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“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing the right ad monetization strategy. There are best practices for each. At the core, trying to gain insights into the user journey in the game is the best place to start to actually understand what ad formats to integrate and where.”
–  Facebook Audience Network

Up until now, mobile game developers have equipped numerous game monetization strategies like:

  • Advertising
  • In-App Purchases (IAP)
  • Subscription models

While models like subscriptions and IAP have helped mobile game developers earn top dollars in the past, the truth is – not all players are willing to pay for in-app purchases, resulting in an ever-increasing number of mobile game developers shifting to advertising as their primary revenue-generation model.

According to a recent study, over 73% of mobile gamers are open to receiving in-game ads. As a result, in-game advertising revenue has been predicted to cross the $56 billion mark by 2024.

At N3TWORK, we are mobile game monetization experts, with both expert and machine learning solutions in place to help indie game developers efficiently reach their game monetization goals. We are up to date on the latest legislation and mobile game monetization trends and consistently work with different ad networks on a daily basis. Let’s dive deeper into it.

The Different Types of Ads Available

  • Banner
  • Interstitial
  • Native
  • Rewarded
  • Playable

What are Ad Networks and
Ad Mediation Platforms?

Ad networks are essential monetization elements of the mobile game advertising ecosystem acting as the commercial and technical intermediary between publishers and advertisers. An ad network’s role is to speak to advertisers (mostly to other gaming companies) to run campaigns for promoting apps across their network. In return, they’ll pay you a fee to display their ads to your users.

Ad mediation is a platform that can be used by game developers and game publishers to connect multiple ad networks to their game – serving to increase and optimize ad revenue. Mediation platforms centralize access to multiple ad networks and optimize the algorithm to establish which mediated ad network can fill the game developer’s inventory with the highest eCPM.

Why are Mediation Platforms Important?

The reason why mediation platforms are important – they help increase ad revenue. The mediation platform fills the impression opportunity with the highest eCPM from various ad sources. It is this competition for ad space, when optimized correctly, can yield games up to 30% increases in ad revenue.

Ad Networks

  • IronSource
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Tapjoy
  • Unity
  • Chartboost
  • Vungle
  • HyperMX
  • Ad Colony
  • Mintegral
  • Inmobi
  • Pangle
  • Fyber

Here at N3TWORK, we have informed influence within the ad mediation landscape to better help you monetize your game. 

As a top-down overview, here are a handful of notable ad mediation players:

  • IronSourc
  • Applovin / Mopub
  • Unity
  • Tapjoy
  • Appodeal
  • Fyber
  • AdMob
  • OGury
  • Admost

Ad Networks

  • IronSource
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Tapjoy
  • Unity
  • Chartboost
  • Vungle
  • HyperMX
  • Ad Colony
  • Mintegral
  • Inmobi
  • Pangle
  • Fyber

Here at N3TWORK, we have informed influence within the ad mediation landscape to better help you monetize your game. 

As a top-down overview, here are a handful of notable ad mediation players:

  • IronSource
  • Applovin / Mopub
  • Unity
  • Tapjoy
  • Appodeal
  • Fyber
  • AdMob
  • OGury
  • Admost

ARPDAU vs Ad ARPDAU?

ARPDAU stands for Average Revenue Per Daily Active User. It’s an important metric used by game developers and game publishers to measure and operate against a successful game monetization strategy – calculating revenue from IAPs, ads and subscriptions.

The formula used to calculate ARPDAU is:
ARPDAU = Daily Income / Daily Active Users

The ARPDAU metric helps game developers and game publishers see consistent growth, gain insights into revenue per daily active user and test different monetization strategies.

AD ARPDAU is the advertising revenue per daily active user, which takes User Acquisition (UA) fluctuations into account. Ad ARPDAU is an important metric used by game developers and game publishers to measure ad optimization and advertising revenue generation.

Best Practices:
Game Monetization Strategies

Diversify Ad Networks

As seasoned as Facebook & Google are, there is power in putting your eggs in more than one ad monetization-basket. It’s recommended to have a wide variety of ad partners, allowing you to maximize your fill rate as well as revenue from across the globe.

Improve Your Monetization Waterfall

Waterfalls prioritize the ad networks based on rates offered for that impression, moving down the inventory ‘waterfall’ until it is sold at the desired and optimal eCPM.

While most companies rely on the all-powerful algorithm, here are some considerations for manually setting your waterfall:

  • Not all mediation partners are set up for algorithmic buying.
  • Auto-waterfalls aren’t always considered best for mobile games
  • Ad monetization is not a cookie-cutter approach, it differs by:
    • Monetization levels
    • Country
    • Operating system
    • Ad placement

Just to name a few…

Also, it is important to set competitive eCPM targets for ad networks to hit. Manually set ad monetization optimization increases publisher revenue by at least 20-30%.

Our ADMON Team at N3TWORK

At N3TWORK, we have achieved exceptional success at helping mobile game developers scale their games into million-dollar revenue machines. We have teams of dedicated experts who have years of experience scaling mobile games, waterfall management, and ad monetization optimization.

Our ad monetization team works hand in hand with our User Acquisition (UA) team to best optimize performance marketing spend and revenue generation in tandem. We then extend this expertise to our in-house Creative Studio that churns out hundreds of iterations of ad creative best suited for different networks and optimal results.

Every game we’ve worked on has experienced a spike in Ad ARPDAU. Additionally, we have long-established relationships with mediation platforms and leverage through our ever-growing games portfolio which help us negotiate and apply the latest techniques and best practices to help you achieve your goals.

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