Ad Monetization + SKAdNetwork: Singular announces a measurement solution for Ad Revenue-based Apps

By Lisi Gardiner February 18, 2021

When Apple first announced its iOS 14 privacy changes, the million-dollar question became how marketers will continue to attribute users to their respective sources, measure marketing ROAS, and hit their KPIs in a post-IDFA world. Marketers have become reliant on optimizing their campaigns with precision and based on each new user’s value.

At Singular, we invested in SKAdNetwork before any other mobile measurement provider and led the way with solutions that enable marketers to continue to optimize on the KPIs that matter for their app. Our SKAdNetwork Conversion Management lets marketers define, analyze and activate different conversion models, including ones based on in-app purchases (IAP), retention, and conversion events.

But there was one large missing piece to the puzzle: what about ad revenue-based apps? Ad monetization has always been a cornerstone revenue stream for verticals like gaming, and not even the pandemic has been able to slow it down. Gaming giants like Zynga and Glu made record-breaking profits in 2020, which would not be possible without ad monetization. This IDC report showed mobile gamers reported in-game ads are ubiquitous— 74% said they’d seen at least one rewarded video ad. The myth that in-app ads hurt user experience is long gone in the gaming sector.

So the question became how we can move forward with the SKAdNetwork framework while also providing a way for advertisers to tie together their UA activity with the user-generated ad revenue?

Today, we are excited to present our latest addition to the Singular SKAN solution that we’ll be rolling out soon to customers: SKAdNetwork support for Ad Revenue. With our SDKs, Conversion Management, and Reporting solutions, Singular’s industry-leading SKAdNetwork solution is powering ad revenue-based apps to run successful marketing programs in iOS 14 and beyond.

User Acquisition for Ad Revenue-based Apps

For those of us at Singular captivated with helping game developers measure Ad Revenue, we needed to find a way to continue and provide robust ad revenue measurement in iOS 14.5 and beyond. Gaming developers spend their days fine-tuning the balance between IAPs and serving ads. Savvy game developers know that they need to take that one step further; optimizing their UA campaigns by the true ROAS is critical to any successful strategy. When ad monetization is a core part of your business model, you need to have an easy way not only to manage your overall activity and have a clear understanding of the revenue coming in but also to tie that back to user activity. That understanding is critical to knowing which ad sources and campaigns you need to scale and which ones aren’t worth the investment. Even without IDFA, ad revenue cannot go untracked.

However, the challenge at hand when it comes to SKAdNetwork is that the app developer often doesn’t know the revenue value when the ad impression is served. Unlike IAPs where it’s easy enough to collect the revenue values into buckets and calculate the conversion value, ad revenue presents a new challenge.

Integrating Ad Revenue into SKAdNetwork

As a reminder, SKAdNetwork Attribution is based on client-side updates that are done by the app whenever important activities that identify valuable users are happening. We covered the basics of SKAdNetwork back in July 2020 when announcing SKAN, a framework for SKAdNetwork-enabled measurement for app developers.

Singular has long been a leading solution for collecting, normalizing, and aggregating ad revenue data across monetization partners for ad revenue-based apps. Working together with leading ad mediation solutions such as MoPub and ironSource, we can offer a streamlined way for app developers to measure ROAS based on ad revenue.

By combining the two solutions, we looked for ways to integrate Singular’s SKAdNetwork product with its Ad Monetization product and found a solution—with impression-level ad revenue.

Impression level ad revenue is commonly reported by the mediation provider’s SDK, both due to privacy and simplicity. Singular’s Ad Monetization product already collects impression-level revenue events and “translates” them to our SDK as a particular revenue type. Impression volumes are typically much greater than IAP; however, if we aggregate them on the client, we could allow app developers to leverage ad revenue as regular revenue hassle-free via existing SDKs. The mediation provider’s SDK will report impression-level revenue, and Singular’s SDK will aggregate it and update the SKAdNetwork framework according to the model that the marketer configures. Even better? There’s absolutely no development needed for the app teams; they’ll only need to update to our latest SDK version.

Announcing a solution for Ad Monetization

Joining forces with ironSource’s Ad Revenue Measurement solution and MoPub’s Impression-level Revenue Data solution, we’re proud to announce that soon app developers will be able to connect accurate ad revenue into SKAdNetwork-based campaign optimization. Ad revenue-based will update conversion values against the actual ad revenue amounts without needing to default to individual events as you would with other solutions or spend valuable development time implementing these yourself in your app. Singular will do all the hard work for you.


SKAdNetwork Ad Monetization MoPub


Our revenue-based model for SKAdNetwork is already allowing marketers to customize their revenue buckets or use fixed-size buckets for a fast, two-click setup. Simply choose the amounts according to your expected totals during the model’s measurement period, which is 24 hours by default.

SKAdNetwork Ad Monetization
Singular’s Conversion Management Configuration with support for Ad Revenue-based models

And it is not limited to ad revenue alone! Many of our customers have apps that leverage both Ad Revenue and IAP, and our solution can easily combine both. Your revenue-based updates to the SKAdNetwork framework can be determined by the actual economy that your users are experiencing on the app.


SKAdNetwork Ad Monetization ironSource


Continuing to Invest in the World’s Most Advanced SKAdNetwork Solution

Singular’s SKAdNetwork solution is built to simplify the complexities of SKAdnetwork and help marketers traverse this massive shift with clear, understandable, and most importantly, actionable data. We will continue to invest in SKAdNetwork Attribution to ensure we provide our customers with the most advanced solution available.

If you’re a Singular attribution customer and you haven’t done so yet, please implement our latest SDK and explore our technical documentation. Our technical team is here to help you navigate through these changes.

Want to see Singular’s iOS 14 and SKAdNetwork solution in action? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

Have questions on testing? Need to stay up to date with industry developments? Join the Mobile App Privacy slack group, a growing community of app developers and marketers working together to solve for the future of mobile acquisition.


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