With mobile ad spend finally surpassing TV and desktop this year, accounting for 70% of all digital ad spend, selecting the right partner to help you take advantage of this shift has never been more important. Choosing an ally for your in-app monetization strategy is vital for long-term success, growth, and potentially even adoption.
Unlike desktop monetization, where partners are typically chosen after your website is created and generated a meaningful amount of traffic, in-app monetization partners are chosen when you start to write your first lines of code. The partners you choose must be implemented prior to submitting your app to the app store so there are great incentives to starting your search early.
To aid in your selection process we put together a list of five key things any app developer should consider when selecting a monetization partner.
Given the importance of user experience for an app developer, if users have a negative experience with your app, it could lead to bad reviews and thus little to no adoption and downloads.
There is nothing more impactful to user experience than seeing a bad ad (i.e. irrelevant, malicious, offensive) while using your app. Therefore, looking for high ad quality should be a primary consideration for an in-app monetization partner. The better the ad quality, the more likely your users will remain in your app for longer user sessions and return in the future—increasing your daily active user (DAU) numbers.
Ask potential partners how they ensure ad quality and if they work with any third-party fraud protection vendors. The transparency of their answers, and ability to provide you with evidence they are working towards improved ad quality, can tell you a lot about if you should work with them.
How your monetization partner integrates into your app is also a very important thing to consider because every integration impacts app performance. Your users are paying for data packages when not on WiFi, therefore every byte of data matters when they have to wait for an ad to load.
If you choose to integrate via SDK, look for a monetization partner whose SDK is very lightweight. The heavier the SDK, the more your user experience is negatively impacted by slowing down app performance and requiring more device storage. Alternatively, if your partner has all three options available (SDK, server-to-server, JAVA script tag) you can experiment with the best option for you without having to experiment with new partners.
Realistically, your app users will be global. Thus, it is critical to work with a partner that can provide a seamless ad experience regardless of where your users are located. For this reason, it is advisable to work with a partner who has data center end points close to your users. Regional end point locations will speed up your ad delivery, especially for data heavy ad formats such as playable and rewarded video.
Additionally, you want to make sure the ads your monetization partner is delivering are relevant to the user region. A partner with demand in regions where your users are based will help you monetize your traffic more effectively, driving up overall revenue.
Supported Ad Formats
For developers, not only is technical integration important but the look and feel of your app should be second to none. When developing your app with the goal of maximum monetization, make sure your selected ad formats are currently supported by your chosen partner.
To build out long-term success, you need a monetization partner who not only supports currently available ad formats but one who proactively supports new in-app formats in this ever-changing landscape. This is imperative to your app staying relevant and will save you valuable time and development resources by future-proofing your overall app monetization strategy.
Fill Rates and eCPM
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing an in-app monetization partner is their ability to yield the most revenue. Choose a partner who not only can fill most of your inventory but also provides the highest eCPMs.
The more fill an individual partner can provide, the less partners you will need to integrate with, leading to a lighter weight app. This not only frees up more real estate on your users’ devices but also improves the speed and overall user experience. Keep in mind, however, there is a balance between fill rate and eCPMs, as 100% fill at $.01 CPM is not as valuable as a partner who fills 50% of your inventory at $.50 CPM.
PubMatic has created app monetization solutions with the developer and end users in mind. For more information on how we can help maximize your in-app ad revenue, check out our solutions page or contact us.