Monumetric and Mediavine are two well known options in the header bidding space that work well for many publishers. However, it’s not always easy to know which solution is the best fit because the right one for your site depends on many factors, ranging from the size of your current audience to the type of ads you’re interested in hosting.
In this article, we cover the most critical factors for choosing a header bidding partner and compare how Monumetric, Mediavine, and Snigel’s AdEngine (our own header bidding solution) address each one.
In our experience, the most critical factors for deciding which header bidding partner is best for you include:
- Eligibility: Each service has requirements for would-be partners, such as their level of website traffic and their standing with advertising providers. This could immediately rule out one or more of these header bidding solutions for you.
- Ad strategy support: Just signing up with a header bidding provider isn’t enough to maximize your revenue; you need an ad strategy that carefully optimizes details like ad types, sizes, placements, and more. You need to decide whether you have the time and experience to do this yourself or if you’re better served using a provider that provides dedicated ad strategy experts to help, as Snigel does.
- Ad stack: Monumetric, Mediavine, and Snigel all offer different ad tech, which can have a significant impact on the type of ads you can run, the maximum revenue you can generate, and your ability to control the user experience on your site(s).
- Revenue sharing and payment: This includes terms for revenue sharing, timetables for payment, and payment methods.
- User friendliness: Each company offers different levels of support when it comes to setting up and maintaining their services.
- Reviews: Learn what other customers are saying about their experiences with Snigel, Monumetric, and Mediavine.
If you’re curious about Snigel, you can keep reading or you can contact us today.
When comparing these services, first you need to know if you’re eligible for them; generally speaking, header bidding partners have minimum traffic requirements and want publishers to be in good standing with advertisers. Here are the requirements to apply to Monumetric, Mediavine, and Snigel.
Monumetric works with all categories of publishers, including blogs, content websites, platforms, and networks.
They offer four programs that are tiered based on monthly pageviews (PV):
- Propel (PV 10K–80K/month)
- Ascend (PV 80K–500K/month)
- Stratos (PV 500K–10MM/month)
- Apollo (PV 10MM+/month)
The Propel program also requires publishers to be approved by major ad providers, to operate a WordPress or blogger site with a sidebar that’s at least 300 pixels wide, and to have 50% of their traffic come from the US, Australia, the EU, or Canada. This tier is the only one to mandate a minimum number of ad slots on both desktop and mobile (at least six).
Like almost all header bidding partners, Mediavine has requirements around publishers featuring original, engaging content rather than low-quality clickbait. They require a minimum of 50,000 sessions per month (they estimate this is equivalent to 60,000 views per month), and your site needs to be in good standing with Google AdSense.
Like Mediavine, Snigel requires publishers to host unique, high-quality content with no bot-driven traffic. Though we don’t have specific traffic requirements in terms of monthly sessions or pageviews, we prefer to work with publishers whose sites generate at least $50/day. However, we’re willing to assess small publishers whose sites have good content and high growth potential.
Level of Ad Strategy Support
Getting the most ad revenue out of your site isn’t as simple as just picking a header bidding partner such as Monumetric, Mediavine, or Snigel. Once you choose a provider, an actual ad strategy needs to be developed to get the most revenue for your specific site, which involves deciding on and optimizing a bunch of factors, such as:
- What kind of ads your target audience will be interested in
- Whether you can display high-value ad formats like videos and interactive ads without compromising your site health
- The optimum number of ads you can show users without cluttering the screen
- What sort of display is the best fit for your content (for example, sticky ads that follow users when they scroll are better for long-form content)
- Implementing ads without compromising site speed, health, or SEO
- The best ad configurations for different device sizes (desktop, tablet, mobile)
Doing this well requires experience — that is, knowing which configurations tend to work best in which scenarios and for which sites. As a result, most publishers don’t have the time or experience to do this well. That’s why we advise relying on experts to do it for you.
With Snigel, we provide dedicated ad operations experts to help optimize ad strategy and let publishers focus instead on doing what they’re good at (building their sites, growing traffic, publishing content, etc.).
Not all header bidding partners provide the same level of ad strategy support (or in some cases, any at all), so here’s an overview of the support you can expect from Monumetric, Mediavine, and Snigel.
