JSON Ad Servers - Why You Need to Implement One

JSON ad serving is a relatively new technique, but it's incredibly powerful for publishers who want to ingest ad contents directly into their CMS or app. While the ad industry is accumstomed to using JavaScript (or HTML) tags as the standard means of delivering ads, more and more publishers are discovering the advantages of receiving raw data as a JSON object.

What is JSON?

JSON is an acronym for "JavaScript Object Notation". It is an open standard data format that uses objects made from key/value pairs with the goal of being human readable.

JSON ad serving uses the JSON format as a technique to deliver ad contents directly into a publisher's system. When an ad request is made (via a browser call to the ad server's API), the JSON response will contain the contents of the creative file and metadata about the creative (such as the advertiser, campaign, etc.)

A common misconception about JSON is that it is limited to use with JavaScript. In fact, JSON is the most common format used in Ajax techniques, passing data from server to client in real-time. Any language can take advantage of the JSON format.

By itself, JSON cannot load an ad on a page the way JavaScript tags will deliver an ad when called. But JSON is far more flexible than other ad delivery methods:

Advantages of JSON Ad Serving

  • Integrate native ad placements into your CMS or app. Since JSON allows the delivery of any number of content types, you can insert a native article, feature, video etc. directly into your system. Since your site or app isn't loading external content, the placement will be customized to appear to be completely native.

  • Deliver custom creative types with ease. JSON is adept at delivering ads with unusual requirements, like ads that call an internal database to load their content, ads that appear as push notificatons, etc. This is because the data in a JSON ad is accessible to any part of your site or app.

  • Serve any type of mobile ad. Mobile ad serving doesn't have to be limited to slim banners at the top or bottom of the screen. JSON lets you serve ads inside the app, serve full-screen interstitials, or any unit native to your app.

  • Take full control of the delivery process. For example, you serve a JSON text ad across dozens of sites and style it using the theme of the current page. Or, you can make Ajax requests based on user behavior without waiting for a pageload.

Want To Learn More?

Adzerk is an API-based platform for building your own JSON server-side ad platform. If you'd like to learn more, get in touch with us.