When looking for the revenue, publishers have different options what to connect to. They can either turn to affiliate market or enter into direct relationships. Since both notions – advertising and affiliate network – appear in the same context, there is the need to clarify their distinction.
What does an affiliate network do?
Affiliate networks give:
- for brands: tracking and reporting, running payments and access to publishers,
- for publishers: access to affiliate programs, reporting and payment processes.
Ad networks can play the role of either affiliates or affiliate networks on the affiliate market.
What does an ad network do?
Ad networks connect brands and publishers for the specific purpose of placing ads onto the websites. They match the supply and the demand sides.
Advertising networks have to maintain direct business relation with publishers and brands, whereas affiliates don’t.
Need a structured comparison?
|Ad Network||Affiliate Network|
CPM / CPC
|Delivers banner and text ads||Banner and text ads plus SMM, SEO, email marketing and other channels|
|Runs ads via its SDK||Requires no SDK, provides publishers with the tools for cross-channeling|
|Small control over campaigns launch||Strong control over the inventory|
|Campaigns are run with a specific budget to test the idea and learn the result||Campaigns are run on the regular basis|
What’s the conclusion?
If you’re oriented at post-click KPIs, CPA in particular, then it’s reasonable to turn to affiliate networks. Affiliate networks eventually access inventory through ad networks. Thanks to code installation on the websites and in mobile apps, ad networks are in direct contact with publishers. So when the marketers come with campaign offers, ad networks can operate with any KPIs.