Glossary
Mobile App Terminology

Ad Mediation


What is ad mediation?

Ad mediation refers to the use of technology to maximize the ad monetization of app publishers by increasing their display ad fill rates and eCPM rates. Ad mediation and mediation platforms search ad networks for the best inventory for publishers and subsequently send ad requests to increase fill rates.

In order to understand ad mediation, let’s first define how app publishers earn revenue from ads:

Ad revenue = Ad requests * fill rate * eCPM

Given these variables, ad mediation attempts to optimize either the fill rate or eCPM (or both) to increase the revenue earned for each ad request. To do so, ad mediation platforms provide publishers with access to multiple ad networks. Advertisers from various networks then compete for the available inventory and the meditation platform selects the one that provides the publisher with the highest ROI.

Ad mediation platforms also allow publishers looking to increase the monetization to rank ad networks in order of preference. If their top ad networks are unable to fill an ad request, the ad mediation platform simply goes down the list and attempts to fill the request with another network.

Working with ad mediation platforms?

Learn how Singular can help boost your ad revenue

Uses of ad mediation and mediation platforms

As mentioned, ad mediation and mediation platforms connect to multiple ad networks with a single integration. With data from each network, ad mediation is then performed using an optimization algorithm to fill an app’s ad inventory with the highest CPM possible. In short, the primary use case of ad mediation and mediation platforms is increasing ad revenue for publishers.

Ad mediation platforms initially used what’s called a ‘waterfall’ approach to ad networks in which advertisers can prioritize ad networks based on their preferences and potential ad revenue from each source. As the mediation platform ironSource highlights, ad mediation evolved to use a ‘weighted waterfall system’, which prioritizes ad networks based on weight:

The ad network’s weight is determined by the performance of one network in relation to others. This results in only the top pool of ads from each network being requested, which ensures that developers fill high-performing ads from each network first before moving on to lower paying ads.

As a result, ironSource reports that developers see an average of 40% increase in ad revenue from this weighted waterfall system.

Mediation is now turning increasingly to header bidding. While the waterfall works through one ad network at a time, header bidding sends the open ad slot to many simultaneously, increasing speed and offering a more transparent bidding process for the advertising opportunity.

Working with ad mediation platforms?

Learn how Singular can help boost your ad revenue

How Singular works with ad mediation

Singular’s ad monetization reporting solution enables publishers to track and aggregate all their ad revenue from different networks and mediation platforms into a single dashboard. With the ad revenue attribution and analytics data in hand, marketers are able to see a complete view of their advertising ROI from each network they use. In addition, having a holistic view of your ad monetization can reveal insights and opportunities to further improve your monetization efforts.

As highlighted in our blog post on ad monetization, Singular works closely with mediation platforms to report all your ad revenue at as granular a level as possible:

Singular not only gets the real-time ad revenue per impression from the mediator, but we’re also taking on the heavy lifting of combining that data with acquisition cost and SKAN conversion data to give you the most complete, timely performance reporting needed to optimize for your highest value users.

By automatically collecting, normalizing, and combining ad revenue data from various sources, this can help marketers better allocate inventory to maximize ad sales. Finally, by having all ad revenue data in a single location, this helps marketers determine the true ROI of their marketing efforts. In turn, this helps marketers make better decisions about which campaigns and channels are driving the highest return and scale their marketing efforts more intelligently.

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