Mobile growth company Lab Cave (Tap Knights, Dream Hospital) launched a Mediation tool for app developers that offers impartial, side-by-side advertising networks mediation. Offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS), the Mediation tool allows developers to configure, optimize and analyze ad performance alongside user behavior.
Lab Cave debuted the tool during Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC), showing its features alongside the mobile growth company’s App Store Optimization (ASO) services and products.
Newzoo estimates that 2.4 billion people will play mobile games in 2019 and in a recent study found that half of mobile game users feel positive about advertisements.
Global app installs are on the rise as consumers discover and explore new content. According to SensorTower, first-time installs exceeded 105.3 million in 2018. This growth offers marketers—and developers—a vast array of real estate on which to posts their ads, from banners to rewarded ads and playable demos.
For developers that want to fill ad space within their apps, however, comparing ad networks and CPM pricing can be a challenge. According to a December 2018 survey by DeltaDNA, 59 percent of free-to-play (F2P) mobile game developers source ads from between two and five sources.
Advertising mediators allow an app developer to compare ad performance between ad sources and choose the network that pays the highest CPM. The majority of mediators are often associated with a proprietary advertising network, and therefore, those networks are given priority.
“This generates a conflict of interest because by delivering their own advertiser campaigns, the impressions that they chose are not always going to be the ones that pay you, as a developer, better,” Pedro Miranda, product owner at Lab Cave told AList. “This happens because the mediator is interested in positioning itself in a better place than the rest of the networks to ultimately make its service profitable. This causes a lack of transparency, not enough control over the ads that are currently displayed in the app and an increased cost of opportunity.”
Lab Cave’s new Mediator tool is not associated with and therefore does not prioritize any one ad network over others. This impartiality gives developers the freedom to choose which option is best for maximizing app revenue and effectively managing in-app inventory.
“As developers, we know what you need to monetize your traffic in a straightforward, unbiased way,” said Esteban Vargas, mediation development team lead at Lab Cave. “We feel your pain because we have been there. We are currently managing 300 of our own apps through our mediation and we have already addressed and solved issues that you may currently be facing with other mediators.”
The Mediator tool also offers a single, generic implementation to all networks, eliminating the need to access and learn each one individually. The developer can then choose a single advertising network or use a mediation service to achieve the best pricing for a specific country. In addition, the time and effort normally required to implement different Software Development Kits (SDKs) for each advertising network is saved.
When speaking to fellow app developers, Lab Cave likens using Mediator to how you might plan a trip. You can take a risk by choosing one brand over the others or use a comparison tool to get the best price. A mediator works in much the same way, except that developers get the best ads that pay the most.
Mediator users have the option to customize their waterfall graphs and prioritize networks. In addition to ad statistics, the new tool offers insights into developer and user behavior. Additional analysis tools are in development and will be released in the near future.
“It is not enough to just generate income through advertising, it is also very important to optimize and maximize the profitability of said source of income,” added Miranda. “For this reason, we don’t just offer metrics related to advertising performance, we also offer other metrics that lead the developer to make decisions that improve the revenue generated on their application.”
One example, Miranda stated, is the ability to see how many users are using the app and what percentage of them has seen an ad. Developers can modify and optimize the flow and placement of ads based on this data. The mediator tool also lets developers see if a competitor’s ad is being shown and if so, block it.
“All of this, together with a deep understanding of users’ needs, inspired us to create our Mediation tool,” said Miranda.