An ad server is a computer server, that handles services and technologies for the placement of ads on websites. This usually done through ad server software that provides specific services for ad placement and monitoring of advertising campaigns.
An ad server is generally a web server that stores the advertising material of an online marketing campaign and displays them on one’s own or on another website. Before the display of advertising materials such as banners or text ads can begin, campaigns and the corresponding ads must be stored in the ad server.
Additionally, ad servers perform other functions, such as the documentation of the number of impressions and clicks for an advertising campaign. Based on that data, a comprehensive report can be created which may assist an advertiser in evaluating the ROI.
An ad server can be run locally or remotely.
Local ad servers usually run directly through an affiliate marketing merchant and publisher, who is the advertiser at the same time. The advantage of a local ad server is that the publisher has full control over the created advertising campaigns.
Remote ad servers are used when you want to display the ads with publishers on several websites. The campaigns are managed through a central source so that advertisers and publishers can track the distribution of their online ads, but have no operational expenditures from the administration of the ad server.