Ad mediation and Open Bidding are primary functions used by app publishers regularly. Both these functions monetize mobile applications efficiently, maximize the publisher’s fill rates, and optimize the app’s revenue!
However, even after using these functions frequently, the Ad Mediation and Open Bidding concept are still confusing for app publishers.
This article will try to understand these concepts and their functionality in detail and analyze their primary differences.
What Is Ad Mediation?
Ad mediation is a technology that lets app developers manage and optimize multiple ad networks in one place, with just one SDK integration. It helps increase the ad fill rates and eCPMs, ultimately increasing the overall ad revenue.
An ad mediation platform allows multiple ad networks to compete for your app’s ad inventory. Higher competition among ad networks leads to competitive eCPMs and higher fill rates, yielding more ad revenue for app publishers.
In simple words, ad mediation platforms are like a mediator between the publisher and the demand partners. When an ad mediation platform receives an ad request, it passes it to multiple ad networks rather than limiting it to just one demand partner.
It makes demand-partners compete for the ad slot, and the highest bidder wins. Ad mediation is automated and takes place in less than milliseconds.
Usually, an ad mediation platform uses the ‘waterfall‘ method to optimize the yield. It lets the publisher prioritize and rank ad networks according to their potential.
Publishers can manually list top ad networks that offer them the highest bids. And if they cannot fill an ad request, the ad mediation platform goes down the rank to attempt and fill the request with another network.
What Is Open Bidding?
A Google product – Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation (EBDA), later renamed Open Bidding, creates a space for unified auction.
It means all ad networks, DSPs, Direct Deals, Sponsored Ads, and Yield Partners, including Google AdX complete simultaneously and bid on the same inventory in a unified auction. This server-side unified auction runs in real-time and is known to reduce latency caused by ad mediation.
Unlike other bidding methods, in Open Bidding, publishers can sync their apps with Ad Manager and do not need to add an SDK or even an adapter to access the demand partners supported by Ad Manager.
Publishers can add a yield partner to their Ad Manager settings and access a new demand in no time. Open Bidding in Ad Manager also provides simplified traffic, report, and billing systems.
So, What Are the Key Differences Between Ad Mediation & Open Bidding?
Let’s address each of the differences individually before analyzing which one of these technologies brings more value to app publishers.
Ad mediation offers access to limited ad networks based on the ad mediation platform used by the publisher.
Open Bidding offers access to more ad networks, including Google AdX and multiple DSPs, and also competes with non-programmatic line items in Google Ad Manager.
Ad mediation platforms use a 'waterfall' approach. The waterfall could be prioritized manually or automatically, depending on the platform used.
Open bidding in Google Ad Manager(GAM) follows a 'real-time bidding' approach or RTB. This approach sends ad requests to all demand partners simultaneously, and the highest performing ad wins.
App publishers manage and optimize multiple ad networks by integrating just one SDK to use ad mediation platforms.
App publishers don't need any integration for Open Bidding. Although, publishers can only use open bidding on Google Ad Manager and Google AdMob.
In Ad Mediation, the ad network with the highest rank able to fill the ad request wins the bid. The winning bid might not be the highest-yielding bid.
Open Bidding serves the ad by the highest paying ad network, ensuring the highest yield for the publisher.
As the system requests ads from a Mediation SDK, there can be a latency compared to open bidding.
Open Bidding can prevent page latency and optimize the user experience.
Ad mediation doesn't ensure the highest eCPM ad network serves the ad. Moreover, the Ad mediation setup needs to be optimized manually.
Open Bidding is accessible only through Google Ad Manager (GAM) account linked to Google AdX, which is usually difficult to get.
Ad Mediation & Open Bidding: Which Is Better?
There is no direct answer to this question, as programmatic advertising is about experimenting and understanding what works best for you.
We believe in A/B testing, and creating a combination of best practices aligned to your inventory, goals, and preferences would yield the best results for your app growth.
If you wish to use Google AdX or try open bidding for your app, feel free to reach out to us, and our monetization experts will take care of the rest.
So, what are you waiting for? Book a free consultation with our experts now!