Being the next big mobile app publisher is no walk in the park. There’s the whole process of app development, gaining user adoption, and finding the right balance of monetization – all in an overcrowded space.
App developers, as well as publishers, can benefit by joining a mobile ad network by selling ad space to advertisers as a passive way to monetize their app.
You could be great at development and marketing, but without a sound app monetization model, your dreams of becoming a successful app publisher will inevitably fail. While monetizing your app can consist of various models such as paid downloads, in-app purchases, in-app subscriptions, and in-app advertising, this guide will focus on the advertising piece of the puzzle.
Below you’ll find a list of the top mobile app ad networks to help you monetize your app. No matter your platform, iOS, or Android, we’ve got you covered.
Before we dive in, we’ve answered a few nagging questions app publishers always seem to have.
Best mobile ad networks for apps list
As a quick reference, if you’d like to skip the mobile app Q&A, use our table to navigate to each network below.
What is a mobile ad network?
A mobile ad network, aka app ad network, is an integrated platform that unites advertisers with app publishers looking to monetize their apps. Publishers are thus able to make passive income through app ads.
Mobile ad networks that cater to publishers are SSPs (supply-side platforms).
Publishers sell ad space in their mobile apps or on their websites through a mobile ad network to generate additional revenue. As a result, and through distributed ad networks, all publishers provide their advertising space to the network which, then, is sold to marketers and advertisers for use in marketing their products and brands.
As a publisher, go for a network that brings in ad revenue without showing sensitive ads or inappropriate content.
It is best to choose one that offers various ad formats.
Why advertise on mobile apps?
In-App Ads are the hottest form of app advertising on the market right now with an app install ad revenue of more than $7 billion.
Apps offer a way more engaging & dynamic environment than any site. In-app ads get higher CTRs (0.58%) than click-through rates on-site CTRs (0.23%).
Because of this, advertisers are able to capture consumers’ attention more effectively and make their ads more appealing to them by using in-apps rather than site ads.
Mobile Ads Targeting
You need to niche down on your audience to get the conversions which is the main objective.
The following parameters are mandatory for detailed targeting:
#1. Demographic Location. Marketing campaigns can be tailored to fit within a specific country or region, allowing advertisers to advertise within relevant geographical areas.
#2. Device-Type. Choosing the device models to present your ads.
#3. Mobile Carrier. Show your ads to users based on that specific mobile carrier.
#4. Operating System. You choose to show your ads based on the desired OS.
#5. Connection. This targeting option enables marketers to only show mobile ads on mobile devices when they are connected to the Internet via a WiFi or 3G/LTE connection.
#6. Interest. Niching down on the audience segment with specific interests can reap more benefits.
#7. Gender. Targeting based on gender depending on the product or brand works as well.
Mobile App Network Reporting
One of the key segments that are crucial for success is- Data Reporting on ad campaign’s performance metrics.
A top-notch mobile ad network will provide detailed metrics in an all-in-one comprehensive dashboard.
Your sales performance reports should include details such as impressions, clicks, installs, video ad views, platform, country, and ad format.
You can use insights to decide if changes need to be made based on how your ads are performing.
Switch to the advertising type that works for you. Replicate the ad network strategy that works for you and shut the ones that are not giving results.
Are more ad networks for your app better?
If you’re running your app’s ad inventory through an ad server such as DFP, multiple mobile advertising networks can give you access to more advertiser demand, higher fill rates, and improved ad earnings.
However, since each app is different and might use a combination of monetization models, it’s best to implement a custom yield solution. If you’re experimenting with maximizing your in-app yield this month or finding out if you should add more ad networks to your overall ad stack, contact MonetizeMore for a free consultation today!
How to add mobile ad networks to an Android & iOS app?
Each company has its unique way of integrating apps into its network. It usually includes adding a piece of code to your mobile app. It’s not something to worry about as proper documentation and support will be provided. For more information, take a look at these posts on Quora for Android and iOS applications.
What is the best mobile app ad network?
It’s nearly impossible to say which app ad network is the absolute best. Each one offers different types of advertising demand, ad units, setups and might serve different app verticals. We can, however, point you in the right direction with our list of networks below.
After that, it comes down to testing, optimizing, and trying different app ad networks to see, which provides you with the highest eCPM.
App ad networks we recommend
1. Google Ad Exchange
Ad Exchange, which is now part of Google Ad Manager, remains one of the best ad networks for publishers. It connects publishers with premium big brand advertisers and includes demand from AdSense.
Publishers can gain access to preferred deals, filtering and blocking, the option to set inventory as branded or otherwise, Dynamic allocation, and many other premium features.
To gain access to Ad Exchange you need to have a very large amount of monthly impressions to receive an invite. Luckily, since MonetizeMore is a Google Certified Publisher Partner, we can give publishers that would not normally be able to access Google Ad Exchange.
