 
  • Seamless integration with Google Ad Manager.

Our Video Monetization Formats  

  • In-Article Video Content Unit
  • Corner Video Content Unit

We also provide instream demand, when the publisher already has a video player and seeks to expand their monetization yield via our video marketplace.  Outstream units are also part of our monetization formats. 

An example of OutStream Video Monetization (InRead / In-Article).

Looking to 2020, we confidently expect continued growth for video monetization and the format to become an essential opportunity for publishers to benefit from in their monetization stack.

For more information about video monetization, click here.

Programmatic Revenue Optimization

What Are You Doing to Make More Revenue?

Programmatic Revenue Optimization

The programmatic industry has fundamentally changed the way publishers and advertisers interact with each other and how they buy and sell premium media online.

In the not-so-distant past, publishers and advertisers used to communicate directly and negotiated placements and CPM for premium ad placements amongst themselves.

Even more recently, if an advertiser wanted to buy premium media through programmatic direct, the only traffic that was available to purchase from the SSP was the leftover remnant traffic. 

Today, programmatic is changing the transaction for the better, not only because of the emergence of the efficiency of the deal but also because more premium ad inventory is available to be purchased programmatically.

Here’s what you can do.


Exchange Bidding Dynamic Allocation (EBDA)

EBDA is a feature within Google Ad Manager (GAM) where exchanges and SSPs can bid on a publishers’ inventory, in addition to what is available from the Google Ad Manager’s Ad Exchange (formerly DoubleClick AdX), all within a unified auction inside the platform.

EBDA gives control to publishers to approve and onboard partners within GAM to access their inventory programmatically. The result is a unified auction on a much more level playing field, with the publisher sitting in the driving seat.

  • The single timely monthly payment for all of your revenue earned.
  • Exchange Bidding is tested and proven to increase yield by up to 35%.

By using EBDA, the entire flow for the publisher takes place within Google’s infrastructure, with Google handling the auction, reporting, billing, and payments.

This integrated approach creates a substantial financial and operational benefit to publishers since they need not wait for payments from each of their demand partners every month. 

In the not so distant past, publishers would have to wait or chase monthly earnings from advertisers. Today, Google delivers revenue payments straight to publishers every month.

Preferred Deals

Preferred Deals allow individual publishers to negotiate fixed-price, first-look deals with advertisers. The CPM is generally higher than regular programmatic and on par with direct sales because advertisers are seeking impressions based on the specific data available or gathered by the advertiser previously.

Preferred deals are direct agreements between publishers and advertisers where generally advertisers approach the publishers about specific ad sizes, placements, and audiences, and the two parties negotiate an accurate fixed price for the impressions amongst themselves.

Whereas once advertisers would send publishers an ad tag which would link to the allocated ad placement, now the entire execution runs programmatically through DSPs and SSPs (e.g., Google Ad Manager & Display & Video 360), where a deal ID get things moving along to create a preferred deal.

With preferred deals, the CPM is generally higher than through a regular programmatic transaction, and on par with direct sales due to the fact, advertisers are seeking impressions based on the specific data available or data gathered by the advertiser through previous campaigns they managed.

Preferred Deals

Private Auctions

Private auctions are programmatic deals that allow publishers to create a higher-priority auction available only to white-listed buyers of their choice for specific inventory the publisher desires to make available.

Google Ad Manager Logo

One such SSP allowing private auctions is Google Ad Manager, which delivers the best results for publishers.

display & video 360

Any advertiser interested in participating in a private auction is recommended to use a premium DSP such as Display & Video 360.

Within the private auction, publishers establish a specific floor price with the chosen advertisers and let this small group of buyers compete in an exclusive, private programmatic marketplace auction.

The floor price, in general, is higher than that of the open marketplace, so the buyers can pick and choose the premium impressions that they would like to bid on based on specific known parameters beforehand.

Direct Sales / Exclusive Deals

Build relationships with advertisers to secure quarterly or yearly agreements to fill ad placements on a set CPM rate for filled ad placements.

Pricing Optimization

Your website should always be seeking new ways to increase yield from website inventory.  Programmatic teams should utilize proven revenue optimization strategies for squeezing additional improvement from every ad unit consistently.

