Indian Ad Networks Landscape

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Indian media buying market is a growing market with a rapid digitization of advertising. The digital revolution in India is driven by the introduction of 4G, penetration of smartphones and increase of time spent on mobile phones. Digital advertising revenues in India alone are set to reach US$4.567m in 2018.

Projections show that digital media spends, now making up 15% of the total advertising pie, will hit 24% of the entire market by 2020.

In our view, Indian market is a promising market with high potential to reach unprecedented levels in the immediate future. For that reason, Adoppler team has conducted a research on the online ad networks market, which comprises companies that are based out of India and whose primarily function is to aggregate ad supply from publishers and match it with advertiser's demand.

Historically, ad networks serve as a bridge between advertisers and publishers, helping them to establish business relations and contributing to a prompt ad placement.

The growth of the digital market results in significant changes in the advertising landscape and in many new actors in the media buying processes. According to the latest data, ad networks continue to remain at the forefront of the Indian market, accounting for 30%.

Ad Networks Classification

The Indian ad networks landscape provided by our company Adoppler was based on extensive analysis of the digital companies located in India. Proceeding from the research, we’ve classified ad networks according to their key focus of the activities by the type of ad place, the type of ad inventory, quality of the networks’ traffic, the type of a client, variety of payment models, and etc. Therefore, we have divided them into 9 main categories:

  • Ad networks for publishers;
  • Affiliate ad network;
  • Performance ad network;
  • Premium ad network;
  • Mobile ad network;
  • Internet ad network;
  • Native ad network;
  • Video ad network;
  • Tech providers.

* The above-mentioned classification is built on the research conducted by Adoppler team. Owing to the diversity and at the same time similarity of ad networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate and correctly identify its type. If you do not agree with the selected category of your ad network, please contact us via info@adoppler.com or complete the Contact Form.

Our goal was to explore Indian IT market, identify top ad networks in India and classify them across the entire Indian market. Based on this, we have made a  digital advertising landscape 2018 which clearly illustrates the main players in one or other category (see the picture below).


Except where otherwise noted, this image is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license

Drawing on the results, the majority of the companies fall into affiliate, performance, mobile and internet advertising categories.

Although India is becoming mobile-first internet economy and its mobile spending is expected to reach 60% by 2020, mobile ad networks come in a close second, leaving the first place to affiliate ad networks, whose supremacy is shaped by greater coverage of mid-size companies and the traditional payment models ( CPA, CPC, CPL, CPS, etc) which are commonly applied from generating verified leads to selling products. In that regard, it is noteworthy that affiliate ad networks have much broader scope of services.

Advertising on mobile is becoming innovative and conveys the message clearly. Also, in-app advertising avenue is currently being explored and used across various industry sectors since it is believed to fetch better monetization. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)

It should be noted that the majority of ad networks work with different types of traffic in one way or another. However, it can also be seen that fewer ad networks have more narrow specialization, placing greater emphasis on publishers, video, native, or premium inventory, etc.

Another category of ad networks that should be definitely taken into consideration is “Tech Providers” - companies who develop their own line of business in media buying and who have proprietary technology that can be delivered to other ad networks as a ready-made business solution.

The current ad landscape presents a vivid picture of ad networks across various categories in the marketing business in India. The landscape is likely to change quickly enough just like the digital market in general. However, the existence of ad networks continue to be welcomed in every major media plan as long as they deliver quick results, facilitate synergy between publishers and advertisers and make the entire media buying process less chaotic.

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