Ad Network vs. Ad Mediation/Exchange: A Breakdown!

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As many of you know, we have a partnership with inneractive that allows Corona developers to monetize their apps via inneractive’s ad exchange. We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of confusion around:

– how an ad exchange/mediation layer works
– how it compares to an ordinary ad network
– what this means for your apps’ monetization

We asked inneractive to write a series of blog posts to clear up these issues and Itay Gadot, VP of Marketing at inneractive, graciously agreed. This week’s post focuses on the difference between an ad network and ad mediation. In the next couple of weeks we’ll cover other important topics.

Thanks and let us know your thoughts!

Ad Network vs. Ad Mediation/Exchange: A Breakdown!

There has been so much said about the topic of fragmentation in the mobile world. In a majority of cases, the word fragmentation is associated with the Android platform.

What many people don’t realize is that the entire industry is actually fragmented. We see that throughout the app stores, platforms, different mobile form factors, and of course, the world of app monetization.

A developer looking to build a sustainable business from mobile apps has quite a few challenges to overcome ranging from what model works, to whether to charge per download or offer a freemium, to making big decisions on advertising, in-app purchases, search, and more.

To drill down even further, within mobile advertising, developers need to make decisions on whether to serve ads, and if so whether to use an ad network or an ad mediation/exchange. Let’s take a quick look at the different options.

Ad Network

When most mobile developers think of in-app advertising, AdMob or other similar ad networks come to mind. At their core, ad networks bring together advertisers and publishers (that’s you, the developers).

Here are three important questions to ask yourself when considering the ad
network approach:

1. Will working with an ad network give me the broadest global coverage for my app?
2. Will my app maximize its advertising revenue by working with a single ad network?
3. Will my apps, across all mobile platforms, benefit from working with an ad network?

The reality is that different ad networks have different strengths, be they geographic or otherwise, resulting in different monetization outcomes. Many developers have opted for working with multiple ad networks, but that brings on a whole other set of problems.

Ad Mediation/Exchange

While Google struggles to solve the fragmentation issue with Android, when it comes to app monetization, there is already a solid solution on the market. If you are a mobile developer, chances are you do not have advertising expertise and if you do, managing multiple ad networks is definitely not the best use of your time.

With an app mediation exchange like inneractive, you implement one SDK that gives you access to over 100 different ad networks. Here’s why that’s a great thing.

Global Coverage

While working with one ad network might help you monetize your app in one specific location, monetizing your app with inneractive has you covered in over 200 countries worldwide. That means when someone downloads your app in China, they will see an ad in Chinese with relevant content as opposed to seeing an ad for a restaurant in NY. More relevant ads mean more clicks and more revenue for the developer.

Maximum Revenue

It’s a numbers game – if you have to choose between two ad networks, you’ll have to do some serious research. However, choosing between an ad network and a mediation platform saves you time to work on doing what you do best – building a great mobile experience. Why work with one network when you can work with that same “one” and 100 more? With inneractive, you enjoy real time optimization of over 100 ad partners, something you will never get when working with one single ad network.

Cross Platform

In addition to global aspect, working with an ad mediation/exchange (and more specifically inneractive) gives you full support for all the mobile platforms. With support for all the major operating systems including Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Ovi, as well as the other less-talked-about platforms such as Symbian, J2ME, and Bada, with inneractive your bases are covered.

To Summarize

Mobile app monetization is a tremendous space that is growing daily and is expected to reach tens of billions of dollars in coming years. If you are an app developer looking to monetize, it makes sense to go with the most robust and comprehensive solution available. An app monetization exchange, such as inneractive, offers more options, reaching consumers with relevant ads and optimizing for the most relevant content.

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This entry has 14 replies

  1. The info is ok but… I’ve spent almost a month trying to discover what happened to my work-in-progress app, it was crashing every time I played a level and went back to the menu screen… well it was the Inneractive ads being shown and hidden what caused the issue and as far as I know the bug isn’t solved yet so well… it may be a cool product but I can’t use it. I got in touch with Inneractive staff and they confirmed it was a Corona bug, so I hope the bug gets fixed soon and we are finally able to use it on our developments.

    • Luis Sans says:

      Hi Alejandro and other guys, I’ve experienced the same issues stated by Alejandro in my new game but not just with Inneractive, also with InMobi. It seems that the functions available in Corona are too heavy and I’ve suffered also crashes with both platforms.

      For the moment I’m testing the Ad-Mediator and it seems that works propoerly with both platforms (no crashes), but obviously there are other issues to resolve like the size of banners in different terminals (iPad, etc.).

  2. Walter says:

    Hi Alejandro, are you talking about iOS? This is actually an inneractive bug. I actually sent them test code in Objective-C to demonstrate this, and they now understand that this is an issue on their end. They told us they will have a fix soon.

  3. Yes I was talking about iOS. Ok then, nice to know it will be fixed, but a little sad to see how is being promoted while still doesn’t work. Many people could fall into wasting as much time as I did trying to find what happens to their apps.

    • Itay Gadot says:

      Hi Alejandro, my name is Itay and I’m VP Marketing at inneractive. As Walter mentioned, this bug is being fixed. I’ll ask our Account Managers to contact you as soon as teh new version is released so you can enjoy the benefits of monetizing with us ASAP. I’ll follow-up on that and see that you are taken care of.

  4. Fu says:

    Hi, Inneractive,
    Thanks for the posting. One thing I still don’t quite understand is that it seems Ad mediation is on top of various Ad Network, does that means Admob is also included in Inneractive? How do you compare the impression rate or click rate with ad network?
    Thank you very much!

  5. Orly says:

    Hey Alejandro and Walter,
    Thank you for the messages.
    We are indeed aware of the bug now and working on it – will let the users know once it’s fixed.

    Feel free to ping me with any questions you may have.

  6. Orly says:


    I have a quick update for you 🙂
    We have released an update for the SDK that fixed this bug, and it is now being reviewed by Corona and waiting for approve.

    Looking forward to have you live with us.

    • Si says:

      Can I have your Skype ID Orly, Or add me on skype: si.tapit I would like some informatio to add it Tapit Mobile advertising sdk with Interactive

    • Hi Itay and Orly, when it’s fixed, I’ll use it. I’ve wanted to use it before, but simply haven’t been able.

  7. Nick says:

    While there were some truth in this blog post you should really try to be unbiased, using an “educational” blog post as an ad for you’r company isn’t very kosher imo.

  8. I can’t find any information on Inneractive doing ad mediation. LunarAds does real mediation by the developer along with cross promotion – all in the same SDK and supporting multiple ad networks at once. So you release your app with a single SDK and it supports everything from ad mediation (by you the developer), 100% revenue to you, app cross promotion, and detailed analytics including real time metrics.

  9. Si says:

    Hello, My name is Si, I would like to know if we can integrate Tapit Mobile Advertising with Interactive as an Ad network.

    Please contact by


  10. mediavu says:

    Hi can anyone share with me actual stats or any sort of financials with regards to what an app can generate when incorporating ads from inneractive. Thanks in advance.