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Bitads Review

This is a review for the site Bitads.net, a self serving advertising platform that both advertisers and publishers can utilize very easily. I have been with the network since it was first started (and was, arguably in a beta state, although it still technically is), so I have quite a bit of experience with where it is and where it has come. Through this review I will be looking at the network in its entirety, with the hopes that maybe we can bring in some more people (and hopefully some more advertisers!).

As a disclaimer, I am trying to be as unbiased as possible. With that said, it is important to note that I do have a vested interest in the success of the network, being that I utilize them on my own sites. With that said, I will not attempt to sugar coat anything or spread false information in an attempt to try and trick people in to using the service.

As An Advertiser

As an advertiser, getting up and running with Bitads is fast and easy. All it takes is to sign up for an account, fund it (using Bitcoin directly or via the Inputs.io platform), pick some sites and then place the ad. Through this process, though, there is a lot of control and data.

When you first look at where you can place ads, there is a listing of sites and their current bids. You can also see how many clicks and views there are. It is important to note that these are both based on the unique number, rather than total. For example, if someone visits one page of your site they count as one visitor. If someone visits a thousand pages on your site, they are still just one visitor. Because of this, the data is a little skewed since it does not take in to consider branding (trying to get yourself in front of people as much as possible), although that can also work out by giving advertisers cheaper prices than they would otherwise.

The down side to this is that, at least as of right now, the advertising sizes do not include all of the “regular” ones. For example, there is no 125*125 option. While a publisher can reduce the size of one of their blocks (200*200 down to 125*125), the advertiser does not have any guarantee that this will happen. On a good note, Bitads has stated that they are looking in to (and will likely be) adding new sizes to at least cover all of the ones we are used to.

When it comes to the prices, each publisher can set their own “floor,” which is the lowest they will accept. When an advertiser puts in a bid, they have to at least hit that floor, and they are not necessarily advertising for the entire space. Instead, it is a fraction of the total impressions equal to their portion of the overall bid. For example:

  • If Site A bids 1 BTC a day and Site B bids 3 BTC a day, Site A gets 25% of the total impressions and Site B gets the other 75%
  • The number of sites that can place a bid does not appear to have any limit, so as you deal with more prominent and important ad blocks you can be competing with some large pools and many other advertisers

This does have its down side, as you can not do a site takeover unless you do direct advertising deals or there are not any other advertisers currently interested in that block. Even if you were to bid 99 BTC a day, if someone else bid just 1 BTC, they would still take 1% of the impressions. While this may not seem like a lot, it can be when it comes to branding deals.

As a Publisher

As a publisher, using Bitads is as simple as creating an account and adding sites and ad blocks. Just copy the code to your own site where you want the ads to show and that is all that has to be done. You can, however, customize the way the ads look when it comes to their size, and you can add things like fallback code (either images with links or scripts for things like Adsense or A-Ads). This gives you full control over where your ads are and how they react when you do and do not have any advertisers that are bidding on the block, ensuring you are not wasting space. If you choose not to use any of the customization, the ad block will show an image by default (when there are no advertisers) that lets viewers know that they can bid on your site. When it is clicked, it takes them right to the page where they can set up their campaign, letting you pull in advertisers a bit easier.

Withdrawing is very simple as well, and it is absolutely free if you are withdrawing from Inputs.io. To make things even better, when using this method the payments are also instant, so you can start spending them (or transferring them elsewhere) immediately! If you prefer not to go that route, you can also withdraw using the traditional method, on the blockchain. This comes with a pretty small fee of a single mBTC (or 0.001 BTC), which covers the transaction fee and will often net a very small amount to Bitads.

As for the costs of doing business with Bitads, they take a cut of 10% of all income. If you have an ad block that people are paying 1 BTC a day for, for example, you will net 0.9 BTC and Bitads will net the other 0.1. This may seem like a large charge considering it is 10%, but that is actually not very bad at all. Take, for example, Adsense. Adsense takes 32% of the net and passes the other 68% to publishers. Many self serving networks (which is what Bitads is closer to) charge up to 50% of the net and return the other half to the publishers. In all of these cases, Bitads wins without a doubt.

When it comes to placements, there are no rules with Bitads so far as I can tell. You can make as many blocks as you wish, where you wish, because it is the advertisers that will choose whether or not they want to advertise on your site. As a result, if you have too many blocks they are likely to pay less (or not at all) than for the most prominent ones. Because the advertisers can see both visitor count and click count, they can make well informed decisions on which spaces to bid for.

Conclusion

Bitads is an awesome, yet still small, network that allows publishers to have full control over their advertising spaces and to often earn more than they otherwise would. For the advertisers, there is also the ability to pick and choose not only the publishers you want but also the specific ad blocks, which gives the maximum about of customization all around. With its low fees and great features, Bitads is an awesome publishing network and I look forward to watching it continue to grow!

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