The Basics of Mobile Ad Mediation [VIDEO]

Posted on August 15, 2018
By Matt Kaplan, Content StrategistContent Strategist

Is mobile ad mediation right for your app?

For the typical mobile app publisher, opening up ad inventory is consistently a top monetization strategy. Close to half of all non-gaming apps and over 80 percent of mobile games leverage mobile advertising in order to increase revenue.

But, just turning on advertising and then expecting lots of ad revenue to roll in is not always realistic. Enabling ad formats with the highest eCPMs like rewarded video helps, but sometimes the technology behind it all can be at fault. In particular, what if you need multiple server side and client side ad network SDKs to meet your revenue targets, ensure each ad request is successfully completed and have consistently high ad fill rates?

To address this increasingly common scenario, many app publishers turn to ad network mediation. Having a quality ad mediation partner in place helps to resolve many issues top app publishers run into with ad-based monetization strategies. For one, it’s much preferable to have just one ad mediation SDK in place as opposed to multiple ad network SDKs implemented. Plus, it helps app publishers to get a handle on their ad revenue figures in close to real time.

To learn more about the benefits of mobile ad mediation and why it helps publishers, check out our latest Whiteboard Wednesday video presented by Andrew Gerhart, InMobi’s VP of Publisher Platforms.

Full transcript:

Welcome to another Whiteboard Wednesday. My name is Andrew Gerhart, the VP of Publisher Platforms for InMobi. Today we’re going to talk about the basics of mediation.

So let’s take a look at a typical app. I have an app, and lucky me I start to get lots of different users that are funnelling into the app. Now I want to make money from that so I integrate advertising. Pretty common for app developers to integrate interstitial ads. So now I have an interstitial ad in my app, and I’m working with one ad network SDK. So I put the SDK in my app, and that SDK is going to make a call to the ad network’s ad server. Now, tomorrow I want to know how much money I made, so I have to log into the ad network’s UI and pull down all of my analytics about how much money I made, where I made that money, etc., etc.

What we typically find is that as the publisher’s users scale, the ad network’s revenue for that particular app does not scale at the same rate. And so they can’t keep up, they can’t monetize all the different geographies, the different types of ads, the different types of users at scale. And so I’ve solved the problem of generating money from my users, but now I have challenges around - and so we have a check box here - now we have challenges around fill rate. And we have challenges around CPM and keeping the auction and competition within, with different ad sources we’re working with.

So, as my users continue to scale, then I may start working with multiple ad networks. So instead of having one, maybe I integrate five or more. A recent study by SafeDK suggested that a typical app developer will work with anywhere from 15 to 18 different ad networks. That’s a lot of SDKs to be managing within the app. And so as I’m working with all these different ad network SDKs now, they’re all making calls out to their individual ad servers. And, the next day when we want to see how much money each of them made, I have to log into all of their UIs. And so now I have the lucky job of logging in each day to all of their reporting systems and pulling down the data of how much money I made. So, we’ve now changed the trajectory of how much money we’re making, and we see a little bit of an uptick. Now we’ve solved some of the problem of fill rate, right? We’ve solved some of the problems around CPM. But I’ve introduced some new problems. Now I’ve introduced the problem of efficiency and management. Now I’ve introduced the problem of latency, as I’m making multiple calls to each of these guys, and they’re making calls to their ad servers and that’s coming back. I’ve introduced complexity into my app.

So let’s look at how mediation solves this. As I’m working with a mediation layer, now I have a mediation SDK. And this mediation SDK is going to control all the different ad networks that I want to work with. It’s now the communication layer with those SDKs, so they’re talking to each other and it’s determining who to serve. And so now, instead of each of those SDKs being called and then calling out to their ad servers, now the mediation layer is calling to their ad server, and so I’m consolidating. And now, instead of every morning having to log in to the ad network UIs, now I can just log in to the mediation layer to see how much money I’m making.

So now I’ve optimized CPM, I’ve solved for fill rate because I’m working with multiple partners across geographies and I’ve also solved the issue of management and efficiency. Those are some basic ways a mediation layer can help you to optimize your ad revenue and solve some of the problems of scaling your ad monetization.

Thank you for your time, and we’ll see you soon.