Topsort versus Kevel

molly @ topsort

August 15, 2023
4 minutes
Industry Insights

Intelligent Monetization Engine vs Traditional Ad Server

Kevel, formerly known as Adzerk, is one of the classic names that help companies build traditional server-side ad platforms. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Kevel offers APIs that businesses like online communities, ad networks, traditional or non-traditional publishers, VR/game publishers, and marketplaces can use to build an ad platform.

Kevel actually has some great features such as Kevel Relay and Kevel Audience, but at their core, they’re a traditional ad server.

What’s the big picture? Traditional solutions don’t solve modern issues.

An ad server is focused on delivering and tracking ads, while an auction engine (like Topsort) is focused on selling ad space through a competitive bidding process. In many cases, these two functions are integrated into a single platform. The issue with “just” being an ad server, with no engine, is that eventually, there’s a ceiling to the scaling.

Without the drive of an engine, there’s only so much Kevel’s technology can actually do. For example, self-service. If as a retailer, you’d like your brands to be able to advertise their own products, see their own data, control their own campaigns, then you need to choose a platform that has the technology to support this. The other option is to manage all of your brand’s campaigns with a team yourself, but eventually, you’ll hit a ceiling where you can no longer scale.

Ad servers like Kevel can track ads, but that doesn’t mean they have the power to show real-time reporting. You might get away with not giving your vendors full transparency now, but the world is shifting to a greater level of transparency where brands simply won’t advertise with you if they don’t see (and keep) the instant data.

Slow and steady won’t win the retail race

As an instant comparison from the get-go, Kevel can integrate within 6 months, that’s 6 months where you’re not building up your ad revenue… Topsort complete a full integration in 1 month, even less if your systems are built on one of our partners. Our fastest integration so far is 48 hours…

Side by Side Differences

There's a lot of elements to look at when deciding who to partner with. This table highlights a few key points we hear:

Kevel claims to help brands “take back the Internet”… unfortunately the internet is here to stay, retailers don’t need to work to take it back, they need to work out how to stay one wave ahead. We do agree with Kevel that Amazon and Google how many too many slices of the retail media pie.

In conclusion, Kevel, a pioneer of its time, is grappling with the limitations of its legacy approach. In contrast, Topsort has seized the opportunity to revolutionize the industry by aligning with modern retailers' needs. With a focus on privacy, relevance, optimization, and flexibility, Topsort is rewriting the rules of advertising, positioning itself as the partner of choice for retailers embracing the future.

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