Key Points

  • Mobile ad mediation solutions were initially built to help app developers easily monetize their apps with ads. A few mediation partners have come to be known as the “top providers.”
  • Over time, it has become clear that mediation solutions have a few key problems, and don’t come close to the level of transparency and technological advancement available for web monetization.
  • Playwire’s RAMP for App solution helps app developers overcome those problems and provides a more comprehensive solution than any ad mediation platform alone.

Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an App Ad Mediation Partner?

App mediation partners have built solutions to monetize mobile apps with ads. They are integrated into an app by the developer using a pre-built SDK.

App ad mediation partners provide centralized access to multiple ad networks in a single software development kit (SDK) integration. They then work to increase your cost per mille (CPM) rates by algorithmically selecting the best ad network to fill each programmatic call for bids.

What are the Biggest drawbacks when it comes to App Mediation solutions?

When app mediation solutions first entered the market, they were great. They solved a problem that app developers had little way to solve on their own.

However, over time it became clear that app mediation solutions didn’t quite measure up to the technology used for website monetization. In particular, traditional app mediation comes with a few drawbacks:

  • Every SDK requires integration: To incorporate more sources of demand means integrating (and painstakingly maintaining) many different SDKs.
  • Waterfall auction means losing chances at higher bids: Because of the auction process used in mediation solutions, app publishers regularly miss out on the opportunities for higher bids.
  • Lack of revenue transparency: The app industry also hasn’t quite matched up with the level of transparency available on the web side. Traditional mediation solutions give app publishers no knowledge of how much an impression is being sold for, meaning they have no idea what “cut” of that impression is held by the mediation partner.

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A Better Solution

So, Playwire decided to change that. We’ve taken our 17+ years of experience monetizing websites and translated the best parts into our RAMP for App solution. It incorporates demand from all the top mediation networks and works to unify the auction with in-app header bidding.

Rather than integrating a single app mediation partner, you can integrate all of the following in a single SDK:

  • Google Open Bidding
  • Amazon Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM)
  • Prebid
  • Google Premium Demand
  • Full-service management of meditation partners

Not only do you get access to quality demand in a single SDK, but Playwire’s approach to in-app header bidding means you don’t miss out on opportunities for higher bids, as is common in the traditional waterfall approach built into most mediation integrations.

Mobile Ad Mediation

Top App Mediation Partners

We are, however, often still asked who the best app mediation partners are. So, to that end, we thought we would share some information on which mediation partners we’ve chosen to include in our comprehensive solution. We’ve done the research and compiled information from many objective, disparate sources so you can continue to research on your own.

The app mediation partners we integrate are incorporated into our stack and compete head-to-head against header bidding partners, generating the closest experience to a unified auction available in the app space.

Ad mediation is one big piece of the ad revenue puzzle for your mobile app. If you’re ready to complete the puzzle and take your revenue to the next level, you’re ready to work with Playwire. Contact our team today.



The Top Mobile Ad Mediation Partners in 2024:

  1. AdMob
  2. AppLovin
  3. ironSource
  4. Appodeal
  5. Inmobi
  6. Smaato
  7. Chartboost
  8. PubMatic

Note: this article is regularly reviewed and updated to keep the guidance current and the list up to date. If you feel something is missing from this list, please don't hesitate to contact us with your feedback or request.

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App Monetization Resource Center

App Monetization Resource Center

1. Google AdMob

AdMob is Google’s answer to app mediation. And like most Google products, it does a really good job. The platform integrates with more than 30 of the top ad networks, and more than 97% of AdAge’s top 100 advertisers purchase ad inventory through AdMob mediation. In addition to access to huge demand, AdMob comes with some incredibly handy features like automatic audience segmentation.


Publisher Benefits:

Most publishers will need to use AdMob to some extent to bring in Google demand, but the tool actually comes with some nice features. AdMob is going big on automation, and its automated tasks stand to save publishers a fair amount of time. Another nice feature is the tool’s dedicated setup guidance for particular types of apps, such as mobile games.


AdMob Reviews: 

AdMob reviews are generally positive, with users commenting on easy integration and management most often. Negatives tended to focus on poor support and a relatively high payout threshold. AdMob had a 7.7 out of 10 on TrustRadius and a 4.2 out of 5 on G2.

Learn More About Google AdMob

2. AppLovin

AppLovin is a well-known name in the app development space, and its app mediation solution lives up to the hype. The platform connects app publishers with multiple ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs), and it uses predictive algorithms and machine learning to get better at boosting your CPMs over time.


Publisher Benefits:

AppLovin is one of the biggest names in the app mediation space, which means it has broad access to not only publishers but also media buyers. That translates to broad demand for your ad inventory. Meanwhile, the platform has invested heavily in AI and machine learning to produce some time-saving automation and shortcuts perfect for busy publishers.


AppLovin Reviews: 

AppLovin had an 8.2 on TrustRadius and a 4.5 on G2. A straightforward interface, engaging ad formats, and broad demand were some of the top benefits that reviewers mentioned. As for negatives, some reviewers complained about inadequate anti-fraud controls.

Learn More About AppLovin

3. ironSource

Called LevelPlay, ironSource’s app mediation tool is one of the best in the business in 2024. In addition to connecting publishers with incredibly broad global demand, LevelPlay also runs an “auto optimization algorithm” that takes real-time data into account as it selects networks for your auctions.


