Today, we have a guest post from Eyal Katz, Head of Marketing Operations at AdNgin. You may remember Eyal from our September post interviewing marketing professionals on their advice and perspective. He is sharing his expertise with us and delving into a carefully curated list of 10 startups that will help your ad revenue skyrocket in 2016.
It seems there’s another ad tech startup being born every week. A few of them succeed and grow. Others succeed a little less and get swallowed by bigger players. And, of course, most startups fail, but we rarely hear about those.
The ad tech startup scene, versatile as it is, is mostly full of startups offering services to marketers and brands only. It seems obvious to chase those with the budgets; go where the money is. But some startups understand that publishers offer the one product those advertisers will pay for – potential clients. So, they make sure to focus on publishers as well.
If you own a website, big or small, here is my list of ten interesting startups that might be able to help you make more money from your content in 2016.

Ad Blocker Blockers on the Block

The very mention of ad blockers makes most publishers cringe and advertisers sweat. Ad blockers have existed since the dawn of online advertising, but in the past few years they’ve become a real threat to ad revenues. These startups are particularly active in looking for a way to work around ad blockers and reach the users behind them.
Secret Media – A New York-based startup that is trying to tackle video ad blockers. They do this by using a patented multi-layer encryption algorithm to work around ad blocker blacklists. According to their CEO and co-founder, Frédéric Montagnon, they serve five million pre-roll advertisements to ad-blocked users worldwide.
PageFair – This Irish startup is not new on the block (pun intended), it was established in 2012. Their alternative ad network complies with certain standards set out by Eyeo, the company that makes Adblock Plus. So, instead of a blank space seen by ad blocking users, PageFair displays non-intrusive compliant ads.
Sourcepoint – Established by an ex-Googler, Sourcepoint promises it has the technology to punch through “all the ad blockers”. But their approach is a bit more holistic. They offer publishers and ad-blocking users options. A user can pay for the content, disable your ad blocker, or view a certain number of ads before you get access to editorial content.

Making Sense of AdSense

Online advertising is a crowded space, but no one doubts Google’s power and presence. No matter what size website or blog you have, Google AdSense can still be profitable. If you optimize it, of course.
AdNgin – An Israeli startup that offers smart ad revenue optimization through a bandit testing platform for publishers of all sizes. The ease of implementation (there’s even a WordPress plugin) makes it a no-brainer. If you’re a publisher making money from advertising? You can be generating more and you need to give AdNgin a try.

Looking Past Banner Blindness

There’s a variety of technological solutions claiming to have the ability to bypass ad blockers. But how can publishers deal with the plight of banner blindness? Some startups think they might have a solution.
Sticky – Although not aimed directly at publishers, this interesting piece of technology is worth noting. You already know how heat maps work – they track users’ clicks and mouse movement. But what if you could follow their eyes? All you’d need is a group of volunteers to browse your site with the webcam on. And then you’d know EXACTLY where to place your ads for maximal visibility.
Imonomy – Video monetization is all the rage. But it’s almost surprising that there aren’t more solutions for monetization of a much more common type of media – images. Another Israeli startup, these guys can help image-rich content publishers insert ads into pictures (their most valuable asset). And Imonomy already has some major advertisers, like Nike and Apple, in its client list.

Show Me the Money

Timing is important. It’s not always about how much you get paid, but also WHEN you get paid. Brands and advertisers offer payment terms that can be hard on publishers’ cash flow, and hurt revenues indirectly.
Payability – Instead of waiting for months to get paid, this New-York based startup offers publishers a shortcut. Payability lets publishers manage all their ad networks in one place, and get paid on their terms. Although this service won’t squeeze extra dollars from your ads, it might help you get those earning faster.

Look, Ma! No Banners!

It seems I can’t even type “advertising” anymore without autocomplete suggesting “native” in front of it. Native advertising is a popular method of dealing with ad blockers, ad blindness, and the need to diversify revenue sources for publishers. But it’s a tricky one. Many startups are trying to ride the native advertising buzz and some might even help you discover if native is right for you.
Native Ad Buzz – Picking the right content to create for maximal ad revenue is usually a guessing game. Staying on top of what’s hot, viral and profitable in the ad world at any given time can be a lot of hard work. Native Ad Buzz is trying to solve this by offering a kind of sneak-peek behind the scenes. Its dashboard allows advertisers and publishers to research successful ad campaigns in real time. For publishers, this tool can be invaluable when selecting what to write in order to attract the best paying ads.
TripleLift – Programmatic and native are both types of effective advertising, but combining them seems like a though challenge. And that’s exactly what TripleLift are trying to do. They’ve created a native advertising exchange and have worked with some leading brands like Nissan, GAP and Microsoft. If they manage to combine good looking, seamlessly placed ads with programmatic like they promise? They might just become the biggest players in native advertising in the next few years.
Cooperatize – Sponsored content is a challenge for publishers, especially small ones. Although it can bring in nice revenues, it requires a lot of overhead in negotiations with advertisers and marketers. Cooperatize is trying to bridge this gap by creating a marketplace where brands and content creators can connect and work together.

Keeping it Fresh

There’s no shortage in doomsayers claiming the ad tech bubble is bursting. But it seems the startup scene is still optimistic about creating solutions that are profitable for publishers and effective for advertisers. The ever-evolving world of online advertising demands publishers keep up to keep making money. My list of startups to increase your ad revenues is a short list of players to keep an eye on. If you think I missed any promising startups – let me know in the comments.
Thanks to Eyal for this informative guest post.AdNgin is a multi-arm bandit testing platform that helps publishers optimize their monetization channels. Before coming to AdNgin, I was a marketing professional focused on SAAS business models. 
AdNgin logo | The High Performance Blog