You should see improvement in your monthly revenue by experimenting with various pricing revenue optimization strategies.  Your website should always be aiming to increase its revenue. Here is what you can do.


First Price Strategies and Rules

Unified pricing rules enable publishers to control the pricing of their inventory across all indirect demand sources from a single location (Inventory > Pricing Rules) within Google Ad Manager.

Inside Google Ad Manager, publishers can set pricing rules for all indirect demand sources to compete in a single-stage auction with consistent rules and pricing across all channels.

  • Open Auction via Authorized Buyers (formerly known as Ad Exchange).
  • Private Auctions (both optimized and non-optimized).
  • First Look demand.
  • Third-Party exchanges that participate in Exchange Bidding.
  • Non-guaranteed line item types Price Priority, Network, and Bulk (currently in Beta).

Effective Floor Pricing Strategies to Consider

  • Lower floor rates from the beginning of the month (when demand is lower).
  • Increase the floor rate near the end of the month (when demand is higher).
  • Since Google has embraced header bidding in Google Ad Manager 360, a good strategy would be to set a lower floor price to allow more bidders and buyers to bid on the inventory – lowering the floor price will increase the fill rate.
  • Revenue sharing can work effectively with video while setting a floor price if the publisher wants the demand to bid from a specific floor price and higher. 
  • Floor prices might change during the month and need the attention of the publisher. Changing the floor prices according to the demand bid, will lead to better monetization with higher performance. 

Revenue Share Pricing Deals

Set revenue sharing pricing deals with a minimum CPM rate. Doing this will ensure the market will determine the price by auction.

  • Ideal for remnant inventory


Maintaining Compliance to Policy Standards for Publishers

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Policy Standards for Publishers

Publishers have many things to consider regarding the focus and relevance of the content on their websites.  

  • What was the core intention of the published content? 
  • How did my site enrich the user experience? 
  • Is my content easy to locate on the website?  

When it comes to maintaining compliance of Google’s monetization guidelines, remaining cognizant of Google’s best practices can deliver a professional, utility-driven website experience for users. 

One such Google recommendation to note for publishers relates to the content. Google is specific in defining its rules for monetizing content and what it describes as sensical and nonsensical content.  

“As stated in our programme policies, (one) may not show Google ads on pages or apps with little or no value and excessive advertising to the user…includes pages or apps with nonsensical content such as automatically-generated content without manual review or curation.”


What does this content policy explanation mean for publishers? When we analyze the value a website provides, it is essential to think about the user experience. By going through this exercise, it is possible to consider the many different ways a publisher can engage and interest a visitor.

The user experience should be at the core of everything your website aims to provide.

  • How does our website spark user interest? 
  • How does our content provide value to the user? 

By analyzing your website and its content, you are conducting an essential exercise to confirm that the actual written content on your site has a focused theme and overall consistency tightly aligned to the original intent/purpose of how/why the user is visiting the website in the first place. 

If you can address these questions by analyzing your site’s layout, the amount of useful content and the general ease-of-use accessibility for the user, then you are laser-focused on the core reasons why you will keep your compliant safe from experiencing future policy violations.

Remaining policy safe/compliant is not just a quarterly check that you should undertake. 

Remaining policy safe/complian

Instead, it must be in your company’s mission statement and expressed in all areas of your website regularly.  This initiative requires careful stewardship on every level throughout your company to be maintained on a consistent schedule. 

In our experience, publishers who heed close attention to their site’s content curation and overall content presentation demonstrate that the user experience is central, paramount and value-driven not just Google, but more importantly, built and purposed for the benefit of its audiences. 


Something to consider about Ads.txt

Google AdSense announced in early 2019 that it would be making ads.txt mandatory for all of its users. According to the protocol, publishers are required to place the ads.txt in each domain.

As of now, the company has also started issuing warnings to the user in the form of notifications in AdSense Dashboard, which alerts them that their earnings might be at risk if they don’t fix the ads.txt file issues.

Acquiring a depth of understanding about AdSense is a valuable skill to possess in this business. We always recommend (and recommend to all of our publisher partners) the fundamentals of the terms of AdSense policy. 

If you have any questions, you can reach out to us here.

