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ironSource's bidding test: The quickest way to decide if bidding is right for your monetization

For publishers still on the fence about migrating operations from carefully optimized waterfalls to automated real-time bidding, testing the impact of bidding on a portion of your game’s traffic is all you need to do to sway your decision.

ironSource’s LevelPlay bidding test was built to help you easily come to an informed decision about your monetization strategy. Let’s dive in on how you can use it to improve your monetization strategy. 

How it works

The LevelPlay bidding test creates two groups: Group A includes only traditional instances, according to the waterfall you already have set up for your app on the mediation management page, and group B includes the same waterfall plus all of the LevelPlay bidders you’ve activated (excluding the bidding networks’ static instances). The test immediately divides traffic to your app 50/50 between A and B groups - no setup work required. 

Saving time with an easy setup

Ultimately, the bidding test enables you to come to a fast decision about your monetization strategy, with minimal effort, letting you focus on the important things that go into growing your games business. Instead of spending time creating new waterfalls or new instances,  simply turn on the bidders and click a button to start the test.

Additionally, it doesn’t take much time before receiving results. Though it’s recommended to keep the test live for 14 tests, you can cancel your test at any time, and even begin seeing an impact on performance in as early as 3 days. 

Hien Anh from ABI OneSoft finds the bidding test especially easy to use and set up: “Since it's an internal process, we don't need to create any new instances for testing except for the bidding ones, which save us a lot of time, especially when there are many instances in the waterfall. The results of the test are updated daily and have all the information that we need. We are satisfied with the process as well as the results that the test brings, and would definitely use it more often in the future to have the revenue best optimized."

"We don't need to create any new instances for testing except for the bidding ones, which save us a lot of time."

- Hien Anh from ABI OneSoft

Make the right decision based on accurate data

Switching to a hybrid setup from a waterfall setup is an important decision, and you need to trust the data. Usually in a 1 click test for monetization there’s no real way to precisely calculate revenue of the A and B group, since networks work with different instance models (some are floors and others targets).

To overcome this, some monetization testing solutions require inputting the eCPM figure. But ironSource’s bidding solution is able to calculate the actual eCPM of instances according to day and country based on the impressions, rather than predicted eCPM - meaning test results are highly accurate. After all, you don’t want to switch your monetization operations only to end up with little-to-no improvement in your revenue. 

Tips for a conclusive bidding test

1. Pay close attention to your reporting page

Track the progress of your bidding test by accessing your test report. You will find all the necessary data about your KPIs, from ARPDAU to eCPM and impressions, which can be easily broken down into A vs B. This advanced breakdown means you can really drill into the specifics of the test and see exactly how LevelPlay is impacting the business in comparison to the waterfall setup.

2. Treat ARPDAU as the litmus test

Pay close attention to the average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) of A vs B. This is the key metric to assess performance: positive overall gains in ARPDAU are a great indicator of a winning monetization strategy.

3. Test networks against each other

If you’re already using bidding, the bidding test can be a very useful tool for further optimizing your strategy. For example, you could make one change and take a network out of the instances and set it up only as a bidder, in order to test where it performs best. 

Alex Kniazev, from White Room Games, quickly saw positive results from their LevelPlay bidding test: “We were satisfied with the implementation of bidding (...) and almost immediately we saw a good result from the tested group, which pleased us in the end. Thanks to bidding, we were able to increase our ARPDAU by about 5-30% depending on the geo, simplify our waterfall operations, and reduce operational overheads!” 

“We were satisfied with the implementation of bidding (...) and almost immediately we saw a good result from the tested group, which pleased us in the end.” 

- Alex Kniazev, from White Room Games

One test for bidding, a giant leap for monetization

As more networks and publishers shift from traditional waterfall setups to hybrid models that incorporate in-app bidding, it is important to ensure your competitors aren’t leveraging an advantage over you. Bidding offers a range of benefits, from reduced operational overheads to yield optimization - meaning higher competition for impressions and higher revenue - so get testing now to see for yourself. 

Learn more about the ironSource bidding test on our Knowledge Center or head to our mediation platform to start testing.

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