Advertising networks take note: 69% of publishers will drop an ad network over payment issues

Publisher loyalty to advertising networks is heavily determined by the payment experience. In a survey of 150 publishers globally, 69% of them said they were ready to drop an ad network due to payment issues. The survey has been conducted by payments automation solution provider, Tipalti, to assess the critical issues in publisher and ad network relationships.

Payments are a priority for publishers with 49% previously dropping a network because of issues with the process. A remaining 39% said they would consider ending the relationship if payment troubles arose. Among top-tier publishers, the issue is more pronounced. 65% of those who generate over $70,000 said they stopped working with a network because of payment issues, whilst half of those generating $200,000 in revenue said they would drop a network entirely due to payment issues.

For ad networks it’s worth considering that switching partners is easy given the huge competition in the market. For 95.4% of publishers, payment experiences are important. Among the top payment issues experienced by publishers in the last 12 months were also performance-related problems (8.8%).

In addition, publishers would like to be notified if there is a payment status change. Indeed, 93% of publishers agree that this would be a useful feature. Communication is vital in sorting out issues and too many ad networks were said to respond reactively.

For a majority of publishers it helps to be able to see transactions and activities online, and that need for self-service is becoming greater as some publishers may not have Internet access at all times or are located in different time zones where direct communication with accounts payable is harder to achieve.

Thus, early payments have become a more successful option for networks in attracting partners. 85.7% of respondents said they were interested in an early-payments feature and more importantly: they are willing to pay for it.

Being able to choose payment methods was important to 76% of publishers since situations change and so should payment methods. For example, payments to other countries may be preferable via wire transfer, whilst smaller payments are preferred via PayPal.

Another big issue for publishers are tax information collections. 38.3% of respondents said that their networks did not collect tax information prior to onboarding. Whilst US-based tax information collection may be simple, international collection can be challenging. There’s a considerable amount of manual work involved.

“As advertising networks around the world battle to compete with Facebook and Google for market share of the digital media landscape, the quality of those networks’ publishers and affiliate marketers becomes their essential differentiator,” said Chen Amit, CEO of Tipalti. “Publishers and affiliates have an abundance of network choice, and networks must clearly step up their payments offerings to attract and retain the best partners. Those networks that settle for low quality partners will likely not survive.”