Pay to play.
That’s what Ezoic Premium ads is all about.
Actually, it’s about more money in your pocket, but it definitely bucks the trend from other ad platforms.
There are several plan options, each with three tiers. The idea is you pay a fee, Ezoic deploys higher paying ads on your site, you earn a profit from the fee.
Fortunately, Ezoic tells you exactly how much you’re earning with premium ads so you know whether they’re profitable. I’ve yet to read an account or hear from a publisher who hasn’t profited from the Premium Ads program.
To date it’s been profitable for me. That does not mean I don’t take issue with it. I do (which I set out below), but I continue using it because the benefits outweigh the cons. At the end of the day, I earn a profit from Premium Ads so I continue running them.
Table of Contents
- Invitation Only
- My Results
- What are the Benefits of Ezoic’s Premium Ads?
- Cons of Ezoic’s Premium Ad Program
- Should you do the annual or monthly plan?
- Do you have to use the Premium Ads program?
- What happens if overall revenue goes down?
- How long does it take to be invited after starting with Ezoic?
- Is there a free trial period?
- What if your site makes $1 million per month?
You need to be earning a certain amount of ad revenue in order to be eligible. As far as I can tell, as soon as you reach that level, you’re invited. Accepting is simple. You pay the fee for your eligible plan and you’re in. Premium ads start running within 24 hours. You see results quickly.
In the beginning, as the weeks progress, you may be invited to access higher tiers as you accrue more ad revenue. Eventually you’ll reach your ceiling. My current ceiling is
November 2019 was the first full month I’ve been in the Premium Ads program.
I started November on a lower plan and escalated up over the course of the month ultimately ending up on the Elite 4 Diamond Plan. Here’s the breakdown for all my sites on Ezoic:
- Premium Ads Revenue from all sites: $12,290
- Premium Ads Cost: $9,140*
- Net profit: $3,150
- ROI: 34%
While I’m currently on a plan that costs $14,375 per month, I only paid $9,140 in fees in November because for the first half of November I was on a much lower tier plan that cost way less. As my ad revenue accrued into my account, I became eligible for better plans.
What are the Benefits of Ezoic’s Premium Ads?
After being on the Premium Ads program for 6 weeks, I’ve deciphered several benefits and a couple cons. Here they are.
Numbers don’t lie. I earn more from the premium ads than it costs me. It’s hard to suggest this is a lousy deal. While it’s not tens of thousands in profits, it’s a few thou which I’ll take any day of the week.
Credit card rewards
My monthly fee for Premium Ads is $14,375. I pay it on my AMEX. That’ll add up to over 150,000 rewards points over the course of a year which will pay for part of a nice vacation.
Discover affiliate opportunities
In the Premium Ads portal you can see the percentage of premium ad revenue generated by all advertisers. If there’s a particular advertiser or two who generate the lion’s share and they offer an affiliate program, you know they’re profiting nicely from your site so it may pay to slap up a few banner ads with affiliate links.
Increase the possibility of profiting from paid traffic
Premium Ads increases your site’s EPMV (earnings per 1,000 visitors). Anything that props up EPMV gives you a greater opportunity to profit from paid traffic. While I’ve not been able to make paid traffic work on the Premium Ads program, some site owners might.
No revenue share with Ezoic
The Premium Ads fee is the only fee Ezoic earns from me. I don’t begrudge Ezoic making money from me. They aren’t a charity. One way or another they’re getting paid. The Premium Ads program is a transparent model because I know exactly how much Ezoic is earning from me.
Cons of Ezoic’s Premium Ad Program
Rubs me the wrong way
I do not like the idea of paying an ad provider fees for better ads. IMO, peak performance should be a standard offering. In some ways, a straight percentage split on revenue sits better with me but then that’s the arrangement I’m accustomed to with AdSense and other ad network. The pay-to-play model is different and it’ll take me a few months to warm up to it.
I pay a huge fee way before I receive the ad revenue generated. I don’t like this one bit. I pay $14,375 on the 23rd of the month but don’t receive the revenue from that cost until the 30th of the next month. This results in a cashflow issue especially during the first couple of months using Ezoic.
For example, I ascended to the 4 Diamond Plan ($14,375 per month) on November 13, 2019. On November 23, 2019 I was charged a tad over $20,000 for the Premium plan. This confused me but it turns out that $20K covered that tier from Nov. 13 to the 23 as well as to the next billing date which is December 23. What this means is that in the beginning, as you escalate to your highest eligible plan, you’re going to take a cashflow hit until you’re paid out those fees 30+ days later.
Can’t manually downgrade your plan
This issue baffles me. If you upgrade, you are cut off from manually downgrading to a lower plan if you prefer a lower plan. If your revenue goes down, the system will over time downgrade you automatically, but I prefer being able to manually downgrade when I want to downgrade if/when it’s necessary. Ezoic will not make exceptions here. So once you upgrade, you can either quite the entire Premium Ads plan at the end of the billing cycle or let Ezoic automatically downgrade you, but this only happens if your revenue drops.
Committed for entire month (or year)
When you pay for the month, you do not receive a pro-rated refund if you quit the program part-way through that month (whatever your billing cycle is). Therefore, if you upgrade, be certain you wish to be at the higher level for the entire billing cycle.
If you commit for the entire year, you are committed. I believe you can quit but you are on the hook for 50% of the plan’s fees for the rest of the year, which usually isn’t an option. So basically, you’re signing a 12 month contract. While the profits are higher on an annual plan because the fees are quite a bit less, you need to be absolutely certain that you want to use Premium Ads for the entire 12 months.
Should you do the annual or monthly plan?
I currently do the monthly plan but I’m tempted to switch to the annual plan because I’ll earn quite a bit more in profit. The difference in monthly cost is considerable.
However, a year is a long time to commit and you are on the hook for those fees even if you quit Ezoic. Given the monthly fee on the annual commitment is $11K, that’s a hefty sum to commit to for a year. For now I’ll hedge and stick with a monthly program.
Do you have to use the Premium Ads program?
No, you aren’t obligated to use it.
What happens if overall revenue goes down?
In the event your ad revenue drops, Ezoic will automatically lower you to a less costly plan. In theory, you should still profit from Premium Ads because of this automatic detection. I’ve not had this happen so I can’t speak to it, but that’s what I’m told.
How long does it take to be invited after starting with Ezoic?
It takes a few weeks for the invite to arrive so don’t expect it on day two after going live with Ezoic.
Moreover, even if you earn $50K per month, you won’t be invited to that tier plan right off the bat. The first tier will be lower but as you accrue revenue each day, at various intervals you’ll be invited to upgrade to higher tiers. This takes several weeks.
Is there a free trial period?
Yes. You can turn them on for 2 weeks at no cost to you. This free trial period gives you an idea as to whether it’ll be profitable for you.
What if your site makes $1 million per month?
There’s a plan for that. It’s the top plan called 7 Diamond that maxes out at $10 million per month. What happens if you earn more than $10 million per month?
I don’t know. I’ll let you know when I get there 🙂
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.