Benefits of Unified Auctions for Publishers and Advertisers

In-App Programmatic


December 14, 2018


min read

Welcome back to part two in our blog series on Header Bidding and In-App Unified Auctions!In our first blog post, we introduced the concept of header bidding and its evolution from the web to unified auctions in the mobile app world. In this blog post, we?ll go over the benefits of in-app unified auctions for publishers and advertisers.

Benefits of In-App Unified Auctions For Publishers

Ask any app developer that does in-app ad monetization about their biggest headaches and most would probably give you a long list of frustrations, from lengthy SDK integration processes to repetitive mediation waterfall position adjustments. In-app unified auctions can be a solution to tackle these pain points. ?

Unified Auction benefits for publishers

Benefit #1: Maximize Ads Yield

In-app purchases and advertising are the two main revenue streams for free apps. Ad revenue can be over 90% of overall revenue for some apps. To optimize this income, developers often use mediation waterfalls to manage different monetization partners. However, the sequential ad serving used by waterfalls naturally introduces barriers to maximizing yield, since the waterfall is only indicative of the average historical eCPM performance of each monetization partner. In-app unified auctions send out ad requests to all participating demand partners at the same time, and run auctions based on CPM prices in bid responses from demand partners. The demand partner that bids the highest CPM price will win the auction and get the chance to show the ad. This flattened ad request and auction mechanism introduce more competition at each ad request level, which helps developers maximize ad revenue.

Benefit #2: Diversify Demand

Game developers usually see a lot of performance ads, especially gaming performance ads, in their monetized games. A common fear among developers is users? ad fatigue or losing users to other gaming apps. Brand advertising seems to be a rising need for game developers. In-app unified auctions allow brand DSPs to compete against traditional ad networks for valuable mobile app audiences. Some segments of mobile app users might be deemed very valuable from a brand advertisers? perspective, in comparison to traditional performance advertisers. Developers using unified auctions get the benefit of seeing more brand ads in their apps, especially during peak shopping seasons.

Benefit #3: Minimize Operating Costs

There are usually many human working hours behind a developers? monetization strategy. Managing the waterfall setup can be quite exhausting. The monetization team needs to constantly negotiate special deals, monitor performance, and adjust waterfall positions for demand partners. Some developers might set up multiple line items or instances for each ad network for a given app, placement, and country, which adds more complexity to the waterfall management. Waterfalls can include hundreds or even thousands of line item settings for some developers. In-app unified auctions save a lot of time for your monetization team by applying simultaneous auctions to all participating demand partners. After integrating in-app unified auctions, day-to-day operations for the monetization team become much easier. No more manual waterfall adjustment.

Benefit #4: Provide Data Transparency

Third-party mediation solutions can be a black box. You don?t necessarily know what algorithm goes into eCPM prediction for each demand partner or why the impression allocations happen in certain ways. You don?t exactly know how each ad network is valuing different users of your app either.Ideally, in-app unified auctions should be able to provide full transparency for developers. You should be able to see the auction level performance data and understand why this demand partner won the auction over other ones. You will clearly see granular performance metrics, such as bidding CPM prices, winning CPM prices, impressions, and earnings per demand partner. These additional data points can also give you more visibility into the market value of your inventory. You will be able to tell whether certain segments of your users are being valued more than other ones and by how much.

Benefits of In-App Unified Auctions For Advertisers

Let?s go to the other end of the table and ask advertisers what their biggest challenges are. They would start talking about the fragmented mobile in-app inventory and supply duplication. For those reasons, in-app unified auctions are also exciting for mobile marketers.

Unified Auction benefits for advertisers

Benefit #1: Fair and Real-time Competitions

A demand partner can be stuck at lower waterfall positions for a long time and have a difficult time climbing up the waterfall. The reason could simply be that their average eCPM wasn?t competitive enough during the last seven days. However, this demand partner might have great demand at the moment and be willing to pay really high CPMs. Being stuck at the bottom of the waterfall, they might not be able to pay that high CPM when it becomes their turn to show ads. In-app unified auctions place everyone on a level playing field. All demand partners participate in the real-time auction at the same time in a fair way. The highest bidder wins. No demand partner will get secretly favored over others, and marketers have equal opportunity to compete.

Benefit #2: Unified Access to Mobile App Inventory

Complicated mediation waterfalls give advertisers a hard time when searching for unique supply sources, especially for programmatic buyers. DSPs often receive identical bid requests from different exchanges. In addition, mobile in-app impressions can be primarily taken by traditional ad network players, and DSPs don?t have much access to premium mobile app inventory. In-app unified auctions fit right into these programmatic buyers? supply path optimization strategy. They can prioritize the inventory through in-app unified auctions, and reduce the duplicated inventory. Plus they are put on a level playing field as traditional ad network players, granting them unified access to mobile app inventory.To summarize there are significant benefits with unified auctions for both publishers and advertisers as the new in-app monetization solution.

What are the benefits of unified auctions for publishers?

  • Maximize Ads Yield
  • Diversify Demand
  • Minimize Operating Costs
  • Provide Data Transparency

What are the benefits of unified auctions for advertisers?

  • Fair and Real-Time Competitions
  • Unified Access to Mobile App Inventory

Stay tuned for our next post in this series, which will cover a few cautions to consider while weighing your options for in-app unified auctions!