Are you ready to get access to premium advertisers, higher rates, and specialized features? Find out more about joining Google Ad Exchange here.
AdMob is a Google-owned and operated company that has been conducting business since 2012. They serve over 200 billion ad requests worldwide every month, with over 1 million advertisers, and have 1 million apps currently running on the AdMob mobile ad network.
Some features include being able to cross-sell other apps for free using house ads, running direct deals with advertisers, and auto-updates through Google Play services without needing to modify your SDK. Platforms supported include iOS, Android, Unity, and Cocos2d-x.
Smaato is a real-time mobile advertising company serving more than 90 000 publishers, 10 000 advertisers, and over 90% of the top 100 Ad Age brands. Within their network, partners get access to over 1 billion global users on mobile devices.
The Smaato publisher platform, also known as SPX, gives publishers access to an ad server, RTB ad exchange, private marketplace capabilities, and more. They also help publishers increase ad revenues with Dynamic Demand, where impression yields are maximized on a single impression basis.
Publishers can enjoy high fill rates with access to over 260 DSPs and 190 integrated ad networks into the Smaato platform.
PubMatic offers a wide range of services to publishers but also provides a digital ad platform for app developers and publishers. They’ve launched their OpenWrap SDK to roll out header bidding for mobile in-app ads. This lightweight SDK connects to multiple cloud demand partners to improve app performance and increase competition for your ad inventory. This product offers a great benefit to app publishers and definitely should be tested within your ad stack.
RhythmOne (1R) is a multi-platform Ad Exchange that helps mobile app developers and web publishers maximize revenue. The company enables publishers to gain access to hundreds of demand partners within its network and provides a variety of solutions to access that demand. Whether through client-side (header bidder and proprietary tags) or server-side (Google’s Exchange Bidding) solutions.
They offer technological efficiency at every stage of the process to help effectively connect buyers to sellers and engage consumers on formats spanning video and connected TV (CTV), in-app, and display.
The company leverages RhythmGuard to respond to Google Exchange Bidding or Open bidding intelligently. This process makes sure that RhythmOne partners find greater value from publisher partner inventory, which leads to higher bid rates, CPMs, and ad revenue. Publishers using Google’s Exchange Bidding are seeing up to a 40% increase in programmatic revenue.
6. Index Exchange
Index Exchange gives publishers access to advertisers from around the world and from some of the largest DSPs and Agency Trading Desks. Integration is made simple with a team of skilled engineers allowing publishers to focus on what they do best instead of struggling with technical elements.
Index Exchange also puts a lot of effort into ensuring ads meet quality standards as each ad gets screened individually so that publishers don’t have to worry about malware and ad fraud.
TripleLift is great for in-app video ads. They can also support native video and use their own proprietary technology to create ad placements for publishers that match the look and feel of each of their apps. The integration can be direct via their own SDK or Google Open Bidding.
YieldMo’s main focus was initially on US-based ad inventory but recently activated to EU and UK demand for apps as well. Their ads are viewable, brand-safe, audience-friendly, and great at capturing user attention. You can directly integrate YieldMo with all significant DSPs through the open exchange, PMP, or a managed service.
MobFox enables publishers to monitor and optimize their ad inventory with one single interface while using features such as Smart Mediation, the MobFox SDK, their exchange, and more. MobFox has partnered with Moat, Pixelate, and GeoEdge to ensure that invalid traffic, malware, and bots don’t hurt publishers.
With their Smart Mediation option, you can monetize your in-app traffic with various ad formats and their SDK can be set up within 5 minutes. Their SDK also comes with a range of features such as audience analytics, MOAT viewability metrics, access to SDK-only advertisers to boost fill rates, and better ad quality.
MobFox will also further help increase ad revenue for publishers by using data to package audiences for private marketplace deals.
OpenX Mobile is a mobile ad exchange that provides over 900 premium app publishers access to global advertisers with a wide range of ad formats and integration options. Different ad types offered include banner ads, rich media, various video ad formats, and interstitial ads.
Publishers can maximize their yield through open auctions or private marketplaces with access to premium mobile demand. The mobile exchange is integrated with over 135 mobile-first demand partners and over 11000 advertisers.
The OpenX SDK is also lightweight and optimized for mobile while still offering the capabilities of rich media ads.
IronSource works with some of the top gaming mobile app publishers in the industry, including Ubisoft, Zynga, EA, Gameloft, and many more. They offer multi-platform support for iOS, Android, Unity, and many more.
The company’s SDK is integrated into over 500 000 million devices while serving 1 billion daily impressions within their ad network.
Publishers get access to premium and global ad inventories, ensuring they get the highest price possible for every impression. When you partner with IronSource, you can also use their leading ad formats, advanced reporting, and insights.
InMobi offers publishers a programmatic monetization platform where they can get access to a mediation platform, in-app advertising, global advertising demand, including over 200 DSPs and 5000 buyers representing top brands.
