Advertisers vs Publishers: A Complete Guide

A complete guide to help you understand the two major components of digital advertising. One is the advertisers and the other is publishers. Learn about the two major components of digital advertising advertisers vs publishers.

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad”

 – Howard Gossage. 

Everyone has come across ads while browsing the internet either on their phone, computer, or tablet. Ads are ubiquitous on the digital platform and I am sure you have seen them on apps, websites, videos, and games. As we all know the internet is widely used for business and personal usage making it the most appealing platform for marketing worldwide. 

The main objective of advertising is to reach potential customers through the channels where they spend time browsing, reading, shopping, and socializing online.

Now that we know why digital advertising is important, let us take a closer look at who the advertisers and publishers are and what are the differences between them. 

Who Is An Advertiser?

An advertiser can be a person or a company; who wants to showcase their products or services and pays the money for the advertisements.

Online advertisers work with the publishers to find a channel through which their content reaches the prospective audience or targeted demographics.

An advertiser has the freedom and liberty to create the ads using creative images, brand logos, and copy (title, description, and other relevant data). Advertisers have to pay for the space that will be used to showcase their promoted content.

Pricing Models: 

 Advertisers buy ads on the basis of CPM, CPC/PPC, CPL, CPA, and CPI.  

CPM: Cost Per Mille (thousand) impression is one of the standards and common ways of buying digital media. Advertisers have to set the total amount they would wish to pay for every 1000 views, and they will be paying for every impression/view they get for the ad. This is good if you are looking to generate brand awareness and recall value.

CPC/PPC: Cost Per Click or Pay Per Click is one and the same. Anytime a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser will have to shell out money from their account. If you are planning to get people to your website, purchase something this is a good option to look into.

CPL: Cost per lead is a type of pricing model where the advertiser pays for anytime a user fills up a lead form and submits it or signs up for a trial period.  It is very common in B2B marketing where it is unlikely that someone would make a purchase right away.

CPA: cost per acquisition means the advertiser pays for certain actions taken by a user, such as registering for an account or making their first purchase. Advertisers only pay if they see any sort of action is made. 

CPI: cost per install indicates where the advertiser pays for each installed app. Lots of app marketing is purchased through CPI because it is a quick way to drive installs.

Who is a Publisher?

A publisher is someone who promotes a person or a company on their website, app, or video for their viewers. They could also be known as affiliates or partners, providing the traffic to the advertiser who paid for it.

It can be a person or an organization that hosts ads for someone else or helps them to connect with their audience. In short, the publisher provides the platform for advertisers to run their ads in apps or on mobile sites. The publisher has full control of the content from his property or a site whenever he feels like it unless listed. 

Advertisers vs Publishers

Advertisers are the owners of the products and offer to pay the publishers when they are in need of the publisher’s users reach to market their products and hope to sell the same.

Publishers are the one who creates amazing content and is able to get organic or paid traffic to their website where high-quality users may convert on the offers, they land in.

Advertisers buy ad space from mobile publishers and ad networks, which help them communicate their message to users who might be interested in hearing that message. For example, if your blog is about photography and if some brand wants to show a camera as a product on the website, then he is the advertiser and you and your website would be a publisher. 


Advertisers and publishers are interdependent on one another. Former to be able to showcase their ads/products and in the process earn money by any leads or conversions. The latter has readymade high-quality traffic and uses that to generate sales for the advertisers to earn money for themselves. It is hence imperative that both work cordially and have to coexist. Now that you have a good idea, advertisers start running your ads and publishers start creating great quality content to get good traffic and ads.  

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