In recent years, mobile usage has been gaining increased popularity, with more people accessing the internet through their mobile devices as opposed to desktop machines. The ad industry has responded accordingly. The various mobile-specific ad networks out there are a great way for publishers to monetize their mobile web and in-app inventory.
If you’re trying to find the right one for your needs, however, it may seem like a challenge. Because a ‘good’ ad network can mean different things. That’s why we put together this list of the best mobile ad networks for publishers to help you differentiate between some of the most popular names in the industry.
Ever since it was established in 2011, AdColony has built a solution that relies on top-notch technology, high-quality demand, and abundant ad formats. It was created with mobile app developers in mind and has a reach of more than 1.5 billion users globally. The company offers many innovative monetizing methods such as Instant-Play™ HD video, Aurora™ HD video, and playables, which include engaging ad formats like instant play, vertical video, interactive video, etc. It supports the CPM, CPA, CPC, CPCV, and CPI, advertising models. AdColony is part of the Digital Turbine platform.
Start.io (formerly known as StartApp)
Start.io is a mobile marketing and audience platform, founded in 2010. Through its direct integration with one million mobile apps, it has access to valuable first-party data. As a result, the company aims to empower its clients to use this advanced data insight to make data-driven decisions regarding their strategy. Their products include a growth platform, a mobile SDK, and the Maia audience-building platform, among others.
Start.io offers demand in the form of diverse ad campaigns, based on CPA, CPC, CPM, and CPI. There is a wide range of ad formats available, which include video ads, interstitials, VR ads, 360 ads, and native ads.
Founded in 2007 in India, the company now has an international presence. It has access to over 1.5 billion mobile users across more than 32,000 mobile properties. InMobi is famous for creating a unique new way to target consumers called ‘Appographic targeting’. It’s an app-interest-based audience targeting capability. It draws on users’ app interests and use, as opposed to demographics or location, for example. The InMobi team analyzed over ten thousand apps to identify their core characteristics, regardless of app category. Then, they segmented their audience into 200 Appographic segments to facilitate marketers. InMobi operates on a CPC, CPI, CPA, CPX, and CPM basis, working with Android, iOS, and mobile web.
Chartboost was founded in 2011 by successful developers and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in several other locations. They operate as an in-app programmatic advertising and monetization platform with access to 700M monthly app users. The company’s own, lightweight Helium SDK offers an in-app unified auction that allows real-time bids for every impression. Ad formats include immersive videos, statics, and playables. In addition, Chartboost offers cross-promotion, allowing developers to advertise their new apps in their existing popular apps. The company supports ad monetization on different app stores, including Apple, Google Play, and Amazon.
Smaato is a well-known name in the digital advertising industry and has been around for over 16 years. They have a lot of experience in mobile advertising, in fact, their origins come from mobile ad tech. Currently, Smaato offers a self-serve omnichannel monetization solution along with a free ad server. The company advertises itself as an operating system, ad format, size, screen, and device-agnostic platform. They offer different integration options including a Software development kit (SDK) for apps, ad tag integration, etc. Formats include banners, interstitials, rich media, interstitial video, rewarded video, native ads, vertical video, and playable rewarded ads.
IronSource was established in 2010 by a founding team with experience in building consumer web apps. They now have 9 offices worldwide and 800 employees. The company focuses on supporting app businesses, while also giving developers full control.
In their mediation service, ironSource combines user acquisition and monetization in one platform. It features an in-app bidding engine, A/B testing, detailed analysis, CPI-based cross-promotion campaigns, and more. Also, the ironSource segmentation tool lets developers build custom ad flows for different player segments, to further maximize ad revenue. Ad units include rewarded video, offerwall, video interstitials, rewarded interstitial, and banners/MREC.
Moloco is a mobile advertising platform specializing in-app user acquisition, user engagement, and app monetization. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, it was founded in 2013 and employs top talent from Google, Amazon, and Twitter. Their platform reaches 7.5 billion devices around the world. The company’s offerings include a real-time bidding platform, a cloud DSP, and the Moloco machine learning engine. With the latter, the company focuses on putting publishers’ in-house data to good use by combining it with its proprietary machine learning technology. For example, it optimizes ad serving or delivers relevant sponsored ads. Moloco’s solutions cater to advertisers and publishers in nearly every app category.
AppLovin is another name often found on many best mobile ad platform lists. The company was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with a total of 19 offices around the globe. It has access to 350+ first-party apps. AppLovin offers a comprehensive platform consisting of several products, including their AppDiscovery app growth tool, MAX in-app monetization solution, and а mobile in-app RTB exchange called ALX. In terms of monetization, AppLovin puts its focus on global demand, automated workflows, transparent reporting, and powerful analytics.
With mobile ads prevailing over desktop, choosing the right mobile ad network has become all the more important. Of course, your decision depends on your monetization goals and individual preferences. Ultimately, it all comes down to testing an ad network first-hand (or several) and we hope the list above will help you narrow things down and kick-start your mobile monetization journey.