Premium Sites in the modern age of Mobile Marketing

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Premium versus the Rest of the World

Sites are ultimately placed in categories of genres and within those categories you have a finite amount of traffic that is generating  healthy CPM’s based on organic and paid.  Advertisers who care about their brand positioning want better visibility and transparency on traffic that is deemed premium. The best strategy to ensure this is through the purchase of programmatic platforms and it must be known that this will not be a cheap strategy to pursue moving forward. The best impressions available in the marketplace require strong creatives in order to ensure that bidding is optimized for best results. This is how premium is executed. 

Quality Publishers?

A brand can choose to outbid the competition and can take advantage of the incremental uplift in organic impressions that they are bound to receive. The balance in finding what is premium versus brand safe consequently becomes more important. Both are held in the eye of the beholder. Some premium traffic may not be considered brand safe while non-premium might be considered brand safe. Depending on how much reach an advertiser may want to achieve will depend on whether they are inclined to dip into non-premium traffic for that extra fill.

At a granular level, premium inventory is extremely difficult to define if not impossible. The relationship a user may have with certain specific sites and or brands may be deemed as premium in its own regard.   For instance, some people may visit two very different publishers regularly for news. There are certain users that may visit a source for their national news and another for international. A connection that runs deep and that is ongoing for many years certainly raises the stakes when it comes to audience development and or churn rates. There could be a deep and ongoing connection for many years that raises the stakes when it comes to audience development. Any effort to over monetize inventory with advertising can threaten this relationship. 

An advertiser that says they want to access premium inventory ultimately wants to access quality traffic.  The alignment of a publisher and an advertiser is of upmost importance and yields an unquantifiable amount of equity for each. The dilution of ad networks that have overplayed their hand on monetization will allow for direct deals to prevail moving forward. Contextual and relevant advertising between publisher and advertiser alike makes sense as the yield can be reinforced. Publishers simply create the demand and from there they can be deemed ‘premium.’ It can be delineated to a whole other level and that’s why this question can sometimes not be fully answered for everyone. There are sites like TMZ or CNN that may appear to be premium, however it’s either going to be borderline brand safe for some brands and or not relevant for others. 


Sites or publishers creating the most demand in the marketplace may be deemed as premium however this seems to be an antiquated way to view the landscape. Third party rankings rarely tell the whole picture especially if a network or publisher truly fits within the premium bucket. There is an abundance of bot traffic and malicious fraud that exists and one can reference at the content that a publisher produces to gauge whether they are indeed considered premium. Furthermore, fraudsters might even insert a premium app name into the tracking chain but the impression on that app never took place. There are companies that have put measures in place to counter this type of activity.

Content that audiences care about are managed by editorial staff and marketing directors. User generated content can be tracked as well and this is becoming consistently produced at rate that is altering the advertising space. One only needs to look at tik tok and the Generation Z movement to see that brands and influencers are changing the way we view premium. The word is being thrown around a lot as content consumption changes. 


All of advertising will be run by programmatic buys within the near future. As technology advances so will consumer segments for targeting purposes. Targeting is going to be one of the main strategies in programmatic and whitelisting is essential in order to optimize buying responses. Whitelisting can be a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end. The last thing an advertiser wants are a handful of low-quality sites that are mistakenly deemed premium impacting performance in a detrimental manner. A whitelist provides the security and transparency to advertisers to scale up in their efforts. Blacklisting is also required so that any problematic publishers are blocked from the get-go.

Formats & Audiences

Ad formats on their own and the degree to which they can be segmented is really what premium is a nutshell. You have audiences obviously which command whether the inventory in itself is premium but in terms of formats, the bottom of the barrel as far as quality is concerned are mobile banners. Further along we can the growth of rich media and video being the essence of a format that can yield strong returns within a granular level of an audience utilizing tools such as geo fencing. It’s not so much that the publishers be the focus nor the eCPM’s that they generate while an emphasis on user experience is compromised, it’s more about real time bidding. 

The ability to bid on things that will remain universal regardless of all the privacy noise, such as location, operating system, day parting and frequency allow for the word premium to be properly employed when used in conjunction with high impact formats.

Publishers that generate positive content and that yield strong monetization are not impossible to access. The strategies that are enabled are essential to creating a multi-faceted approach that considers the ever-changing landscape within the mobile advertising space. There should be less of an emphasis on scarcity. The balance between the quality of ad formats and audiences ultimately commands whether inventory can be deemed as premium. 

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