The InMobi Mediation platform helps publishers maximize their in-app ad earnings with unified auction solutions and header bidding for mobile apps.
Publishers can also tap into a wide range of advertisers from premium brands, direct deals, and programmatic options.
Get access to contextual, display, and native ads through the Media.net ad network. Media.net is often seen as one of the best alternatives to AdSense and, in this case, a very popular choice for mobile traffic monetization. The network also offers highly competitive CPMs and ad units that can be docked on the screen.
Fyber is a data-driven monetization platform that focuses on best-in-class technology. They offer a range of solutions to publishers, including FairBid and their video ad monetization platform.
Fyber is a form of mediation that uses header bidding within an app environment to run a transparent auction while increasing buying pressure.
Their video ad monetization platform drives programmatic demand to audiences while monetizing them with mobile-first video formats. Fyber connects publishers to over 150 DSPs and further increases competition by selling ad inventory across RTB, PMP, direct campaigns, and more.
StartApp offers a range of solutions for both advertisers and publishers. The company has over seven years of industry experience, six offices worldwide, over 50 000 partners, and works with 40% of the top-grossing apps.
For publishers, they give quick access to tier one traffic allowing them to monetize traffic from thousands of advertising campaigns. StartApp supports apps on almost all platforms, including iOS, Android, Unity, Cordova, Marmalade, and more.
They also offer multiple SDK integration solutions and the option of account manager assistance for optimizing campaigns.
Chartboost is one of the leading mobile app gaming audience platforms in the industry. Over 300 000 games utilize their SDK.
Their ad exchange gives publishers access to a vast mobile gaming audience, real-time bidding, relevant, and user-friendly in-app ads for monetization.
Their platform is dynamically optimized to earn publishers more revenue and high eCPMs. Game players will see a range of native ads, including rewarded video, interactive ads, and more – all with full transparency and control in the Chartboost dashboard.
17. Unity Ads
Unity ads help publishers integrate video ads into their games that maximize revenue and improves the user experience. They offer the highest revenue per user of any rewarded video ad network.
They work with publishers such as SEGA, Halfbrick, and Next Games to monetize their user base with video ads. Developers can offer gamers a variety of options such as additional life, currency, score increases, and more in exchange for watching a video.
This ad network focuses on increasing the lifetime value of a user instead of mere fill rates and eCPM values. The setup is simple, especially for those using the Unity engine. If not, you’ll only need to implement their universal SDK.
AdColonoy combines proven technology, premium advertisers part of Fortune 500 companies, and high fill rates into an all-in-one publisher monetization platform.
The platform offers award-winning video, display, and rich media ads that not only generate publisher app revenue but improve the user experience. Their custom ad units include full screen, vertical, in-feed placements, and more.
19. Smarty Ads
SmartyAds is the final mobile ad network we will discuss. With this site, you can monetize your apps and websites with a full range of ad tech tools.
Ad agencies, demand-side platforms, and premium ad networks are available through Smarty Ads’ OpenRTB protocol when you sign up.
You can customize the White Label Solution so you can have full control over your ads. The SmartyAds SSP monetizes multiple brands with a single solution.
The real-time quantum analytics help you view actionable insights into your ad campaigns. It also fits with DSPs, SSPs, Ad Servers, Ad Networks, & Billing systems.
They provide CPI and CPM formatting campaigns with banner, in-app, interstitial, native, video, and rich media ad formats.
Choosing the right mobile ad network depends on your company’s needs.
The mobile ad network that brings in higher eCPMs, diverse ad formats, and insight metrics is the one to go for.
Sign up as a publisher and advertiser for your app to maximize monetization.
Don’t let the hard work you put into developing, marketing, and gaining mass adoption with your mobile app go to waste. We can help you set up the right in-app advertising model for your property, including setting up yield groups, testing out new demand partners, and daily optimizations. Ready to take your app ad revenue to the next level?
What are mobile ad networks?
A mobile ad network is where advertisers buy, and publishers sell mobile display ad inventory.
Some of the best ad networks for Android include AdMob, Facebook, InMobi, Media.net, and Smaato. However, each one is different, and we recommend that publishers test networks to see which one performs the best. We also provide more information on each in the blog post.
App ads are display advertising that app publishers use to monetize their mobile apps. There exist different types of app ads, such as rewarded video ads, banners, interstitial ads, and more.
The one that pays the most will differ depending on various factors such as traffic quality and geography, niche, audience type, and more. Also, you can only really determine which ad network pays the most by testing different networks. See our list of networks to get started.
App ads are a simple and scalable way to monetize app ad inventory. That's why many apps have ads. Other monetization methods include ad-free paid app versions or in-app purchases. App publishers often utilize a combination of different monetization models.
Results vary. For example, interstitials have higher CPM rates than banner ads. Rewarded video ads get great CPM too. Depending on the user geolocation, ad formats and other aspects, it ranges from $1 for banner up to $10 for interstitial or rewarded.