Key Points

  • There are 3 ways to get access to AdX demand as a mobile app developer.
  • Of the 2 options that don’t require you to be a massive publisher, the best option by far is to implement an SDK that combines both in-app header bidding and app mediation demand.
  • Adding AdX demand to an existing waterfall typically cuts out most of the benefits of a fully functional SDK.

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The Complete Guide to App Advertising

The Complete Guide to App Advertising

How to Get Access to AdX

getting-access-to-adxThere are a few ways to get access to Google Ad Exchange (also known as Google AdX):

  1. Be Approved as a Publisher: You can be approved as a standalone web or app publisher to have direct access to the exchange, but this requires that you are very large. Typically website publishers can only achieve this if they have on the order of 5 million monthly page views or more.
  2. Through Google AdMob or Google Ad Manager (GAM): Smaller publishers can get access through AdMob for apps and Google Ad Manager (formerly Google AdSense). Access through these Google tools is not limited by the same size requirements as direct access, but the feature-set you have to work with is much more limited.
  3. Through a Google Certified Publishing Partner: The third way to get access would be to work with a Google Certified Publishing partner. In this instance, the size and scale of the partner you choose to work with would determine the available feature set.

Since the majority of publishers aren’t able to get direct access to Google AdX, they’ll have to choose one of the second two options. Below, we break down each option, and provide some guidance on implementation.

Using Google AdMob

Starting with AdMob is pretty simple and straightforward. While you do have to integrate the Google Mobile Ads software development kit (SDK), you only need a phone number and a Google account once you’re past that technical hurdle. From there, you use AdMob’s dashboard to create an ad unit and place it in your app where and when the ad should appear. 

You’ll have minimal controls on what you can do through AdMob when it comes to price floors and other settings, but it is a great place to start.

Getting AdX Through a Google Certified Publishing Partner

When trying to work with a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP), we see app developers take two routes:

  1. Implement a full solution: In this instance, an app developer would choose to work with a partner to implement a fully functional SDK for all in-app ad monetization.
  2. Build the GCPP into your existing waterfall: In this instance, an app developer is looking to pull demand from AdX app, through the GCPP, and build it into their existing waterfall structure.

There are certainly pros and cons to each approach, depending upon what you are looking for. We get this question frequently during our sales process, and wanted to help break down the differences for those looking to select the best option for their needs.

Implement a Full Ad Monetization SDK

In the majority of cases, this is the better option for most app developers, provided they choose the right partner.

At Playwire, we’ve built our SDK to maximize competition. In doing so, we are forcing both in-app header bidding solutions (like Prebid and Google Open Bidding) and app mediation partners (like App Lovin or Inmobi) to compete with each other in an entirely new way.

App-Mediation-Partners_In-App-Header-Bidding (1)Prior to the RAMP SDK, you either had to choose between mediation or header bidding, and integrating multiple demand sources required an individual SDK integration for each source.

If you are moving from a pure mediation solution, adding header bidding to your mix will significantly increase the competition, and ultimate revenue for your inventory.

-- Article Continues Below --Ad Exchange Resource Center

The Complete Ad Exchange Resource Center


How Playwire’s RAMP SDK Works

First, our in-app header bidding solution forces a unified auction between Prebid, Google Open Bidding, Amazon TAM, and demand from our own in-house Direct Sales team.

This creates a true unified auction, resulting in the highest bid from all of these sources.

That bid is then compared against bids from app mediation partners in a waterfall architecture, since mediation partners don’t provide a real-time bid, making it impossible to have them compete in the unified auction.

Ultimately, this solution blends the best of in-app header bidding technology with app mediation technology, resulting in a “best of both worlds” approach for the app publisher.


Benefits of the Full Solution

In addition to the increased overall ad revenue (driven by increased competition) mentioned above, this solution also provides app developers with a healthy mix of both brand and performance demand.

Traditional app mediation solutions provide primarily performance, or CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) based demand. The majority of ads available from these sources are ads for other apps. This means that app developers are paid only when a user downloads the app that is being promoted in the ad, which comes with all kinds of tracking issues and time delays for getting paid.

Header bidding solutions provide heavily brand, or CPM (Cost Per Mille) based demand. These are ads paid for by brands to gain awareness with your audience, and you get paid per impression. This creates a revenue stream that is more consistent, predictable, and faster to pay.

Incorporating AdX Demand into Your Waterfall

Many app developers are seeking to simply get access to AdX app demand (since they are not large enough to do so on their own) and build it into their existing waterfall structure.

This may make sense for app development companies or studios that have a full in-house ad operations team, dedicated to maintaining the many integrations required to build their own solution from scratch, which is quite rare.

Without a dedicated ad operations team, most app developers will have to figure out how to split focus between putting resources toward improving their app or the day-to-day of ad management. Most developers will be far better off focusing on app development, improving experience, and increasing user base than in the minutia of ad management.

In the cases where this is the desired solution, you’ll need to find a GCPP that works with this type of set-up. You’ll need to reach out on a partner-by-partner basis to find one that meets your needs.

Can Playwire Provide AdX APP Demand without Full SDK Integration?

Playwire’s RAMP for App solution cannot be integrated in this way, as it removes nearly all of the benefits of the technology that have been built to maximize publisher revenue and simplify operations. If app developers are interested in working with Playwire, they must implement the full SDK in order to take advantage of all the sources of demand we’ve integrated.

What’s Best for You?

Ultimately the solution that is right for you is based on your team, your needs, and what you’re looking for. We highly recommend integrating our full SDK, as it significantly cuts down on the time and effort required to manage ads and integrations while simultaneously maximizing competition and ad revenue.

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