How to Choose the Best App Monetization Platform for In-App Advertising

8 min


In order to maximize in-app advert revenues, it pays to have the finest app monetization platform in place.

But with numerous choices on the market, how do you select the finest one for your app? How do you make sure that a selected platform will usher in the finest advertisers and most optimum income?

Before selecting an promoting answer, be certain to ask these 15 essential questions.

1) Who Do Their Monetization Solutions Prioritize?

There are a whole lot of totally different gamers inside the cellular app promoting ecosystem, from company buying and selling desks and demand-side platforms to third-party verification suppliers, supply-side platforms and everybody else in between. When it comes to priorities and core areas of focus, each could have barely totally different needs and desires.

Ideally, an app monetization platform is primarily centered in your income and retention objectives, however isn’t adversarial with the myriad different provide chain gamers.

2) Do They Specialize in Mobile Devices and Apps, or Are They Device Agnostic?

Some monetization platforms intention to be a catch-all answer, encompassing web sites, apps and even digital billboards and related tv units. But as the outdated saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.”

In the digital promoting area, there are vital variations between web sites and apps – and even between cellular internet and cellular apps. Often, it may be useful to select a accomplice with deep experience in your chosen realm.

3) Do They Work with All Kinds of Mobile Apps, or Just Specific Categories Like Mobile Games?

Again, it’s useful to work with a monetization platform with experience and expertise that’s immediately associated to your app and what you’re making an attempt to accomplish. Different varieties of apps are used very otherwise, and your chosen monetization accomplice ought to understand how to optimize promoting for your explicit needs and desires.

For instance, take into account the variations between cellular video games and utility apps (like apps for checking the climate or site visitors). Someone will probably play a cellular recreation for at the very least a couple of minutes, whether or not on the sofa or throughout their practice or bus experience. In distinction, somebody makes use of a utility app simply to accomplish a specific process, and sure is simply in the app for a couple of seconds.

Your chosen monetization platform ought to give you the option to assist your app run and revenue from solely the finest advertisements for you and customers’ app expertise.

4) What Mobile Advertisers Do They Work With?

Before you’re employed with a monetization platform, be sure you know which advertisers they work with and what varieties of advertisements will probably be displaying up in your app. Will you be getting solely advertisements from main manufacturers, or from new and rising firms? An excellent monetization answer ought to give you the option to give you this stage of oversight, management and transparency.

It can even assist to decide what these advertisers take into consideration your app and its customers. Are advertisers prepared to spend greater than regular to attain your viewers, or do they fear about their advertisements showing subsequent to questionable or objectionable content material in your app?

5) What Ad Exchanges and Networks Do They Work With?

To actually entry promoting demand at scale, you’ll probably want an advert change or advert community inside your promoting provide chain. But not all exchanges and networks are alike. Some are very open and work on scale, whereas others are extra selective about who they work with and the way they purchase placements. Make certain you understand exactly which networks and exchanges your monetization platform is related with earlier than you start working with them.

And, to be certain the platform is true to their phrase and never permitting any unauthorized reselling to happen at any level in the provide chain, be certain to implement an app-ads.txt file. By serving as a pre-ordained listing, app-ads.txt specifies exactly who’s allowed to purchase and place advertisements in your app, serving to to preserve nefarious exercise at bay.

6) What Ad Formats Do They Support?

While sure codecs like banner advertisements and show advertisements are each amongst the best to insert into an in-app expertise and amongst the hottest amongst advertisers, additionally they have a few of the lowest per-impression prices. This means much less potential income per advert positioned.

In distinction, extra immersive and interactive advert codecs like native advertisements, rewarded video advertisements and 360-degree video advertisements with finish playing cards present a significantly better consumer expertise alongside larger advert charges. But, not each app monetization platform works nicely with these extra immersive advert codecs.

Be certain to select a accomplice that may help all of the advert codecs you’re utilizing now and the ones you might be curious about leveraging in the future. It may also help to work with a platform that’s continuously innovating, serving to to push ahead new, attention-grabbing and immersive codecs as they turn into accessible.

7) How Do You Integrate With their Ad Servers?

Do they provide server-to-server connections for more practical testing and monitoring? Does the advert server sit on their facet, or do they solely supply client-side internet hosting? Or do they supply hybrid choices? Each one has its pluses and minuses, so be certain their integration choices fit your wants.

And, be certain you understand how the integration is happening. API integrations are lighter and simpler to combine, however SDK integrations will be simpler and extra sturdy.

8) Do They Offer a Mediation Platform or Solution?

Depending on the scale you’re taking a look at and the quantity of income you’d like to usher in, you might want to work with dozens of various advert sources – and related SDKs. Many apps could have between 15 and 18 advert community/change SDKs in place.

If you’re taking a look at this type of scale, then it may be useful to have a mediation answer in place. A mediation platform consolidates all of those totally different SDKs and sources of demand into one single SDK. Not solely will this make your app lighter and sooner, however it should additionally prevent time; as a substitute of logging into dozens of various programs every day to observe progress, you’ll solely want one dashboard to see your whole key promoting and advert income info.

9) How Long Have They Been in Business? Are They Profitable?

While the cellular promoting and app monetization area is total fairly nascent, it could actually nonetheless be useful to see how lengthy they’ve been in enterprise and if they’re on secure monetary floor. While a startup or new enterprise can deliver so much to the desk, the final you need is to be left excessive and dry ought to your core monetization platform exit of enterprise.

