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How to Optimize your Mobile App Monetization with AdColony

Posted May 18, 2020

With a total of 5.6 million mobile apps available to download globally as of Q1, 2020 (Source: Statista), mobile app publishers seek various methods to keep their apps growing and profitable in a super competitive mobile market. The most common ways publishers take to monetize their apps are IAP (in-app purchase), paid downloads, in-app subscriptions, and last but not least, in-app advertising. 

In-app advertising is one of the most popular monetization strategies for publishers, in which they get paid to serve ads on their apps. Users can enjoy high-quality content for free in exchange for watching ads that may possibly interest them without interfering with their app experience. User-initiated video ads actually enhance user experience and boost user engagement & retention by displaying ads at the right moment in the app lifecycle.

That being said, we would like to share some tips on how to optimize your in-app ad monetization with AdColony!

Advanced Bidding (a.k.a. Header Bidding/RTB)
Advanced bidding is a programmatic technique that allows publishers to simultaneously offer inventory to multiple ad networks, DSPs, and other demand sources before making calls to their ad servers so that it could replace traditional ad waterfall. AdColony supports the latest advanced bidding solutions from a variety of mediation partners and here are some advantages of advanced bidding you can enjoy:

  • Highest eCPM every time — By allowing every ad network to bid for every impression, publishers receive more revenue per impression without worrying about higher bids lower in the waterfall.
  • Greater auction transparency — By moving away from historical pricing and focusing on real-time bids, yields, and auction efficiency increase.
  • Less Latency — Because all bids occur simultaneously, the ad mediation and serving don’t have to wait for a waterfall process.

Various Ad Formats
There are multiple types of in-app ad formats developers can integrate into their apps with our single SDK integration, including rewarded video ads, interstitials, and display banner ads. Choosing the right mix of ad formats in multiple placements with our innovative creatives increases the chance of users to engage more and brings you more revenue.

Fixed Price Zones with Multi-Price Auction
Fixed price zones provide publishers greater control over the eCPM but might limit the impression fill-out; so we recommend applying a multi-price auction of at least three price zones. A high-priced zone placed at the top position of the waterfall, mid-priced zone in the middle and backfill zone to ensure you’re not missing any residual impressions. In that case, you’ll be able to receive a significant volume of impressions to maximize your revenue.

Here are some basic monetization terms you can review as a refresher!

Use Rate
We’ve talked about use rate in-depth before. As a quick recap, use rate is the percentage of daily active users who have viewed an ad on a given day. It’s calculated by dividing the number of unique daily views by unique users. For interstitial placements, a use rate around 40% is ideal, but for rewarded placements a use rate around 20%.

Daily Active Users (DAU)
DAU is just a measure of the average number of users that engage with an app each day. Generally speaking, AdColony has to reach a certain number of video views to fully optimize campaigns. eCPMs and other key KPIs can be skewed when a publisher has a very small user base as their actions are felt more heavily vs a larger, more varied set of players. The more users an app has, the more potential segments an advertiser will have to target.

Impressions and Completed Video Views (CVV’s)
Impressions are the number of times an ad is shown (not completed!) on a user’s device. A CVV is, obviously, when the video view is completed.

If there’s a discrepancy between a high number of impressions and low number of CVVs, it means that users are initiating the video but not sticking around to watch it all the way through. This type of behavior will drive down eCPM values, as this metric is a factor of both completion and engagement rates, not merely initializations.  So, when it comes to impressions versus CVVs, guess which one is more important to focus on.

We encourage advertisers to test and refine their creatives for maximum impact as well. Our Core™ machine-learning yield optimization engine will do its best to make sure users are seeing the kinds of ad creatives they respond best to, maximizing completion rates and CVV’s.

Creating a blacklist as a developer or publisher will disallow certain brand or app ads from being displayed within an app. In the case of brands, a blacklist can be used to keep ads appropriate to an app’s audience (no beer ads in a teen game, for instance). When blacklisting other apps, a publisher may want to prevent certain direct genre competitors from courting their users.

We’ve done an in-depth study on blacklisting before, but it’s slowly started receiving more attention in the wider mobile monetization industry. If you’re ready for a deep dive, our conclusions from the study may surprise you.

A brief side note — Beware of whitelisting, which can seriously harm monetization by only allowing certain specific advertisers, who may not have the inventory to fill your monetization needs, or drive away users with annoying duplicate ads.

Average Revenue per Daily Unique View (ARPDUV)
One of the longer acronyms in the mobile monetization space, ARPDUV is somewhat related to the more traditional Average Daily Revenue per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). ARPDUV comes down to how much average revenue a given single view generates. It strips out confounding factors like multiple views by the same user to make it easy to see how much a given ad unit is making a publisher.

Join the Conversation
What other methods do you think will optimize your mobile app monetization? Tweet us @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

Yoohyun (Karen) Kim
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