While some reports have warned of a downturn in Web ad spending, well-known publishers with quality sites are seeing their brand advertising rates hold steady.
That's the take of Russ Fradin of Adify, which has 140 networks around the world using its ad-network technology platform.
On those vertical networks, Adify has "seen CPMs for branded content stay remarkably constant in the last nine months," says Fradin.
Sites like Forbes, which sells its brand ads through its own networks, are also starting to take control of their excess inventory, which they used to sell through third-party networks.
The reason? The desire to protect the publisher's brand and CPMs, which can often run into conflict with ad buyers trying to do their best to finish selling a campaign by offering lower rates.
"The last thing you want is for a media planner to say, 'I can get on your site for 20 cents' (through a remnant network), why should I pay you $20?"
Since being bought by Cox Enterprises -- a unit of Cox Cable -- Adify has expanded from 90 networks and has made a push overseas. Its first big client Down Under is Gourmet Ads.
Fradin says the acquisition has given Adify access to resources and support that allow it to focus on its core business -- providing technology and back-office support to ad networks.
As CPMs hold steady, sell-through rates across Adify's networks range from 20% to 90%, Fradin says.
It all depends on whether a network is trying to do "a land grab," that is, lowering ad rates to capture more readers and revenue, or is keeping rates high to maximize profit.
As for video ads, Fradin says he's seeing more demand for a hybrid model, rather than the lengthy pre-rolls that have become the favorite of advertisers even as consumers grow to loathe them.
The newer model has a short pre-roll paired with surrounding ads mid-roll and followed by another quick ad post-roll.