Building for Better Revenue

Monetization tips and strategies for growing your app

Keys to Getting More Ad Revenue

Whether you’ve been showing Audience Network ads for a while or if you’ve just integrated and want to be set up for success, there are things you can do to improve performance. Here are some strategies you can use to improve the results you get from showing ads.

Getting Started with App Bidding: More Competition Can Mean More Revenue

Mobile app monetization is in the midst of a major shift—a shift that is creating a more open and fair ad ecosystem that benefits both publishers and advertisers. This shift is driven by the buying and selling of ad inventory through bidding in real-time auctions.

Bidding has already proven its value in web, where we have seen strong adoption of header bidding. According to Forrester, this has allowed publishers to charge 30–50% more for their inventory.1 Now, bidding is expected to gain similar dominance in apps. Increased adoption of app bidding was predicted by eMarketer to be one of the top ten mobile trends of 2019.2

Bidding for in-app advertising

The inefficiencies of the waterfall can be solved by creating a fair and open ecosystem through bidding. Bidding increases competition through a real-time auction, where all demand sources bid for each impression. The source willing to pay the highest price has a chance to win every time.

Bidding fundamentally changes the way ads are selected and delivered through apps, which means a publisher’s technologies and operations have to undergo a shift before bidding can be fully implemented. App bidding won’t replace waterfalls overnight, but we believe that bidding will provide significant benefits to app publishers and will become the de facto methodology.

How bidding benefits publishers

When waterfalls are replaced with bidding, what do app publishers stand to gain?

Increased ad revenue
When every demand source bids in an open and fair real-time auction you see more competition for your inventory, which means better prices for every impression.

Improved operational efficiency
By removing the burden of maintaining complex waterfalls, bidding helps you increase operational efficiency so your team can focus on driving more impact for your business.

Access to more demand
Bidding allows you to easily add more demand sources, helping you increase competition for your inventory with minimal effect on latency and minimal impact on operational resources.

Learn how to implement bidding here.

Use the Price Setting to Optimize for Your Goals

When you’re using waterfall mediation, Audience Network provides flexible price setting options including CPM Targets and Accept Any Price so you can optimize in the best way that works for your business.

Choosing the best price setting option for your business

Audience Network offers two price setting options available in Monetization Manager: CPM Targets and Accept Any Price.

CPM Targets

Best for publishers and developers who...

  • Use multiple ad networks in their mediation
  • Actively manage their waterfall set up and want granular monetization options
  • Deliver a minimum of 5k impressions to Audience Network for the last 7 days per placement per country group

Accept Any Price

Best for publishers and developers who...

  • Work only with Audience Network for their ad monetization
  • Seek a low-touch option for ad monetization that requires little resources to manage
  • Want to simplify the management of smaller placements - those that deliver less than 5k impressions to Audience Network for the last 7 days per placement per country group - or placements lower in the waterfall
  • Use CPM Targets with the sandwich model. By using Accept Any Price as the lowest waterfall placement in your sandwich model, you can maximize monetization.

It’s important to note that CPM Targets and Accept Any Price are not mutually exclusive and can be utilized together - even in the same waterfall - to optimize monetization across placements.
Accept Any Price Flowchart

Put Audience Network at the Top for New Placements

When you create a new app or placement, we recommend that you follow this process:

  1. Set your mediation platform to call Audience network first. This will help you get the most accurate understanding of Audience Network’s potential performance. Leave Audience Network at the top of your waterfall until your CPM stabilizes, which usually takes about 7-14 days.
  2. Compare your CPMs to the rest of your networks. If Audience Network has the highest CPM, then your settings are correct. While high CPM is a common goal, you should also aim for highest total revenue, which means balancing the CPM and fill rates. If Audience Network doesn’t have the highest CPM, then you could experiment with setting a low or high threshold to see if that results in more revenue, or change the position of Audience Network in your waterfall.
Learn more about maximizing your Audience Network fill and revenue when using mediation.

How to Optimize Revenue Using the Sandwich Model

CPM Targets

How CPM Targets work

CPM Targets is a powerful tool that helps you maximize revenue by giving you greater control to set price targets for each ad placement. Unlike price floors, CPM Targets aim to deliver the target CPM you want and not just the minimum you are willing to take. We do this by accepting all bids above your target and some bids slightly below in order to deliver your desired CPMs, which ultimately helps maximize your fill rate and yield for every placement.