10) How Do They Determine What Ads to Serve?

These are very crucial questions that you just want to have thorough and full solutions to earlier than working with any monetization platform. Without this perception, you can discover the app internet hosting poor high quality advertisements or failing to present full worth to advertiser companions.

In the overwhelming majority of situations, the advert community or change will decide who amongst the advertisers they work with is curious about working advertisements to explicit varieties of customers. But, in the selecting of the explicit winner amongst many potential suitors, issues can get a bit of difficult.

In conditions wherein a number of manufacturers need to promote to your app customers, the logical selection can be to have all of them compete in a real-time public sale after which the highest bidder wins. But, it’s not all the time so simple as that.

Many options and platforms use what’s referred to as a waterfall. Under such a system, totally different sources of promoting demand are positioned in sequential order. The first supply will get preliminary dibs on all potential promoting alternatives. Anything they will’t or received’t declare is introduced to the subsequent choice in the predetermined chain. This daisy chain continues till the alternative passes or till all choices are claimed.

While waterfalls are nonetheless fairly frequent, they aren’t optimum for app publishers and builders since they continuously lead to latency, suboptimal advert fill charges and decrease per-impression costs for advertisements.

A cellular advert public sale, nonetheless, ideally features similar to one on eBay or at Sotheby’s. Everyone will get the identical likelihood to compete all at the identical time, and the highest bidder wins.

11) What Auction Mechanics Do They Use?

While auctions have gotten extra frequent in the world of in-app promoting, not all auctions function underneath the identical guidelines. The basic public sale is what’s referred to as a First Price Auction, however not all auctions work that manner.

For a very long time, Second Price Auctions have been frequent in digital promoting. Under such a situation, the highest bidder solely pays one cent greater than the second-highest bidder. So if one advertiser bids $10 and one other bids $7, then the profitable bidder would solely find yourself paying $7.01 for the alternative to promote inside your app.

This isn’t the solely choice on the market both. Some monetization platforms will use Bid Shading, which makes an attempt to break up the distinction between the end result of a First Price Auction and a Second Price Auction.

The kind of public sale mechanic used can dramatically have an effect on the total value an advertiser can pay to run advertisements in your app. Considering how this will dramatically impression income, it behooves you to know exactly the mechanics and programs in place in a possible monetization platform.

12) Do They Use Historical or Real-Time Ad Pricing?

Not all monetization platforms are ready to use real-time, in-the-moment costs of their advert serving mechanisms, leaving them reliant on historic costs. Historic pricing is simpler to determine, however simply because an advertiser was prepared to pay one value for an promoting alternative yesterday doesn’t imply they’re prepared to pay the identical value right this moment.

13) Do They Offer Any Cross Promotion Opportunities for User Acquisition? Can They Help Expand Your Audience Network?

In the cellular app world, consumer acquisition is a endless uphill wrestle. The finest apps by no means sit on their laurels, and they’re all the time striving to each develop their viewers and higher please their current customers.

Sometimes, the identical platform that helps you monetize your app via promoting can even provide help to purchase extra customers via promoting. While such synergy is definitely not the major factor to look out for, it could actually show enormously helpful down the street nonetheless.

14) Do They Offer Any Dedicated Customer Support?

Chances are good that sooner or later throughout the lifespan of your app, a difficulty will come up or a major conundrum will emerge. During this proverbial fork in the street, the place will you flip for assist?

Many monetization platforms are simply that: a platform, and nothing else in addition to that. Unless you will have vital in-house experience and technical acumen on in-app promoting and app monetization, it’s probably you’ll profit from devoted help from a selected options supplier.

But how do you establish simply how efficient their buyer help groups can be as soon as the contract is signed? Including uptime and help into the particulars of the deal will be useful. Be certain additionally to try peer critiques to see what different app publishers and builders have to say.

15) Do They Offer In-App Header Bidding?

By permitting a number of sources of demand to instantly and rapidly compete towards one another for the privilege of working advertisements towards your customers, you can also make extra money and supply a extra seamless consumer expertise. According to our 2018 in-app header bidding survey, the know-how is confirmed to each improve income and reduce advert load instances.

When reviewing a monetization, be certain to do your due diligence because it relates to in-app header bidding. Do they’ve their very own header bidding wrapper, or are they taking part in the unified auctions facilitated by others? How many demand-side companions are a part of the header bidding answer, and at what level in the waterfall are these auctions occurring? Make certain the header bidding answer will be seamlessly applied inside your app, that it’s aggregating demand from main advertisers and that auctions happen as early on as potential.

16) What Are Their Plans for the Future? How Are They Pushing the Industry Forward?

The cellular promoting area strikes rapidly. Trends come and go, and new applied sciences emerge at breakneck velocity and disrupt enterprise as regular.

During the consideration part of the platform search, attempt to glean as a lot info as potential about each how they see the trade evolving and what they particularly are doing to push the ecosystem in a path they assume is extra useful and productive.

Are you in alignment with them on their proposed path and push? Ideally, you’re not working with a monetization platform for just some months, so be sure you’re on the identical web page as them for the future in addition to the current.

About The Author

In addition to being a tech fanatic and avid consumer of over 40 iPhone apps, Matt Kaplan is a savvy digital marketer and author with over a decade of expertise working to help the content material objectives of a few of the world’s greatest B2B and B2C manufacturers. He is a passionate app consumer and evangelist, working to help numerous advertising and marketing campaigns throughout units.

Additional posts by Matt:

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