This past year, in-app bidding has become the monetization solution of choice for app developers everywhere - a major shift from 2019, when multiple instances and traditional waterfalls were largely the norm. Not only do a majority of networks now support the technology, but Facebook Audience Network recently announced that by mid-2021, it will be a bidding-only network on Android and iOS. It’s advancements like this as well as other bidding-specific innovations and tools that will eventually encourage the industry to complete the shift to a pure bidding ecosystem.
To make the most out of in-app bidding, it’s important that developers use all the proper tools available to them. Let’s take a look at how to do just that.
Step 1: Use a platform with instant access to in-app bidding
By monetizing with a platform that makes in-app bidding available to all app developers, rather than limiting access to a select few, you’re better equipped to get started with in-app bidding right away - wasting no time setting up.
In October 2020, ironSource became the first mediation platform to allow developers of all sizes to instantly activate in-app bidding - without needing to hit a minimum DAU threshold or go through the usual pre-approval processes, as is typical with most in-app bidding solutions on the market. To get started, developers simply need to sign up to the ironSource platform and integrate the SDK.
Step 2: Choose from the leading ad networks
As any developer who’s had success with in-app bidding will tell you, it’s critical to activate as many bidding networks as possible. Since launching, ironSource has doubled the amount of bidding networks available and in the coming months will introduce many more.
Currently available as a bidder is ironSource, Facebook Audience Network, AdColony, and Tapjoy. Coming soon is myTarget, Vungle, InMobi, Smaato, and Pangle - some of which are in closed beta as of November 2020. If you’re a current ironSource mediation partner, you can request access by getting in touch with your account managers.
By activating a large number of bidding networks, you essentially increase competition for your ad space, driving up CPMs and revenue. What’s more, you get greater access and higher performance from niche demand. For example, myTarget is beneficial for users in Russia.
As Lynn Wu, Head of Business Development at Pangle told us, "We are proud to announce we are officially joining LevelPlay and opening the door to this powerful monetization solution for our developers. This launch comes at a time when in-app bidding is more important than ever. With extremely positive results during testing, we're confident that developers can maximize their returns while also leveraging the high levels of efficiency and transparency that LevelPlay provides"
"We're confident that developers can maximize their returns while also leveraging the high levels of efficiency and transparency that LevelPlay provides."
- Lynn Wu, Head of Business Development at Pangle
Additionally, Snap will soon come onto the ironSource mediation platform - which is set to bring performance demand from Snap's advertisers, aimed at Gen Z and Millennials.
Ali Rana, Director Revenue and Product Partnerships at Snap, says, “Partnering with ironSource will help the Snap Advertising Network grow and drive value for the world's top-grossing and most popular games. The scale and breadth of ironSource's reach will be very valuable for our advertisers.”
"The scale and breadth of ironSource's reach will be very valuable for Snap's advertisers.”
- Ali Rana, Director Revenue and Product Partnerships at Snap
"We are also happy to announce MY.GAMES and Zeptolab will be first gaming studios to test bidding at LevelPlay with us."
- Kamil Nasroullaev, Head of myTarget Ad Network
Step 3: Test to see if bidding is right for your apps
Before moving all your app’s inventory to in-app bidding, it’s important to double check that bidding is the right solution for you. To do so, developers can use ironSource’s bidding A/B testing tool.
The tool creates two groups and immediately divides traffic to your app 50/50 between A and B groups - no setup work required. Group A includes only traditional instances, according to the waterfall you already have set up for your app, while group B includes the same waterfall plus all of the LevelPlay bidders you’ve activated.
It doesn’t take much time before you start seeing results. It’s best practice to keep the test live for 14 days, however, it’s possible to start seeing an impact on performance in just 3. Additionally, ironSource’s testing tool calculates the actual eCPM of the instances according to day and country based on impressions - not predicted eCPM as other tools on the market do. This means test results are highly accurate.
Step 4: Analyze performance and tweak
Once the bidding test gives a final result, keeping tabs on bidding performance is key to making sure that everything is running smoothly. While it’s true that in-app bidding is largely ‘set it and forget it’, we recommend checking in once a week - a significant decrease from the daily optimizations needed with traditional waterfalls.
How to do that? Coming soon to ironSource’s mediation platform are dedicated bidding reports - which will let developers quickly analyze key bidding KPIs like bid rate and win rate for each bidding network. Bid rate is the percentage of bid requests an ad network responds to, while win rate is the percentage of times an ad network wins the auction. Getting insights into such metrics tells you at a glance which bidders are performing best, and when it’s time to troubleshoot. This way, you get peace of mind your monetization strategy is always running at maximum performance.
Only ironSource gives you everything you need to start in-app bidding from day 1. Click here to get started.