Google’s Ad Recommendations for Chrome

 Recommendations for Chrome

Google is making a concerted push to motivate publishers to revamp the advertising experience on their site in a way that benefits the end-users. Website owners are recommended to cease using the following types of ad units:


  • Pop-up ads
  • Pre-stitial with a countdown (No full-page ads/ Transition/ Maavaron) on a user’s first entrance to the site
  • Large sticky ads
  • Auto-play video ads with sound (Outstream)


  • Pop-up ads
  • Pre-stitial ads
  • Auto-play video ads with sound
  • Post-stitial with a countdown (No full-page ads/ Transition/ Maavaron) when a user decided to leave the site.
  • Ad density is higher than 30%
  • Flashing animated ads
  • Large sticky ads
  • Full-screen scroll over ads

We recommend to all of our publishers to review their site status in Google’s  Ad Experience Report, a tool that allows publishers to check and evaluate if Chrome has identified any ad violations occurring on the site. 

Next Steps – Putting Everything into a Revenue Optimization Plan

We hope that this comprehensive overview about how you can optimize your revenue will allow you to consider all of the different ways you can earn more revenue per impression and run a smooth, efficient operation that remains policy-compliant going forward.

While at first, it may feel like taking a deep dive into the unknown with so many complicated and time-consuming revenue optimization strategies to consider, you should press forward with a critical evaluation to potentially implement each one by one and aim to do whatever you can to improve your monthly revenue.

Your website should strive to be an efficient money-making machine and always be growing and evolving to changes in the industry that occur.

Regardless of the size of your website or your current CPM rate, we can assist you in implementing all of the optimizations as mentioned earlier solutions onto your site and then offering unmatched optimization management services.

Areas which we can actively assist your website to make more revenue:

Ideally, this post has presented and assisted you to acquire a deeper awareness of the array of optimization methods available for increasing your revenue earnings from your traffic.

We hope that we have empowered you with valuable information which may make your website’s revenue potential more viable than it is today.

To get where you want to be, we’re here to assist you and show you the way to reaching your monetization goals.

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at  or on LinkedIn

total media

6 Ways to Increase your Mobile Game Monetization

Brian Blondy, March 12, 2018

Mobile Game Monetization

With mobile game revenue at an all-time high in 2017, game developers are hurrying to find the perfect balance between user experience and ROI. It takes a lot of money, time, and effort to get the ball rolling and, obviously, the end goal is to make money – not only to cover costs but to make a profit as well. Yes, in-app purchases are a great way to stimulate a revenue stream but with only 5% of app users willing to spend money on in-app features, there is a roof. You want to find that sweet spot between game design and monetization so that your users will return and you can keep the lights on.


I love pop-up ads…. said no user ever.

You’ve developed a game you know users will love and you would hate to see your hard work go to waste because of intrusive ads. One misplaced ad during an epic battle moment or a prize reveal could cost you a user and, at the rate gaming apps are being downloaded for iOS and Android, this could mean even thousands more. Avoid annoying your users by becoming familiar with less-intrusive ad formats and designing your game accordingly, so that you won’t be that game.


Love the player and the game.

About as close to sweet spot as it gets, rewarded video is a win-win situation for both you and your users, and, not to mention, for advertisers (win-win-win?). Reach the 95% of non-paying users by offering them in-app currency for watching video ads. This way, your user gets “free” currency while you and your advertisers make real money. You can play around with the placement: pre-gameplay, mid-gameplay, or post-gameplay. Just make sure that your gamer isn’t in the middle of finally finding out what’s over the wall. Who said that UX and ROI need to come at the expense of one another?


You play the field while they play the game.

User experience doesn’t stop at ad placement and timing. Contextual targeting is critical for maximizing your ad earning. You can target different users by considering keywords, time, and specific messages – basically finding a way to connect with them through user experience. By working with multiple ad networks, you can ensure suitable ads for all your users and make things less “spammy”. Different ad networks will offer diverse eCPMs – the more suitable the ad request for your users, the higher the eCPM and the more money you can make.


If you can’t beat them, join them.

