‘Made for Advertising’ Programmatic Ads: What are they and what’s the strategy?

‘Made for advertising’ programmatic ads are all over the internet. If you know sites like the Magellan Times, Adventure Crunch, or Its The Vibe, the articles are purely there to get advertising revenue.

One minute, you’re reading a political article, checking the weather in your zip code, or the latest score to a sporting event.

And before you know it, you’ve clicked on a headline about pool noodle hacks that will completely change your life

If you’ve spent more than a few minutes online, then this is probably a relatable experience.

It’s basically clickbait ‘made for advertising’ ad inventory. The only point of these sites is to deliver filler content with an intriguing headline to get you to watch ads that help other companies sell their products or services.

Using content recommendation platforms like Taboola or Outbrain, these sites place ads on legitimate news sources like ESPN, getting people to click with ridiculous headlines through to their sites.

Once users click, they’re taken to these sites that are filled with more or less weird, pointless articles that are well-optimized for ads.

Publishers like Huff Post, Vox, CNN, USA Today, and countless other media outlets have a hard time saying no to platforms like Taboola or Outbrain.

After all, few want to turn down the extra revenue. The media business is getting squeezed financially by social media and other forms of competition, so it’s hard to say no.

How programmatic advertising works makes it easy for brands to show up on the clickbait sites these platforms direct people to, whether marketers realize it or not.

How much of it is out there?

  • Made for advertising inventory is snapping up as much as 12% of global programmatic web display ad spend, based on Jounce Media statistics, which looked at over 2,000 sites it labeled as ‘made for advertising.’
  • Programmatic digital display ad spending will surpass $115 billion in the US alone next year based on eMarketer’s predictions.
  • That means potentially billions of programmatic ad dollars are spent on sites that house these articles.

And advertisers know these sites are low quality, compared with publishers that at least actually have a newsroom.

Bottom line

These sites that house ‘made for advertising’ programmatic ads are not really publishers in the traditional sense.

They typically don’t have a brand, loyal audience, or any type of content strategy.

Sites that have content related to oddball stuff like “This Japanese Island Seems Idyllic, But Residents Have To Live With Its Deadly Secret Every Day” are only looking to play the ad arbitrage game.

They are just trying to playing the numbers, monetizing third-party cookies data to profit off the eyeballs they bring to these advertisements.

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