Content-recommendation ads have become the go-to approach for many publishers looking to monetize below-content space. At OKO we’ve long had a difficult relationship with content-recommendation ads as it’s an area where restrictive contracts, questionable ad quality and ever larger ad blocks often make it difficult to justify value to either publishers or users. However, that below-content space can add vital extra revenue for publishers.
Whilst many publishers may be perfectly satisfied with content-recommendation specialists like Taboola, Outbrain or any of the smaller competitors, others will be glad to hear of an alternative solution from Google. That solution is the newly launched Multiplex ads (currently in beta – see below for how to get involved).
What are Multiplex ads?
Multiplex ads have clearly been conceived as an alternative to content recommendation solutions like Taboola or Outbrain, but take a different approach. Rather than having a separate pool of content-recommendation demand, Multiplex Ads are a native format from Google that ties into their core advertising demand from Google Ads and partners. Multiplex may look like content-recommendation, but it isn’t.
Multiplex ads are served through Google Ad Manager much like other native ads. They allow for a group of ads to be served in a block that can be styled to match the publisher site. The result is AdSense/Ad Exchange ads that look more like a content recommendation block.
Multiplex ads are supported on desktop, mobile and tablet and some examples of layout formatting options are shown below.
What are the benefits of Multiplex ads?
Google Multiplex Ads are a very new format, but do promise some advantage over the content-recommendation ads that they are competing for space with:
- Google ads are more strictly policed than most competitors, reducing the risk of low ad quality on your users
- Google’s ad demand is significantly larger than anyone else in the market, giving you access to more advertisers
- No restrictive contracts
- Reliable payments
- Manage alongside other Google demand through Google Ad Manager
What are the drawbacks?
Multiplex are a very new format and still in limited beta release. As such, it is difficult to do a broad comparison across many publishers yet. Particularly in terms of performance, data is limited.
Depending on which content-recommendation provider you are currently working with, we would also expect objections if you are tied in to a contract with them and introduced Multiplex Ads.
Our advice would be to check agreements carefully and note that Multiplex are not content-recommendations. They are just a new format for the familiar Google Ads.
How to get Multiplex ads for your website
Multiplex ads are currently only available as part of an invite-only beta. We do not yet know when they will be in general availability. This gives publishers two options:
1. Publishers with their own direct Ad Exchange account can ask their Google Account Manager to be considered for the beta.
2. Those without their own Ad Exchange account can work with a Google Certified Publishing Partner that has access to the beta. Note, that not all GCPP will have access to Multiplex Ads. OKO are one partner with early access to the beta and can work with new and existing publishers to implement Multiplex.
Not many GCPP partners can offer Multiplex ads as the ad format is exclusively available in Beta. Publishers that work with OKO are able to get approved for Multiplex ads so if you’d like to learn more, reach out to our expert team today.
Dolly joined the OKO team in early 2019 and certified to Google Certified Publishing Partner status. Dolly manages publisher communication and learning at OKO.