About Publishers


Publishers are relatively known as the a company or person that prepares and issues books, journals, or music for sale.

But in the world of digital media, publishers are a company or a person that publishers any content available to access over any form devices through internet. Examples of publishers are BBC, Guardin, New York Times, Times of India. Any particular website that you acess including youtube which has content to offer are publishers. Now the ecommerce sites are also publishers since they are publishing certain contents but at the same time they are also selling you stuff. It’s a lot similar to shopping online. But lets talk about ecommerce a bit later on.

A publisher can have several websites that they own or can only own one particular website. It doesn’t have to necessarily produce the content. Lets take a look in depth about different types of publishers that usually are out there:


  • Display Publishers with No interactive: These are the publishers who would only have content on their website to be displayed for users to read with no interactions needed. They would usually have their content available for their users for free with no registrations needed.
  • Gaming Publishers (Small Fun Flash Games): These are the sort of publishers who usually would have free games available for users to play. They would have an option for the users to either login or play as a guest for fun.
  • Video Publishers: These are the publishers who usually would have their content in the form of video, though youtube is a form of video publisher it is also a form of platform that allows users to upload their own content that they can then share with the users.
  • Social Media sites: These are the sites that would allow you to connect to different users within that environment and share different things within the environment. The best examples for these type of publishers are Facebook, Myspace, twitter.
  • Paid publishers: These are the publishers where to access content you have to pay for the subscription and then only you are allowed to view the content, whether be it just written content or video content.
  • Search Engines: Even though they don’t necessarily provide any content they allow you to search for the type of content that you are looking for. The best example for a search engine is google.

The next question is how do these publishers actually make money, since a lot of publishers spend a lot of money to keep their sites online. Now lets first understand why do publishers have to spend money to run their sites, its free content right ? Internet is supposed to be free? Well yes accessing internet is supposed to be free but a wiseman once said nothing ever comes for free does it ?

So lets now think as a publisher, say we decide to start our own website a very basic one with just some content information , what all do we need:

  • Domain Name (Name for the site) well this doesn’t come for free. A domain name would usually cost you a minimum of 10$ to 15$ depending on what name you want. If it’s a very popular name the chances are its already been taken and to buy it might cost you thousands of pounds.
  • Web Server space: A server is just a computer which is on the internet network that stores all the website information. Now when you call your domain name, its that name which is pointed towards the web server IP address which then in return would show all the content that is hosted. So depending on the sort of content you have and the amount of traffic you predict the hosting can cost a minimum of few hundred dollars a year.
  • Content: Now this is the most important bit, a lot of publishers when they are starting out will hire people or have content from some other sites purchased to basically show it on their website. Now to pay the salaries for the people or to buy this content you have to pay them which is again the cost that they have to bear. This can cost anywhere between few thousand dollars or few hundred thousand dollars.
  • Website Designer / Developer: Now to build a website you need to either hire a website developer or ask a development company to build your website. You can check out the website section to now more in depth what sort of different languages are used or how a website is actually build. We are not going to go too much into detail about that here.

There are more other costs that are included which I am not going too much into detail at the moment. Now lets move on and see how do the publishers make money.

Well most of you must have giuessed it by now, advertising, well yes advertising is one of the ways to make money but not the only way for these publishers, lets see below the different ways through which these publishers make money:

  • Advertising: Well majority of the publishers make money through advertising. They would ask advertisers to pay money to display ads on their sites in the form of banners or popups or pop unders. There are various types of ad forms which you can check under advertising section to learn more about it.
  • Subscription: A lot of big publishers or websites would charge you a monthly or a quarterly or yearly fee to their users. This is how they usually would make majority of their revenue. Some of the publishers would also advertise even after charging for the subscription fee but the ads would be a lot fewer.
  • Donations: A lot of publishers like Wikipedia or some other sites that provide free valuable content will ask for donations from their users instead of showing any ads on their sites to basically run their sites. They wont necessarily make profit out the sites that they are running but the sites usually are for educational purpose.
  • E-commerce sites: These sites are fairly straight forward, they are like your daily normal stores but just online where you can go and shop. They usually would have a budget allocated within their business spend to run these sites, infact a lot of the retailers would spend more on online sites that the physical stores as its much cheaper to do that. We will go in more detail about that later on. I will also publish some links about how to make full use of it in a different section called Marketing.
  • Government Sites: Well they are not started to make any money but their prime purpose is to basically serve information to their users. That is why you usually wont see any ads on any of the government websites.
  • Social Networking sites: Well a lot of these sites would have different types of revenue method though majority of the way they make money is through advertising. They also have free apps that allows other people to come and showcase their apps and make money. We will go in detail about the revenue making business in a different section within this website as again that is an extensive topic to be covered.

Now since we know how the publishers would make money, lets now go a bit further. In terms of technologies we understood what needs to be done to build a website, now lets learn what technology they need to basically run ads on their site. Below is the basic tech that we need:

  • Ad server: Just like web server we need an ad server, it’s a place where you host ads and run them. If you want to learn more about ad servers feel free to visit the section ad server. Its quiet an extensive subject to cover in a short paragraph. Its one of the most important part of the entire eco system of digital advertising.

Now its fine to let advertisers run ads on the site but as a publisher

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