How Much Does Outbrain Cost and Other FAQs

By Jairene Cruz-Eusebio

Outbrain is the largest discovery platform for publishers, powering content recommendations that brands and media companies use to engage readers and increase monetization. People everywhere love discovering great stories, articles, and videos — and then sharing them with their friends, family, and whatever network they have. 


Outbrain enables publishers to expand their business by maximizing revenue from this discovery activity. At the same time, advertisers get unparalleled access to engaged consumers through high-quality content recommendations that can boost their brand lift and performance. 

In simple words, Outbrain is like Google Ads, except that it focuses on native advertising formats. Instead of paying to advertise on Google, you can pay to have your content shared on websites that are part of the Outbrain network.


How Does Outbrain Work?

Using a proprietary algorithm, Outbrain offers a choice of compelling links on how to spend your time online along with matching content from premium publishers. Together, these elements create opportunities for advertisers to increase awareness and engagement with their brand and drive website visits. 

Outbrain recommends content based on what it knows about users, including their interests and the content they have recently read or shared.

To be more precise how it works, Outbrain has a software application programming interface (API) that is used by publishers to include links from Outbrain in their pages. This makes the content recommendations look as if they are part of the website, not a paid advertisement.


How Much Does Outbrain Cost?

There’s no set price because you only pay for the traffic you receive! Outbrain is a Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising network, which means you only pay when someone clicks on one of your ads. 

The CPC model gives you the flexibility to pick how much you want to spend and only pay for results. Prices vary depending on how much traffic you want but typically start at around $0.03 per click. While $0.03 per click sounds too low, this is actually just the minimum. If you want to receive clicks and high-quality traffic, you would have to increase your bid to about $0.50 to $1.50 per click. The cost depends on the geolocation and industry.

Now, if you have a specific budget and you don’t want to spend more than this, you can place budget limits on your ads. There are two types of budgets that you can set:

  • Lifetime Budget - With a lifetime budget, Outbrain will display your ads to as many people as you can within a specific time frame. If you do not indicate a time frame, Outbrain will spend all your budget immediately, stopping only when the funding is used up.


  • Daily Budget - With a daily budget, Outbrain will show your ads until it uses up all your budget for the day. You can set a start and end date, or you can leave it running without end, pausing the campaign manually.

Doing the latter can be problematic since you cannot properly allocate your resources and may end up spending more than you intended.


How Does Outbrain Charge the Advertiser?

As we’ve discussed above, Outbrain only charges advertisers for the number of clicks times the Cost per Click that their ads receive.

If your ad did not receive any clicks, then you would not have to pay a dime. However, take care in making sure that your ad has a high Win Rate. A Win Rate is the rate at which your ad receives clicks compared to impressions.

If Outbrain realizes that your ad has a low win rate, then your ad can be given a low score and might cause your ad not to show up. After all, Outbrain is not earning from you, no matter how much they display your ads!


Billing Cycle of Outbrain

As the campaign spends, Outbrain bills the advertiser at the end of each day. For example, if an advertiser spends $100 on day 1, they are billed $100 at the end of Day 1. 

If they spend an additional $50 on Day 2, they are then billed for a total of $150 at the end of Day 2. This billing cycle continues until the advertiser either reaches its budget limit or the end of the campaign. 

Also, Outbrain charges a monthly credit card processing fee depending on the billing country. If an advertiser’s credit card is declined, Outbrain will suspend the campaign until payment is received. If payment is not made within seven days, the account and all active campaigns will be canceled.


What Happens When the Billing Is Not Paid?

If you do not have a valid payment method on file, your account will be temporarily suspended and you will not be able to run campaigns. Outbrain also reserves the right to terminate any account for any reason, including violation of terms and conditions and bad ad quality.

Overall, how Outbrain bills its advertisers is very simple. You only pay for the traffic you receive, and billing occurs at the end of each day. There are no set-up fees or contracts. You can also pause or cancel your campaigns at any time.



Is Outbrain Worth It?

Definitely. Outbrain is one of the top native advertising platforms online. So if you know how to properly target your ads and create interesting ad creatives, then you won't go wrong with this network.

Read our review of Outbrain here to see what we think.


What Are Oubrain's Payment Options?

Outbrain accepts all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) but you have to make sure you are on the list of “approved merchants” in order to use a credit card. They want to expand internationally, so other payment options will be added soon.


Final Thoughts

Native advertising is a great way to make your content stand out from the rest, and at Outbrain, their three main goals are simple:

  1. To help you get more traffic.
  2. To help you lower your ad spend without losing quality traffic.
  3. To help you see how effective your ads were after they run.

You can set a budget for how much you want to spend each day and Outbrain will never charge you more than that amount. Outbrain also offers great customer service to help you get the most out of your spending.


If Outbrain sees that you are spending a lot of money with them, they might even offer you managed campaign services wherein they handle your ads themselves at no additional cost. In short, you will be treated like a VIP. All they need to do is discuss your goals with you and make sure that you are taken care of.


We at Brax can help you easily manage your campaigns through our advertising management platform. Book a demo with us so we can show you how easy it can be to manage all your advertising campaigns on one platform.