Programmatic Mediation: What Mobile Developers Need To Know

With its roots in the web advertising practice of “Header Bidding,” programmatic mediation — sometimes called “in-app header bidding” — gives multiple demand sources the opportunity to compete for premium ad inventory, ensuring more revenue for devs and greater opportunities for advertisers. By building on the success of previous models, developers can use this approach to ensure ad impressions are sold at the best possible price in order to positively impact their bottom line.

 

What is programmatic mediation?

Programmatic mediation is a mobile ad monetization practice in which multiple demand sources like ad networks and DSPs participate in real-time auctions for ad impressions in mobile games and apps.

When an ad is needed, the app delivers whatever information is available about the user to multiple demand sources and requests a bid. The demand sources then consult their own data sets, determine what an appropriate bid should be based on the orders they have to fill, and return a bid to the app.

Based on the values returned, the app then selects the most profitable offer and the impression goes to that source. Bids are calculated in real-time across multiple demand sources, allowing publishers to fill ad requests with the most profitable ads in seconds.

 

How does programmatic mediation differ from waterfall monetization?

Prior to programmatic mediation, many mobile developers relied on ad waterfalls to fill ad requests by arranging ad networks in order of expected yield. Using waterfall monetization, any network assigned to a premium space at the top of a waterfall would have the most frequent opportunities to fill ad inventory, while networks that didn’t historically offer high eCPMs would be limited to down-waterfall opportunities that premium networks opted not to fill.

Waterfalls still see widespread use today, but they can be inefficient, are time-consuming to maintain, and lack transparency when determining which networks are placed in premium positions.

 

What are the benefits of programmatic mediation for mobile developers and publishers?

The benefits of programmatic mediation for mobile developers are plentiful:

  • The real-time auctions that power programmatic mediation are more efficient than waterfalls and ensure greater value for publishers.
  • They automatically establish and process the highest bid rather than cycling through each network in sequence. As a result, demand sources are given the opportunity to participate on a level playing field, since each has the chance to offer an opportunity-specific bid without needing to prove their value beforehand.
  • Some programmatic mediation solutions use a hybrid method that offer increased flexibility by combining the best elements of waterfalls and real-time auction bidding. These offer pre-existing sources first refusal on ad inventory before turning requests over to a complete auction, striking an ideal balance that allows publishers to make the most of their existing relationships while still preserving the option of optimizing their inventory in a more automated way.
  • When managed effectively, programmatic mediation’s automated processes are also crucial time-savers that quickly resolve bidding for invested parties. Programmatic mediation helps publishers monetize missed revenue opportunities that might occur during multiple passes of a given waterfall.

 

Tapjoy’s programmatic mediation services

In our 10+ years as a mobile ad network, Tapjoy has connected mobile publishers with the highest-paying advertisers from across the globe. We’ve taken pride in filling ad inventory with relevant creative at top industry rates for developers. With our recent acquisition of Tapdaq, we’re now also able to offer a powerful programmatic mediation solution informed by our years of experience. Whatever audience you’re pursuing, our goal is to ensure money is never left on the table.

Tapdaq’s hybrid mediation solution lets publishers choose whether to manually assign direct network deals or reach demand partners automatically using programmatic methods. These services are compatible with all of Tapjoy’s high-performing ad formats, including interstitials and rewarded video. Tapdaq also includes ad analytics, providing developers with actionable monetization insights.

Programmatic mediation is just the latest tactic adopted by mobile monetization platforms — and hybrid solutions suggest its evolution is still ongoing. For more advice on how to most effectively implement the process in your apps, contact the monetization experts at Tapjoy today.

With its roots in the web advertising practice of “Header Bidding,” programmatic mediation — sometimes called “in-app header bidding” — gives multiple demand sources the opportunity to compete for premium ad inventory, ensuring more revenue for devs and greater opportunities for advertisers. By building on the success of previous models, developers can use this approach to ensure ad impressions are sold at the best possible price in order to positively impact their bottom line.

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