Publisher Benefits:

ironSource calls its reporting tools the “most comprehensive reporting available,” and that is a statement many publishers using this app mediation partner would likely support. The tool is also well-known for having relationships with the top bidders, but it also comes with built-in optimization tools you can use to keep your revenue climbing.


ironSource Reviews: 

With 5 stars on G2 and a 7.8 on TrustRadius, ironSource is one of the better-reviewed app mediation partners out there. Naysayers said the tool sometimes would not deliver at targets they set, and positive reviewers tended to like the immediate support and ease of setup.

Learn More About ironSource


Appodeal is a mediation platform that claims to do “hybrid” header bidding and waterfall programmatic auctions, resulting in the highest available CPMs. Founded in 2014, Appodeal prides itself on being a partner dedicated to putting publishers' interests first.


Publisher Benefits:

A one-step growth engine,  as they refer to themselves, Appodeal offers a variety of core features including in-app bidding optimization, automatic UA optimization, user segments, and ad placements. The tool also hosts a powerful ad server connection, and privacy and fraud protection.


Appodeal Reviews:

Appodeal has a fantastic 4.7 stars out of 5 on G2, where users praised how effortless setup and integration are and the overall usage of the tool. Additionally, reviewers appreciate how supportive and responsive their support team is.

Learn More About Appodeal

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5. InMobi

InMobi calls itself the “world’s most comprehensive monetization platforms for publishers,” and while we can’t plainly verify that claim, we can say this is one of the leading app mediation partners in 2024. Specializing in contextual mobile advertising, the Indian company has branched out since its 2007 founding into all corners of the app mediation space.


Publisher Benefits:

This tool brings access to broad global demand, with an exchange that features more than 200 demand-side platforms (DSPs) and more than 5,000 programmatic buyers. Combine that demand with a lightweight and functional SDK and strong ad formats like innovative native ads, and you have a strong contender for your demand stack.


InMobi Reviews:

While the reputation of InMobi is largely positive, its limited online reviews were somewhat mixed. The tool had 3.4 stars on G2 at the time of publication. Cons mentioned by reviewers included low eCPMs, account banning without explanation, and lacking anti-fraud controls. Pros covered items like focused demand in specific geographic locations, strong reporting functions, and broad demand.

Learn More About InMobi

6. Smaato

Smaato is one of those multi-tool ad tech companies that includes an ad server on top of its comprehensive app mediation services. This company has been around since 2005 — a lifetime in the world of ad tech — making it one of the best-known and most trusted names in the space.


Publisher Benefits:

Smaato requires no subscription and allows publishers to mediate with other partners inside its ecosystem, making it one of the more open mediation partners available today. It also offers what it calls a “modular” SDK that enables faster integrations and updates thacome with fewer headaches.


Smaato Reviews:

With 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2 but few reviews elsewhere online, Smaato is one of the leading app mediation partners for publishers in 2024. Positive reviews called out the high quality of the platform’s inventory, strong programmatic functionality, and transparency. The negative reviews called out issues like a buggy dashboard and problematic reporting capabilities. 

Learn More About Smaato

7. Chartboost

Chartboost is heavy on tech and makes that clear in its branding. With ad monetization partnerships across a global array of big and small brands, Chartboost offers app publishers a strong boost in demand to add to their demand stack.


Publisher Benefits:

Chartboost is one of the only app mediation partners that can support monetization on Amazon’s app store. The tool also provides in-house teams to help advertisers lead their campaigns, drawing more focused and higher-value demand into app publishers’ scopes.


Chartboost Reviews:

Relatively few reviews of Chartboost were available online at the time of publication, but of those that were, most were not very positive. On G2, Chartboost had only 2.1 stars. While some reviewers praised the intuitive user dashboard, most were upset about perceived drawbacks like low earnings, poor customer service, and limited reporting capabilities.

Learn More About Chartboost

8. PubMatic

PubMatic is a widely known name in all corners of ad tech, including app mediation. The tool’s OpenWrap SDK has received wide praise for its utility and easy integration. PubMatic is one of the only app mediation partners on this list that is publicly traded, and while that is no guarantee of quality, being beholden to investors can certainly spur innovation in some companies.


Publisher Benefits:

PubMatic’s OpenWrap SDK is lightweight but packs a punch of powerful tools. It supports video and allows for A/B testing. Built-in reporting tools are some of the best in the industry and remain completely customizable.


Pubmatic Reviews:

This tool had mixed and limited reviews on only one platform: G2. There, PubMatic came away with 3.2 out of 5 stars on average. The better reviews focused on positive aspects like PubMatic’s easy navigation, high CPMs, high fill rates, and real-time analytics. On the negative side, reviews note issues like subpar customer service and lacking integrations with some major DSPs.

Learn More About Pubmatic

Get Comprehensive App Management with Playwire

You could choose to work directly with a single-app mediation partner, but you’d be leaving revenue on the table. Why not incorporate the most high-quality mediation sources with in-app header bidding and maximize your ad revenue potential?

That’s where we come in. The Playwire team is here to handle every part of your mobile app revenue to take it to the absolute maximum. That includes picking the best app mediation partners, header bidding, campaigns, and much more.

To learn more about how Playwire can get your app’s revenue where it needs to be, reach out to us. Contact us online today.

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More on the Ad Tech Ecosystem

Are you interested in reviewing all your ad tech options but unsure where to begin given the complexity of the industry? Don't fret, Playwire has your back!

Learn more about all the players and tools available across the ad tech landscape with our new Ad Tech Ecosystem webpage, which is updated regularly, and includes information on ad networks, native ad solutions, consent management partners, data management platforms, and everything in between!