August 24, 2017
Choosing a Monetization SDK: Seek Quality and Differentiated Demand Across Formats
By: Shaun Allmon – Senior Product Manager, Mobile
As mobile becomes an increasingly popular avenue for advertisers looking to reach audiences, app publishers are presented with a lucrative opportunity. To take advantage of this trend, and reach their full ad revenue potential, they must make smart decisions about their monetization strategy.
One of the most effective ways for app publishers to integrate with a chosen ad platform or exchange is via an SDK. SDKs offer a more efficient and stable way to connect to a platform or exchange in comparison to an indirect tag-based integration. But limited capacity within an app and publishers’ tendency to work with anywhere between five and 20 SDKs means there is heated competition for that finite space.
What are the benefits of using an SDK?
- Faster processing – Direct SDK integrations significantly reduce latency over tag integrations.
- Minimal discrepancies – Direct SDK integrations nearly eliminate discrepancies over tag-based integrations.
- Data Driven CPMs – A direct SDK integration helps publishers earn higher CPMs by enabling them to pass dimensions such as: first-party app data, user data, device data, and location data.
How do you select which SDK to use?
While the above benefits of using an SDK can be found in nearly any solution, not every SDK is created equal. Choose an SDK that can add unique value to your app. Superior solutions should deliver:
Sophisticated Quality Controls
Ad fraud concerns in-app vary from their desktop counterparts and there’s been significant progress in creating app-specific tools to eradicate low quality ads and ensure an optimal user experience.
Importantly, app publishers should seek out a partner that prioritizes quality to the same degree. Work with a technology partner that has invested deeply in building industry leading quality protections, utilizing both proprietary technology as well as publisher operated tools to eliminate fraud.
For example, the OpenX Mobile SDK leverages the server side controls that our platform has to safeguard apps against low quality ads, including a creative scanner, whitelist and blacklist capabilities and brand filters. The SDK itself provides smart logic that minimizes re-directs and spoofed user clicks. The SDK also exposes the transaction IDs for every ad, enabling publishers to manage and report ad quality issues on their own.
Comprehensive Support for Multiple Ad Formats
Despite the negative perception banner ads often carry today, they are still widely used in apps and drive significant revenue in mobile. As brands get savvier about their performance and users demand higher quality ads, there’s a growing need to leverage engaging, custom creative formats that don’t interrupt an app user’s experience.
Superior partners should provide support for not only banner and interstitial ads, but also formats like MRAID and video, which are growing in popularity amongst advertisers and yield higher CPMs for publishers.
Direct Access to Differentiated Demand
Publishers can connect to an ad exchange through various means but integrating with valuable demand partners through the most efficient and stable connection should be a priority.
Diversify partnerships to include technology companies with longstanding relationships with brand advertisers and therefore access to unique demand. OpenX offers app publishers access to every AdAge top 100 advertiser, more than 11,000 brands, and over 100 mobile-first demand partners.
The technical resources needed for integration and ongoing maintenance for each SDK may have publishers saying ‘no thanks” to adding yet another. That said, an SDK is superior to a tag-based implementation and can provide significant value and monetization that exceed the time and resource commitment. For example, a leading app with over 45 million downloads saw their OpenX revenue increase 20% after switching from a tag-based solution to the OpenX mobile SDK. Working with the right mobile SDK partner could have a significant impact an app publisher’s bottom line so it’s important to explore every option.