Monumetric Ad Strategy Support
The level of support you receive from Monumetric depends on which of their programs you register for: Propel users can only receive support with onboarding if they request it, Ascend users will receive input from a shared ad operations team, and Stratos and Apollo users have dedicated ad-ops teams.
Mediavine Ad Strategy Support
Mediavine offers what they refer to as full service ad management, though it’s not clear whether this is a dedicated account manager (similar to what Snigel provides) or a ticketing system in which whoever happens to be available — regardless of their familiarity with you or your site — is the one who responds to your concerns. They say they also host a Facebook support group, conferences, and events for their users.
Snigel Ad Strategy Support
At Snigel, every client receives a dedicated ad operations expert.
During onboarding, our experts will work with you to create and test a unique ad strategy based on your website layout, business goals, and your users’ needs. Your dedicated ad ops expert also monitors and gives suggestions to improve your Core Web Vitals to promote sustainable organic growth and ensure your site has the best possible chance of ranking in search engines and growing organic traffic. Our integration engineers also provide step-by-step technical support to ensure your ad setup is fast and efficient, and as a GCPP member, we have a dedicated Google account manager to troubleshoot any issues with Google.
Furthermore, our ad operations expert will keep working with you to ensure continued success. Whether you rebrand your site or we discover (or develop) exciting new ad tech, our experts will adapt your strategy accordingly. We also monitor your ad strategy to stay on top of shifting trends, and we keep an eye on your site health to make sure your ad strategy remains sustainable for both you and for your users. We even work with you to implement our ad technology so you can focus on being the best publisher you can be.
You can read about the different ways we’ve partnered with publishers to optimize their ad strategy in our case studies collection.
In our experience, in order to really maximize your revenue, the ad tech powering a header bidding solution should let you:
- Access an array of brand-safe advertisers
- Customize the number and format of ads, as well as ad placement
- Implement different ad strategies for different device types (e.g. desktop vs. mobile) simultaneously
- Integrate the service with your site without compromising user experience
- Comply with privacy laws and user settings
Here’s what each company offers:
Monumetric Ad Stack
Because Monumetric has four tiers of support, publishers in the Propel Program are locked out of their full suite of ad tech and types. In general, however, their client-side header bidding wrapper offers access to a direct private marketplace, pre-bid enabled video ads, in-image and in-line ads, and content dynamic mobile ads. Publishers get to control the number and category of ads (though Propel members must have at least six ad slots).
Mediavine Ad Stack
Mediavine mixes a private marketplace with direct sales and influencer campaigns, allowing them to offer support for many verticals, including Food & Drink, Travel, Personal Finance, Family & Parenting, Home & DIY, Arts & Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Hobbies & Interests, and Style & Fashion. They also employ targeting, site takeovers, seasonal packages, and DEI site lists to ensure your ads are relevant to your target audience, increasing revenue. Finally, their proprietary technology allows them to comply with GDPR, Sellers.json, Ads.txt and CCPA, increasing brand safety.
As for the logistics of the ads, their “super auctions” allow you to incorporate display ads, native ads, and video ads to your site, with interstitial ads available for tablets and mobile devices. In addition, they use lazy loading to keep these ads from slowing down your site.
Snigel Ad Stack
Snigel’s header bidding solution AdEngine has several ad tech features designed to help publishers maximize their ad monetization. For Snigel, higher revenue is not about more ads; it's about the right ads in the right places.
First, it connects you to the top SSPs, including Google AdX, Magnite, and Amazon Publisher Services. Its AI bidder optimization impacts where and how your ad space is auctioned off to ensure you’re receiving the highest possible bids with the fastest possible loading speeds. Meanwhile, dynamic floor pricing continuously adjusts the price to match current market conditions, improving CPM and preventing empty space.
On the site visitor side of the ad equation, there are two powerful tools that come into play: smart refresh and adblock revenue recovery. When a certain amount of time passes or the user takes certain actions (such as switching tabs), smart refresh cycles out the existing ads and brings in new ones, letting you make more money on one space. Adblock revenue recovery, meanwhile, detects when users have adblock enabled and will display ads that are compatible with their settings, maximizing potential profit.
Speaking of users, their experience is also important to revenue; if they become overwhelmed by or refuse to interact with ads, or if slow site speeds wear out their patience, then your ad revenue will go down. That’s why Snigel uses a lightweight ad stack designed to preserve the user experience, and why our ad operations experts continuously monitor your site’s health.
