Sovrn is a US based programmatic CPM ad network and advertising analytics company founded in 2006. They were acquired by Federated Media in 2011, larger advertising network which decided to keep Lijit as an independent brand. This fusion supposed to bring many new advertisers, but being a small publisher with them, I couldn’t tell much difference. As of January 28, 2014, network is independent again under a new name sovrn. They dynamically optimize ad inventory based on page context, user demographics and location. Similar to AdSense, they index content and analyze keywords, keyword density and probably some other factors in order to determine what are the pages about. In addition to their premium campaigns, they also work with third party ad networks that can bid for ad inventory. How does this targeting system work in real life? I can’t really tell. Since I’m not US based, I hardly see any of their ads, but more on that later.
I was invited to join by one of their media buyers, so I can’t comment on sign-up process based on my personal experience. From what I can read in online reports, is not that easy to join sovrn. Their traffic requirements are not so high, but they can be picky in terms of content they accept. They don’t accept any questionable or illegal content, as well as content that promotes hatred or any forms of violence.
Ad serving and reporting is done using their proprietary platform. Publisher dashboard is clean and simple to use and it will take very little time getting used to. They support all standard graphical and rich media ad sizes, mobile ads and VAST video ad. They also offer high-impact ads, which is their name for popups. One interesting feature they provide is statistics and user demographics. It allows you to see data about traffic sources, page views and even gender, age, ethnicity etc. I can’t tell if their demographic data is accurate, since I never conducted such research, but their traffic statistics in my case were quite off compared to Google Analytics
CPM rates for US traffic, or how they call it “domestic traffic”, can be very good, usually higher compared to other CPM networks I worked with. Ad fill rate for US based traffic is also acceptable ranging between 80% and 90%. On the other hand, CPM and fill rates for non-US traffic can be disappointingly low. For my website international traffic fill rate was only 30%-40%. Fortunately, you can set default ads to fill remnant traffic. Their ad settings also allow you to completely turn of international traffic or to set floor CPM for their ads. One thing I appreciated about sovrn is that their ads are clean, meaning no misleading “download now/play now” ads, spyware or similar annoyances.
Can you make money with Sovrn? Yes, I had good experience with them, even though I’m only using them as backup ads. As I mentioned before, websites that have many international visitors may have limited success. If you plan to use them as your primary network, don’t forget to set default tags, or you may end with large portion of your ad inventory unsold. Good luck and please let me know about your experience with this network.
Minimum payment amount is $25, paid on every thirty days (NET30). You are not required to fill any tax documents.
- ACH payment (for US publishers)
What I like
- Reliable and on time payments
- Responsive and helpful support
- Legit business with phone number and a physical address
- High CPM rates for US traffic
What I don’t like
- Fill rate can be very low for non-US traffic