How to set up CPM Targets

In order to set up CPM Targets for maximum effectiveness, please follow these steps:

  1. Pull a report by placement and country for all of your demand sources for the last 7 days.
  2. Understand the performance that Audience Network can provide. To do this, we need to see the entirety of your traffic for 7 days in order to calibrate delivery models. You can do this with no monetization risk by putting Audience Network at the top of your waterfall with a CPM Target ~10-20% higher than your existing top line item.

    After the initial calibration period, we recommend using the Optimize CPM Target page to help guide you in setting your price targets.
  3. Set up country targets for your top countries.
  4. Run the placement for at least 48 hours with your set CPM Target. This ensures we receive enough historical data to accurately calibrate our delivery models.
  5. After seeing your initial results, review the data to identify further ways to potentially improve your fill rate for the placement by using the Optimize CPM Target tool and the sandwich model.

Other key guidelines

  • You can only use 3 to 5 placements with CPM Targets per format within an ad space.
  • Once you set your CPM Target, do not update a CPM Target more than once every 48 hours this is so our delivery models have enough data to accurately calibrate to delivery your target price.
  • Don’t set CPM target of $0.01. If you intend to Accept Any Price then choose “Accept Any Price” where possible. If you want to Accept Any Price for only some country groups for the placement while using CPM Targets for other country groups for the placement, we suggest to use $0 as a proxy for accept all in this case only.
Manage Price Settings

How to Use the Optimize CPM Target tool

To help you better set your price targets, we provide the Optimize CPM Target tool in Monetization Manager. This tool provides a graph of performance for each placement based on actual historical data for the last 7 days. This information can be used as an additional factor in deciding how you position Audience Network in your waterfall and setting your price target.

Using the historical data on the Optimize CPM Target tool, you can better estimate what the respective CPM target should be set to in order to reach the average CPM or fill rate you want.

Note that the Optimize CPM Target tool is available when sufficient impressions are available (i.e. 5k impressions to Audience Network for the last 7 days per placement per country group) to accurately provide projections.

It’s also important to remember that historical data can only provide an estimate of potential past performance. It doesn’t guarantee or in any way indicate future performance.
Optimize CPM Targets
Optimize CPM Target tool uses historical data to provide more insight for setting your price targets

Best Practices for using the Sandwich model

If you are using CPM Targets you can further optimize by using the sandwich model. The sandwich model gives you the the ability to access Audience Network demand at various points in your waterfall to maximize your monetization opportunities. Follow these steps to set up a a sandwich model for your placements:

  1. Place Audience Network at the top of your waterfall to take full advantage of Facebook demand density. Do not hesitate to set Audience Network with a high CPM Target e.g. ~10-20% higher than your existing top line item.

    You can also leverage the Optimize CPM Target page to find the right balance between targeted fill and CPM.
  2. In order to capture more of Facebook’s demand, add a second Audience Network placement in the middle of your waterfall with a target that is ~50% of the top one.
  3. Finally, add an “Accept Any Price” Audience Network placement towards the bottom of your waterfall.
  4. Track performance for each ad position by using a unique naming convention per ad space.
  5. Experiment with the sandwich model in order to maximize revenue. Depending on the size of your CPM distribution, we recommend to have between 3 and 5 price targets (CPM Targets and Accept Any Price) in your placement waterfall.
If you want to pursue more complex monetization strategy requiring more CPM Targets, then implementing real-time bidding might be a better option for you.
Sandwich Model

Accept Any Price Setting

The Accept Any Price setting allows you to accept all bids from Audience Network. With this setting, we will fill as many requests as possible, which will maximize your revenue. This setting is best when you only work with Audience Network, or for Audience Network placements that are lower in your waterfall. It’s also a good option when you want to minimize waterfall management overhead and seek a light-touch option for your ad monetization.

To set up Accept Any Price as your setting, simply select “Accept Any Price” for your placements on the price setting page. Note that Accept Any Price is the same as $0.

It’s important to note that Accept Any Price and CPM Targets are not mutually exclusive. For a placement, you can choose to use Accept Any Price for some country groups for the placement while using CPM Targets for other country groups
Price Settings

Actions You Should Take

Learn more about price settings.
Review the steps to setting up manual CPMs.


1 Bidel, Susan, “Use Header Bidding for Greater Control,” Facebook, August 2018

2 “Mobile Trends 2019,” eMarketer, December 2018

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