MODE Media Shuts Down: Replace Your Banner Ads With These Alternatives

Glam Media contacted me back in 2006 to join their ad network. I’ve enjoyed a nice decade-long relationship with them running banner ads (that pay RPM*) on my main sites and doing sponsored posts here and there. In 2014, they changed their name to Mode Media, I’m presuming to expand their market. Last year, Mode Media generated $90 million dollars in revenue. Yesterday, Mode Media shut their doors without any notice to their publishers. I immediately tried to log in to see how much is currently owed to me, and they already shut down the admin portal. Not cool.

*RPM = revenue per mille (thousand views) for publishers, also known as CPM (cost per 1000 views) for advertisers.

This is a prime example of why affiliate marketers and bloggers alike should never put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to generating revenue on their websites. The banner ads are still working on my sites, but it’s likely that Mode Media will still earn money on the impressions sold, but there’s a slim chance in hell that I’ll ever see my percentage of those ad buys.

Luckily I didn’t do a whole lot of sponsored blog posts for Mode Media. If you did, here is a list of blogger networks that all pay for sponsored posts.

I’m immediately changing all of the banner ad code on my websites to other networks to test with which one will ultimately pay me the most money. Here’s the list of ad networks that I’m considering to replace my Mode media banner ads (list updated 9/24/16).

  1. AdThrive – They require a monthly pagview minimum of 50,000 with access to Google Analytics to verify.
  2. Amazon CPM Ads – You set the CPM rate that you are willing to accept, and they guarantee with will only show ads that are paying that amount or higher (you will receive the higher amount if so). A passback code is required though in case they can’t reach your minimum amount (I use Google Adsense as my passback). I am running this on another site and set my CPM rate to $1 to test and am averaging $1.63 CPM.
  3. BlogHer (recently bought by SheKnows) – I added the badge to “try” to verify a site, but they said the code wasn’t found.
  4. Chitika – I used these guys years ago with some success, so I’m going to give them another try.
  5. Federated Media – They emailed me to join a few years back, but Mode did not allow anyone to work with them (among others in this list) while using them. We’ll see now if they approve me.
  6. Google Adsense – Pays Per Click (PCP) but they are the veteran of the bunch, and you’ll know you’ll get paid.
  7. GourmetAds – For publishers with food content (if you only post occassional recipes, that is fine).
  8. Media.net – This is a contextual ad network powered by Yahoo! and Bing. I currently run this on one of my sites and average $2.75 RPM (which I consider high), so I’m anxious to see if a site with different content will do as well.
  9. MediaVine – Requires 30,000 pageviews per month. Application form was a Google doc so that’s a tad sketchy.
  10. Meridian by Sovrn (formerly Lijit) – I’ve also used these guys in the past so giving them another shot, and they let you set a “floor price” and passback code.
  11. Monumetic (formerly The Blogger Network) – If you have under 80,000 pageviews per month, they want you to pay a $99 membership fee. I don’t believe in having to pay a fee to join a network.

Most ad networks don’t allow you to use more than three ad units per page. I usually add the following size units in the following sizes on my WordPress blogs:

  • 728 x 90 Leaderboard at the top of the page before the content
  • 300 x 250 Rectangle in the sidebar
  • 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper in the second sidebar (if available in theme)
  • 550 x 250 (or Responsive automatic size) on pages under the post content (if second sidebar isn’t being used)

Please note that some ad networks will not allow you to add advertising banners from other networks on the same site, so be sure to read their terms of service if wanting to add different ads on the same site.

Which ad network do you recommend for banner ads for the highest RPM?