Here’s a thought – designing your game with the ads in mind. This is a great way to ensure natural integration of advertisements and smooth user experience. By leveraging art and animations into the game itself, you can tie ads into the storyline of the game – more of an inception, if you will. Ad earnings will increase with better visibility and user engagement.


If you got it, flaunt it.

If you haven’t designed it yet, make sure you consider a premium model of your game. A free version attracts more users and is more effective for long-term user acquisition than paid games. However, by leveraging in-app purchases for temporary upgrades, your loyal users may eventually want a premium version of the game and will be willing to pay to have certain permanent features. If not, they will still stick around for the free version.


Embrace the data.

Analytics and data are helpful for game developers to better understand their users. You can see metrics such as what kind of users the game is attracting, how long they play, and what features they like most. This is great for tweaks, adjustments, and overall user satisfaction. Using data and analytics to funnel your users’ willingness to pay is a clever way to increase ad revenue. For example, if native or video ads are causing users to leave the app, consider analyzing user data and showing ads once players reach a particular level or after a certain amount of time spent playing. More likely than not, these users like the game by this point and won’t be scared off by ads.


Talia Chudacoff is a Senior Account Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Talia by email at talia(at)mediatraderz(dot)com or on LinkedIn

What is Ads.txt and Why is it a Hot Topic Right Now?

Brian Blondy, October 16, 2017

Intro to Ads.txt

Developed through the IAB Tech Lab project, ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers), is a tool created for publishers to allow for a public declaration of the companies approved to sell their digital inventory.

The IAB states on their website that the purpose of the tool is to “increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem.” Ads.txt aims to give publishers control over the end-to-end distribution of their inventory. The tool strives to eliminate counterfeit inventory (display, video and mobile ad units) from being sold across the ecosystem.

As more and more publishers adopt the Ads.txt tool, interested buyers will be in a position to evaluate requests being sent to their buying platform from websites, which in turn aims to raise confidence that the inventory they are seeking to purchase is 100% authentic and non-fraudulent.

At Total Media, we have already have an abundance of experience working with premium publishers seeking to maximize their ROI with Ads.txt.  If you would like assistance with Ads.txt, we can help you with everything along the way in addition to providing you with the finest premium monetization available for publishers.

How Does Ads.txt Work?

According to a recent article published by Ad Ops Insider, the process in which Ads.txt increases transparency and brand safety work like this:

Publishers put a file on their server that says exactly which companies they sell their inventory through.  The file lists partners by name, but also includes the publisher’s account ID.  This is the same ID buyers see in a bid request, which they can use as a key for campaign targeting.

Buyers use a web crawler to download all the ads.txt files and the information contained within on a regular basis and use it to target their campaigns.   This means buyers know that if they bid on request that comes from an authorized ID, it’s coming from a source the publisher trusts or has control over.  

Why is Ads.txt Important?

The emergence of Ads.txt marks a milestone in the industry and provides empowerment to publishers to take back control of who represents their inventory and brand.

Who is Using Ads.txt

According to the recent article published Ad Ops Insider, adoption of Ads.txt by publishers is growing quickly in 2017.

Through a self-created web crawler in Python, Kneen was able to deduce from a pool of 1,930 domains from the top 10,000 websites ranked on Alexa that approx. 13% of these publishers ranked in the top 10,000 websites listed on Alexa globally are publishing a Ads.txt file, including ESPN.com, WashingtonPost.com and CNN.com.

Kneen breaks down the types of publishers that are publishing files and their most common partners (Google is tops, unsurprisingly), and makes recommendations for how to improve on the Ads.txt concept.

Why You Should Know About Ads.Txt

The fight against fraud in the ecosystem appears be heating up as publisher adoption of the tool is increasing. Though only time will time how the ecosystem will look once both the Sell and Buy side integrate it into their products and processes.

Potential interim pitfalls include:

  • Drop in revenues for Publishers
  • Reduced reach for Advertisers

Other Useful Links:   

Where Can I Find Out More? https://iabtechlab.com/ads-txt/

How to Add to Your Website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMPC3XK2LO0

IAB Explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW3AYYO9yYc

Ads.txt Overview by AdOps Insider – https://www.adopsinsider.com/ad-exchanges/ads-txt-adoption/

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at or on LinkedIn