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What is Ad Inventory?

Ad Inventory, or Advertising Inventory, refers to the collective advertising space that a publisher has available to offer advertisers. This space could be on websites, mobile platforms, apps, or even videos. These spaces are where advertisements are hosted and shown to users, and they are the real estate of the online advertising ecosystem. Typically, Ad Inventory is valued based on impressions or the volume of traffic that a publisher can channel toward an advertiser.

Types of Ad Inventory in Programmatic Advertising

Ad Inventory can be broadly classified into four categories, each having a distinct approach to audience targeting and ad placement.

Premium Guaranteed:

This type of Ad Inventory is high-quality space that is often sold directly by publishers to advertisers. Due to its premium nature, it commands higher prices.

Audience Targeted:

Here, Ad Inventory is categorized based on the specific audience it reaches, allowing advertisers to target their ads more effectively.


These are the leftover ad spaces that are not sold directly by the publisher. These are often less valuable but are still useful for Programmatic Advertising.


This type of Ad Inventory involves a deeper level of engagement, where an advertiser sponsors certain content or sections of a website.

Programmatic Advertising and Ad Inventory

In the context of Programmatic Advertising, Ad Inventory is typically bought and sold through automated software in real-time. This process, known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB), involves advertisers bidding on Ad Inventory, with the highest bidder winning the auction. Because of its real-time nature and efficiency, Programmatic Advertising has become a popular method for trading Ad Inventory.

Ad Inventory Pricing Models

The value of Ad Inventory is not just based on the number of impressions; several pricing models are used to determine its cost. Publishers may charge based on different key performance indicators such as:

Cost Per Action (CPA):

Charged based on the number of meaningful actions performed by users, such as signing up for a newsletter.

Cost Per Mille (CPM):

Charged based on a thousand impressions, irrespective of user actions.

Cost Per Click (CPC):

Charged based on the number of clicks the ad receives.

Balancing Ad Inventory and User Experience

While Ad Inventory is key for disruptive advertising strategies, care must be taken to avoid overwhelming users with excessive ads, which can lead to a drop in engagement and create a negative user experience. Advertisers and publishers must carefully manage their Ad Inventory to strike a balance between monetization and user satisfaction.

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Food Targeting Categories

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