Case Study
How Amanotes increased ARPDAU 14% with LevelPlay in-app bidding

Amanotes, based in Vietnam, is the number one music game publisher with over 20 apps that have surpassed an incredible 1 billion installs together.

Rahul Ravindranath is the monetization specialist at Amanotes, and below he explains how LevelPlay, ironSource’s in-app bidding solution, helped them monetize these users better and improve his team’s day-to-day operations. 

Why did we decide to use bidding? 

The majority of our business at Amanotes runs on an ad monetization model, rather than in-app purchases. Combined with the fact we have a large portfolio of apps, this meant we spent significant amounts of resources on manually optimizing our traditional waterfall setup to maximize our ad revenue from our users. 

Maintaining this was extremely time-consuming, so we thought that if bidding could automate this process and do the heavy lifting for us, then that alone was worth giving it a try. The promise of an uplift in performance and greater ad revenue was a bonus - and one that we were happy to give a chance. 

"The promise of an uplift in performance and greater ad revenue was a bonus - and one that we were happy to give a chance"

- Rahul Ravindranath, Monetization Specialist at Amanotes

In addition, with traditional waterfalls, we were forced to prioritize certain partners over others. Bidding offered us a way to flatten the waterfall and provide our partners a fair opportunity to our inventory and place the highest price. That's because with bidding, ad networks have full visibility into each ad request, increasing overall competition to make sure we don’t lose out on a potentially higher bid.

Rolling it out

Initially, we didn’t carry out the recommended A/B test for bidding versus our waterfall setup, and treated bidding as an add-on, because we were hesitant about making significant changes to our existing waterfall setup. We went straight into things and implemented bidding with our partners whenever another one was ready.

We measured its impact using before and after tests, and we saw an uplift in performance. For every partner we transitioned from waterfalls to bidding, we saved ourselves considerable time in terms of future day-to-day operations and optimization. This allowed us to build our confidence in in-app bidding and proceed with the A/B test so we could get conclusive results. 

Measuring its impact

We wanted to observe the full impact of bidding as a whole on our business, and to see how each network behaved in the bidding environment compared to hybrid and manual waterfall setups. So, once all of our key partners were on board with moving to an in-app bidding operation, we carried out an A/B test using ironSource’s built-in bidding test tool, and we saw very encouraging results. 

"We carried out an A/B test using ironSource’s built-in bidding test tool, and we saw very encouraging results"

- Rahul Ravindranath, Monetization Specialist at Amanotes

Group A consisted of a manual waterfall setup, and group B consisted of the bidder ad networks and those using a hybrid model. We found that for one of our top games, ARPDAU increased by 14% in the bidding group. We also looked into bidding’s impact according to country, and found that bidding was improving our monetization performance for the countries we previously didn’t have time to optimize instances for. That's because it automatically optimizes instances per country and enables ad networks to bid for the highest price. 

Scaling bidding across the portfolio

As we continue to get conclusive results and peer into the granular data (networks, countries, and platforms), we plan to integrate in-app bidding to all our products. ironSource has always provided us with solutions to ensure that we continue to innovate and implement new and exciting ad monetization strategies - and this is a great example of that.

+14%

ARPDAU

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