In terms of ad display, AdEngine provides plenty of customization options, allowing you to decide how many and what type of ads you want on your site (including native video ads through AdStream). Some of these ad formats include adaptive ads which fill your space with whatever combination of ads offers the highest revenue, super adhesive ads which display large ads in smaller spaces, and interactive ads which drive up revenue by encouraging user engagement. The flexibility of these customizable offerings allows us to serve quality ads to any vertical.
Finally, our AdConsent platform complies with the GDPR & CCPA, empowering users to decide what level of ad targeting they’re comfortable with and allowing you to protect their privacy while preserving your site's health.
How You Make Money
When considering how much revenue you can earn with a partner, many publishers focus on which one has the best revenue share (lowest commission or rate), but it’s important to keep in mind the other factors discussed above which can affect how much you can earn with each partner in the first place. In other words, a higher commission partner may give you more net earnings if their strategy, support, and ad stack help you generate more revenue overall.
For example, publishers who partner with Snigel see an average increase in ad revenue of 30% or more due to our customized ad strategy and advanced, AI-powered ad tech. Another thing to consider if a header bidding solution offers tiered pricing is what’s included in each tier. Finally, it’s important to know how frequently you receive payments as this will affect the predictability and reliability of your passive income.
Monetization with Monumetric
Monumetric takes a 15–30% commission depending on what ad tech you use on your site. Note that their offerings are tiered; you only gain access to all ad tech and types once you sign up for the Ascend Program, and the Propel Program also has a $99 setup fee. However, all programs pay out on a NET 60 basis.
Monetization with Mediavine
Mediavine operates on a transparent, no-hidden-fees revenue share, with publishers getting 75% by default. However, there are bonuses for performance as measured by amount of traffic (An additional 5% per 5 million impressions per month up to 15 million impressions) and loyalty, which can boost revenue up to 90% for high-performing sites. Optional ad units available through Gum Gum and Chicory similarly have 90% go to the publisher.
There’s a rolling 30-day revenue share calculation available in the dashboard based on ad impressions, meaning you can check how much you’re earning even before the NET 65-day payout through Tipalti. However, new customers are locked in for 90 days, and existing customers must give 30 days notice to cancel.
Monetization with Snigel
Snigel offers a competitive 20% revenue share model (publishers get 80% of revenue) that’s free of tiers, and our NET 30 basis means you’ll get your money the fastest of all three options — and unlike Mediavine, you’re not locked in. We can pay in either EUR or USD via wire transfer.
If you’re using a self-serve platform, how easy it is to implement and manage your header bidding solution is crucial. If you’re working with a partner who does it for you, like Snigel, it’s not as much of a concern. That said, most self-serve platforms will provide basic customer support if their ad tech isn’t performing as it should. If you need a custom setup, however, you’ll need to consider how functional the dashboard is and your capacity to monitor your site and create those customizations on your own.
Monumetric Ease of Use
Their onboarding includes installing and testing tags for you on your site unless you request to do it yourself. After that, you’ll need to rely on their self-serve dashboard (though they do offer site audits for users of the Ascend level or higher).
Mediavine Ease of Use
The user-friendly self-serve Mediavine dashboard lets you monitor metrics like earnings, payments, and site health, as well as providing advanced reporting and settings functionality. In addition, they have an online repository of helpful articles in addition to their customer service.
Snigel Ease of Use
In addition to designing, implementing, and managing your ad strategy, our dedicated ad operations experts will monitor your site performance for you. Furthermore, Snigel implements ad tech for you, creates custom setups, and does any necessary troubleshooting and debugging. The key to Snigel’s great experience for publishers is our dedicated ad ops experts. Unlike a ticketing system where a new rep handles each incoming query, with Snigel, a single person is dedicated to your site(s), so they get to know the details, the tech, and the strategy of your site. As more time passes, they continue to get to know you and your site more and become like a partner with you on optimizing your ad setup and strategy to maximize revenues.
Here’s how clients of the three header bidding services rate their experiences.
Snigel is a verified company on Trustpilot and has 4.4/5 stars based on 28 reviews (at the time of writing).
Monumetric and Media Vine Ratings
If you’re curious about why so many of our customers are satisfied with our customized ad strategies and lightweight ad stack, get in touch today.