When trying to make a solid income off your mobile app (i.e. monetize it), there are several strategies we can employ. The most popular and lucrative one is monetization through ads. This means an advertiser pays you, the publisher, to advertise in your app. This process is usually mediated through a third party called ad network.
Ad networks are platforms that connect advertisers who want to serve ads and publishers who want to earn profit by lending parts of their app for this purpose. The main role of an ad network is to collect ad space supply from publishers and match it to the advertiser demand. To make this happen, app publishers need to install an SDK. Ad networks generate income by taking a cut of the ad revenue.
Obviously, their role is incredibly important in the mobile monetization business. This is why it is essential to find a good ad network that can provide all the necessary elements for successful monetization. Some are better than others and sometimes it can be hard to find the right one.
In this post, we will discuss the 7 top mobile ad networks/monetization platforms that we analyzed and compared in our latest report.
Supported ad formats: video, interstitial, offerwall, banner
IronSource has plenty of experience (more than 8 years) in the software installation ecosystem and is one of the largest ad networks “leveraging all available ad units to drive revenue and user engagement”. Its lightweight hybrid platform hails a 95% win rate in A/B tests over other mediation platforms.
IronSource offers a host of solutions for both advertisers and publishers that operate on iOS and Android platforms, covering monetization, user acquisition, engagement, marketing, and ad mediation.
Supported ad formats: video, interstitial
One of the leading ad networks also offering other monetization services, Vungle specializes in video advertising on the Android and iOS platforms. It provides pre-cached 15-second HD video ad delivery, creative optimization, as well as targeting services. It offers app marketing in the top 250 iOS and Android apps, attracting high LTV users. Brands using the Vungle platform have access to 100% ad visibility, making sure there are no wasted impressions.
Vungle’s platform provides in-house video production for campaign creation and optimization for target audiences in Europe, the US, and China. It is also fully compatible with third-party reporting providers and its SDK is easy to use, even for beginners. The SDK also comes with real-time A/B ad testing capabilities.
Supported ad formats: video, interstitial, banner
Unity is a full game development engine with intuitive tools for creating 2D and 3D content. A part of its business, called Unity Ads, is dedicated to ad serving. If your product is one of the Unity-based games, you can take advantage of the platform seamlessly, without implementing any SDK.
The ad marketplace offers near real-time reporting with its API and a web dashboard. Moreover, it is compatible with all game engines, including Adobe Air, Marmalade, and Corona, just to name a few, and supports Android and iOS platforms. Additionally, it accepts plugins from MoPub and SkyRocket.
4. Facebook Audience Network
Supported ad formats: video, banner, interstitial, playable, native
An extension of the Facebook Ads platform for mobile apps and web, Facebook Audience Network can serve ads to Facebook users off the platform, offering precise targeting to help you achieve your marketing goals. The network covers 40% of the top 500 mobile apps and supports ad serving across various platforms, including Android, iOS, tvOS, and Windows Mobile platforms.
Twitter’s MoPub is the network which displayed the significantly largest number of ad impressions (23.5% share) among all analyzed networks.
Among other things, Facebook Audience Network offers pre- and post-campaign transparency, keyword blocking, and severity level controls that help you provide a better ad experience to viewers.
Supported ad formats: video, native, HTML display ads, MRAID Rich Media
Acquired by Twitter in 2013 for $350 million, MoPub is a full-stack mobile monetization platform that powers revenue for app publishers and developers around the world. MoPub’s platform brings together flexible ad network mediation, leading mobile programmatic exchange, and powerful, easy-to-use tools and actionable insights to maximize revenue across all demand sources.
Its tracking capabilities enable you to monitor impressions, active users, and revenues, allowing better strategizing. Connected to hundreds of demand-side platforms, the MoPub marketplace drives higher prices for the apps’ inventory.
Supported ad formats: video, playable, interstitial, banner, native
A comprehensive ecosystem founded in 2012, AppLovin has specialized in both indie and established publishers, providing them with expertise and insights necessary for monetizing their products and growing their businesses.
It allows you to measure and optimize your campaigns, offering more control in comparison to some other ad networks due to its self-serve interface.
In addition to providing real-time information about user activity, Applovin’s platform offers algorithms to find new users in whichever geographic regions you need and who are more inclined to download. All these bits of information give you more power to adapt and optimize your monetization strategies, as well as drive app engagement.
7. Google AdMob
Supported ad formats: rewarded video, interstitial, banner, native
A pioneer in the mobile ad networks industry, the legendary Admob was founded in 2006 and became part of Google in a $750 million acquisition in 2009. It was this acquisition that launched the company into ad monetization stardom. Admob is today one of the largest ad networks in the world, that, among other things, allows you to track downloads and manage ad campaigns.
Its enormous network covers more than 100,000 apps and mobile sites and serves ads from millions of Google advertisers. As for its ad network mediation, it is free for use for multiple ad networks. On top of that, no SDK is required.
Choosing the right one
And there they are, the 7 top mobile ad marketplaces that currently hail superior results in the app monetization industry. While we did single them out as the best, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will suit your specific needs. There are hundreds of mobile ad networks out there and you can even combine multiple of them.
When choosing the right ad network, you should conduct in-depth research to see which one(s) fit your app and your business model the best. This post is meant to be one of the places to begin such an endeavour. If you need more help monetizing your app, feel free to reach out to us and request a demo.
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