Monetizing your content comes in a whole range of different shapes.
We talk a lot about email marketing subscriptions, online courses and even NFT selling. However, a more ancient way of monetizing your content and website is still very relevant: ads.
The most popular ad network out there is probably Google AdSense. But there are many other options to choose from.
In this post, we’ll focus on two main ad networks platforms: PropellerAds and HilltopAds. We’ll go through their main aspects, compare them and see which one is better.
But before, let’s talk a bit about how ad network platforms usually work.
Ad network platforms
An online advertising network connects advertisers to websites. That’s why both PropellerAds and HilltopAds offer services for publishers and advertisers: they match your site with top converting offers.
For this post, we’ll be focusing on the publisher’s side of these services which lets users register their accounts for free.
Ad networks can work with CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per mille or impressions), or other payment models, the user chooses which they prefer. In case you’re not familiar with CPM, I recommend you take a look at this post.
Another relevant aspect of these platforms is the level of customization. The sites we’re reviewing today are self-serve platforms, so they give advertisers the ability to control and optimize their campaigns.
Finally, remember that when you’re working with advertising networks, you must always turn off your ad-blocking extension! Otherwise, the site won’t load correctly. Sorry, 🙁
PropellerAds vs HilltopAds
What is PropellerAds
PropellerAds is an AdTech company that was founded in 2011 and has offices in the Czech Republic, the Isle of Man and Cyprus.
Since its launch, it has grown to become one of the most high-end Adtech platforms. They run more than 70K ad campaigns monthly and have about 32K active advertisers.
PropellerAds is popular among creators that work across different genres such as video games, software or social media.
What is HilltopAds
HilltopAds is an advertising network with headquarters in London. It launched in 2012 and became popular for its anti-ad blocking technology.
HilltopAd is, more specifically, a pop-under network. For those not familiar with the term pop-under, it’s similar to a pop-up but sneakier. Marketing Terms say “pop-under ads linger behind the current browser window, appearing only after other windows have been closed”.
HilltopAds top niches are entertainment, video and games.
Ad networks don’t let everyone in, unfortunately. HilltopAds only accepts websites with 5K and up unique visitors per day.
PropellerAds, on the contrary, doesn’t have minimum requirements for traffic. As long as your traffic is real and organic, you’re good.
Also, I think it’s kind of obvious, but the content of your website can’t include anything illegal or erotic/pornographic materials in order to be eligible.
PropellerAds runs campaigns in any language and accepts publishers from almost all countries in the world. You can go to this page to check if your country is available.
As to HilltopAds, it seems like they support most countries, however, they don’t provide clear information about it.
PropellerAds offers 5 types of ad formats: push notifications, on-click ads, in-page push, interstitials and smart links.
As to HilltopAds, they are constantly updating their ad formats. Currently, they have 6 types: push notifications, video ads, native ads, pops, direct links and display banners. If you go with video ads, you can also choose between pre-rolls and in-video ads.
HilltopAds has an anti-ad-blocking solution that helps you deliver your ads to the viewers even when they have their Ad-blocker active.
PropellerAds also has a technology that bypasses ad blocking software. So you’ll be able to deliver ads no matter what!
PropellerAds lets you receive your payments on PayPal, Payoneer, ePayments, Skrill, WebMoney and Wire Transfer. You don’t have to request them manually since they are automatically sent to you every Thursday. Plus, the minimum withdrawal is just $5!
HilltopAds, on the other hand, sends you weekly payments to PayPal, Bitcoin, Wire Transfer, WebMoney, Capitalist or Tether. They pay every 7 days on Tuesday with a 7-day hold system.
However, the minimum withdrawal is higher than PropellerAds’ and varies depending on your preferred payment option. Plus, fees may apply from ePayService.
The maximum deposit amount is $5,000 per day.
PropellerAds achieved ISO/IEC 27001 Certification last year. This means they improved their security by including asset management, security policy development, hands-on employee training and extensive regular auditing.
HilltopAds, on the other hand, has an in-house security system that automatically rejects bot traffic, clicks farms, malware, and viruses. Moreover, Hilltopads platform offers full HTTPS by generating HTTPS ad tags.
PropellerAds’ site is available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
HilltopAds, however, seems to only be available in English for now.
As we mentioned before, both platforms let you open a publisher account for free. If you’re an advertiser, you’ll need to talk to each platform and pick the right premium plan for you.
They both offer promo codes via email and their corresponding Telegram channels, so staying connected is key.
Propeller has a feature called Multitag. A multipurpose tag basically contains all ad formats at once for easier integration. You create 4 tags of different ad formats with just 1 click!
And HilltopAds recently added a campaign schedule for ads. So now you can now choose the exact time and day of the week when your ad will be active.
They also let you target ads not only by cities but also by US states.
Finally, both platforms offer real-time detailed statistics, so you can make any necessary optimizations immediately.
Features for advertisers
When it comes to their services for advertisers, HilltopAds and PropellerAds have tons of features, but here are some of the main ones:
HilltopAds shows you which are the top traffic GEOS with the best rates for desktop, Android and iOS.
PropellerAds has a similar technology that estimates how much traffic is available in a certain country, device and operating system.
Both platforms have Real-Time Bidding (RTB) systems. This feature helps you take advantage of changing bid prices in real time and access billions of daily impressions.
PropellerAds’ Audience feature makes finding your target audience super easy. They have custom-made audiences for every vertical. You just have to choose the settings for your target audience like age, gender and interests (finance, dating, etc) and done!
HilltopAds also has advanced targeting options. You can choose your audience considering GEO, Browser, OS, Device type, Mobile carrier, Day/hour, IP Range and more!
Support and resources
HilltopAds has 24/7 support and a blog full of news and useful materials. You can contact them via email or phone (if you are in the US or UK). Sadly, I tried messaging them and didn’t receive an answer for days.
PropellerAds resources, however, are more complete. Besides a blog and a knowledge base, they offer free webinars and regularly update their YouTube channel, and have videos with subtitles in Spanish. They even have a PropellerAds 10-Year Birthday mockumentary if you want to have some laughs.
PropellerAds also is much more present in terms of support and they respond on the same day.
PropellerAds Pros and Cons
- It doesn’t have minimum requirements for traffic.
- Available for almost any country in the world.
- Tons of free educational resources.
- No header bidding.
HilltopAds Pros and Cons
- Known for their anti-ad-blocker.
- Strong security.
- You can receive payments via Bitcoin.
- It only accepts websites with 5K or more visitors.
- It doesn’t offer a lot of learning resources.
PropellerAds and HilltopAds are super complete advertising networks that will definitely help you whether you want to monetize your content or advertise it. They are great alternatives for Google AdSense and other big platforms.
However, which one should you choose?
Well, it all depends on your needs, of course, and whether you meet their terms or not. Beginners will most likely feel better with PropellerAds since it has tons of learning resources. Plus, HilltopAds won’t accept small websites.
But if you meet HilltopAds terms, are in the US and/or want to use Bitcoin as a payment option, you should totally go with HilltopAds.
You should also keep in mind that both platforms are constantly making updates and adding new features, so do stay up to date with their services.
Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s your choice. Which one do you pick?
Tell us in the comments!