Achva Kahana is the Studio Manager at ironSource. I manage an in-house design Studio, which means other employees in the company - from human resources to salespeople - are like our clients. Last year, when our company merged and doubled..
In the last few years, we’ve seen in-app advertising become an increasingly critical pillar in game developers’ app monetization strategies. In fact, according to App Annie, in-app advertising is set to dominate other app business models.
Specifically, ad mediation, which aggregates multiple mobile ad networks into a single platform, is on the rise within the app developer community – helping app developers maximize eCPM and fill rate, save time and resources and also reduce SDK bloat.
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However, with all the great platforms available today, choosing an ad mediation partner can be difficult and overwhelming. To make it easier, we’ve rounded up five key features every mediation partner should have. Take a look.
1. Programmatic capabilities with transparency over traffic allocation
Today, programmatic ad mediation makes all the difference. In this system, the mediation platform uses automated auctions to deal directly with other networks. This strategy is highly beneficial to app developers, who then receive the highest eCPMs possible for their inventory.
That being said, transparency in these situations is key, and one of the most important features in a potential mediation partner. The amount of data they’re willing to share, and controls they’re willing to open, will tell you how trustworthy that potential partner is.
For example, your mediation partner should be able to tell you exactly how they’re allocating your traffic. This way, you can fully understand how the platform is assigning requests, optimizing on your behalf, and making decisions.
2. Full control
There are a handful of mediation platforms that don’t permit manual settings. Rather, settings and available ad networks are pre-set.
But enabling full control is important. This way, you have the option to manually manage the waterfall, cross promotion, and direct deals, according to your specific business needs.
For example, you might decide to remove a specific ad network from the waterfall, since it’s not providing you with high enough eCPMs. Or, you might want to set a network to serve in multiple positions. Perhaps you’d like to negotiate and strike direct deals with networks and advertisers for premium prices. These are things you can only do with full control.
3. Full range of ad units
Be sure to find a mediation partner that offers a full range of ad units, including display, rewarded, video, and banners. The more ad units, the better, since you’ll be better equipped to serve the right kind of ad to the right user – leading to increased engagement and positive user experiences.
It’s always better to serve a wide range of ad units in your app, including both rewarded and non-rewarded ads. The two balance each other out, and make for a positive in-app user experience.
4. Deep analytic capabilities and reporting
The best mediation platforms are all-encompassing, and do more than just connect app developers to multiple ad networks – they also make it easy to break down and understand data. This way, you’re always empowered to improve your monetization strategy.
This includes providing cohorts, user segmentation, A/B testing, data analysis, and reporting tools, all of which can help you optimize your monetization strategy based on granular insights. It’s also crucial to be able to receive automatic reports in your inbox on the topics that matter most to you, so that it’s easy for you to stay constantly up to date.
5. Competitive and stable technology
Biggest isn’t always better. But there’s a reason why most app developers turn to the top few mediation services – because they’re reliable.
Be sure that the ad mediation provider you choose is stable. That means a product that has been tested in many builds, has been implemented by many developers, has multiple testing layers both on the platform and on the code, and has a team dedicated to making the integration process smooth and easy.
Quality is also an important factor here. For example, mediation platforms can provide developers with a unified API that lets them work with multiple SDKs. However, not all mediation platforms take it upon themselves to ensure and validate the quality of each adaptor, instead leaving it up to the individual networks. But it’s more beneficial for developers if the mediation platform is able to take quality control under their authority.