Brand Safety Media Piracy Tools & Tech Transparency

What’s an Interest-Based Publisher and Why Should Advertisers Care?

webhank // March 1, 2019

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It’s no secret we do things differently here at Sovrn. As an ad exchange that doesn’t play the game like everyone else, we’ve found our niche in enabling the best interest-based publishers on the web. We work with these publishers to prevent brand safety issues, filter out fraud, and increase viewability. Then we package up their inventory and make it available to advertisers.

But what is an interest-based publisher? Isn’t every publisher interest-based in one form or another?

Good point. Content is consumed first and foremost because of interest. When we talk about interest-based publishers at Sovrn, we’re thinking of mid- and long-tail publishers who sit outside the mainstream but provide significant value to their readers. One of our favorite such publishers on the Sovrn exchange is

Instructables is for people who love to have fun making stuff. It contains thousands of step-by-step, community-powered how-to guides for consumers to create, share, and revel in the awesomeness of making just about anything. The site was created by Eric Wilhelm and Saul Griffith in August 2005, and is currently owned by Autodesk. Instructables started working with Sovrn in 2016.

According to Lauren Gerber, Yield Manager, Autodesk, the most popular articles on Instructables focus on technology followed by workshops and food. Their audience skews male at 58% and is most popular with the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups. When asked if she had any tips for advertisers who want to make the most out of campaigns hitting Instructables, Ms. Gerber said, “Be authentic and fun.” We think that’s great advice since authentic and fun is a perfect description for the content you’ll find throughout

Great story, but why should advertisers care about interest-based publishers instead of mainstream sites?

Mid- and long-tail sites give your campaigns several advantages. You’re gaining additional reach. Your ads are less likely to appear near your competitors. You may even find performance advantages to advertising on smaller sites. Think about your own behavior. Are you more likely to pay attention and engage with ads on sites where you feel an attachment to the content or that mega news site where you check in to find out the latest big story and quickly move on to something else?

Sounds good. But aren’t there more brand safety and fraud risks in the mid- and long-tail?

That’s where Sovrn comes in. We know advertisers need to be feel safe when wading deeper into the ocean of the web. That’s why we’ve set up rigorous standards for any publisher who wants to be part of our exchange. Every site goes through a meticulous 25-point inspection by two humans, and we reject far more than we accept. It’s worth it though. We’re one of only five companies to achieve TAG Platinum status for certification against fraud, malware, piracy, and inventory quality.

The bottom line is there’s a lot of upside for advertisers when it comes to interest-based publishers. If you want to hear more about advertising opportunities on or any of the 2,000+ direct, interest-based publishers we work with, hit us up at

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