App Monetization: taking full advantage of ad mediation

If you have an App, you probably know that one of the best ways to monetize your titles is through mediation. How to choose the best option? Which features are the most important? Here at Lab Cave, we have tested almost every solution available in the mobile industry and have listed three important things to keep an eye on.

An Ad Mediator is a tool that allows an App's developer (or publisher) to find the most profitable ad to show in their App. This ad will be chosen from an ad network and, the more Ad Networks available in the mediator, the better the ad reservoir to choose from. In a Mediator, multiple Ad Networks are available so it's easy to compare and choose the best options, without having to deal with their Software Development Kits (SDKs) individually. This is its basic function, but other features are available for developers that provide more transparency and control over their ad waterfalls, new metrics and reports. Focus on what is really important when choosing which mediator best suits your needs.

Transparency and control

Probably one of the biggest drawbacks when looking for a mediator is finding out that a majority of them are not fully transparent and you do not have full control over the ad waterfall. A waterfall is a ladder of Ad Networks prioritized from top to bottom in order of performance to the developer based on the network’s past performance data. You will always want to prioritize the best performing Ad Networks, but sometimes a mediator can put its own demands in first place. This is because it is very common for a mediator to have its own Ad Network and prioritize it, as this will ensure more revenue for the mediator. However, the truth is that this practice is not always the best option for you as a developer. In that case, you should look for unbiased mediators (mediators who do not have their own Ad Networks). Then you will have full control over your waterfall and you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your mediator.

A subscription-based model is a clear way forward: here at Lab Cave, for example, we chose this business model for our mediator because we think it is the most transparent way to offer this service. The subscription is made through a calculated fee that is based on the number of Monthly Engaged Users (MEU), so the mediator has full conditions to attend small, medium and large developers and offer a 100% transparent charge.

Useful Reports

We all want the right metrics and not a bunch of KPIs that are hard to understand, but most importantly, we need to avoid KPIs that do not provide clear enough insights for good decision making.

It is better to start with simple reports and move on to more complex ones as you can better understand how this information can help your monetization strategy. And since we are talking about how important it is to have control over your ad waterfall, a very useful report will demonstrate just that: which ads are showing in your App and which Ad Networks have been chosen. Keep in mind that useful KPIs are the ones that influence your strategy, otherwise they can distract you from what is really relevant.

Last thoughts

There are many other features available and choosing them will depend on what you are looking for and what you consider important to control. However, by choosing a mediator for your App based on these three characteristics - a mediator as a SaaS, impartial and with the right reports - you will have a good starting point to find a mediation tool that meets your needs and that will allow you to have the best revenue for your App, in an accessible and well-supervised way.

Investigate what the market has to offer: the best options are not afraid to be transparent and make clear what they can offer you.

Pedro Miranda

Product owner at Lab Cave

About Lab Cave (Twitter @LabCave)

Lab Cave is a Mobile Growth Company that provides ASO and Ad Mediation services for mobile Apps and Games. Part of Fibonad Group (the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services), Lab Cave has achieved more than 200 million organic downloads without running any paid acquisition campaigns. Learn more about us at our website