What Makes the Best App Advertising Network (with 7 Options)

What Makes the Best App Advertising Network (with 7 Options)

Most blogging websites have a very similar format — a header followed by long blocks of text — whereas app layouts (whether on mobile or desktop) vary widely. For example, a scrabble word generator will have a very different layout than a weather reporting app.

Yet most app advertising networks use similar ad layouts for all apps.

In our experience, the best way to get the most revenue out of every ad spot is to create a custom ad strategy specific to your app. So you’ll want to find a solution, like Snigel, that can support a customized ad setup.

Additionally, you’ll also want to consider the following factors when choosing the best ad network for your app:

  • Mobile app, web app, or both. Many top mobile ad networks can’t provide adequate solutions for web apps and vice-versa. If your app is available for both desktop and mobile users (like most are), you’ll need to choose a monetization platform that handles both types of apps. Otherwise, you’ll need to juggle multiple ad platforms for web and mobile apps.
  • Platform type. Most publishers use “ad network” as a catch-all phrase for all types of ad monetization solutions. However, different types of platforms like ad exchanges or header bidding partners have different strengths and weaknesses that will greatly impact how much revenue you’ll be able to earn. For example, header bidding partners connect to multiple ad networks and ad exchanges, which drives up CPMs by creating more competition. For more information on these types of platforms, please refer to our guide to programmatic advertising.
  • Ad strategy support. Ad strategy experts can spot ways to make money off your app that most app developers aren’t aware of, but not all monetization solutions offer direct access to ad specialists. (In our experience, this one factor can increase ad revenue by up to 50% or more.)
  • Ad tech and available ad formats. Because apps often have a wide variety of designs, it’s especially important to have access to customizable ad units and app-friendly ad formats. However, the ad tech that’s offered by most solutions isn’t customizable, which means you’ll likely be leaving money on the table.
  • Signing up or switching out. It’s important to consider whether you’re eligible for a service to make sure you aren’t wasting time researching a platform you can’t use. Also verify whether you can use other services to supplement it and whether you’re free to leave when you want — otherwise, you can end up locked in a contract with a monetization solution you’re not 100% satisfied with.

In this post, we’ll dive into the 7 top monetization solutions for web and mobile advertising — starting with our header bidding solution at Snigel, which offers expert ad strategy support and customizable ad tech for both web and mobile apps.

Keep reading for more information, or you can visit our site to learn more and get in touch.

Snigel: Ad Monetization for Both Web & Mobile Apps

Snigel homepage: Unleash the Power of AI for Unmatched Monetization

Snigel is a header bidding solution, which means we drive up bids and therefore revenue by having multiple demand sources compete with each other.

We also give smaller publishers access to top SSPs that are normally only accessible to large publishers (like Google AdX and OpenX).

Snigel advertising partners: Transparent Ad Marketplace, AppNexus, Verizon Media, TripleLift, Rubicon Project, PubMatic, OpenX, Index Exchange, Amazon Publisher Services, Google Ad Manager 360

At Snigel, our biggest strengths are that we provide dedicated ad operations support to all of our clients along with customizable ad tech so you can make the most out of monetizing your app. Both of these services are especially important for apps, since they often have non-standard layouts. And because we support ad monetization for both web and mobile apps, you can manage everything from the same account.

In this section, we’ll dive deeper into Snigel’s biggest strengths, go over our process for partnering with app publishers, and share a case study of how we successfully monetized Windfinder’s weather app.

Our Dedicated Ad Operations Experts Create, Implement & Monitor a Custom Ad Strategy for Your App

When you make a plan to monetize your app, there are several factors to consider in order to maximize your revenue, including:

  • Target audience. What ads are on-brand for your app? What are your target demographics, and how does this influence ad topics, format, and layout?
  • Ad density. Do you want a higher ad density to drive up short-term revenue, or do you want a lower ad density to ensure a great user experience and the long-term health of your app?
  • Content type. It’s important to think about how users interact with your app to determine ad type and ad placement. For example, it’s worth considering only having ads appear before, after, or between mobile game sessions to preserve the user experience.
  • GEOs. Not all GEOs have the same internet infrastructures, so if you offer your app in multiple locations, you may need to customize it by location to ensure proper app operation.

While app developers can create an ad strategy on their own, they don’t have nearly as much experience as ad operations experts, who are constantly figuring out the best way to monetize different types of apps. Because of this, app developers who work alone usually leave money on the table. Therefore, app publishers will earn more revenue if they get expert ad strategy support. 

However, many ad platforms are self-service, only offer a ticket system, or use the same approach for everyone.

At Snigel, we partner all of our clients with a dedicated ad operations expert who:

  • Consults with you to learn about your app and your business goals.
  • Formulates an ad strategy based on your input.
  • Implements and tests the ad strategy, including A/B testing.
  • Continues to work with you, responding to any concerns and adapting the strategy to your ongoing goals along with changing market conditions.

Rather than a one-size-fits-all or one-and-done approach, your ad ops expert grows along with you and your app, ensuring you always have a next step in your monetization plan — and leaving you free to focus on your app.

Lightweight Ad Technology Maximizes Your Revenue

Our ad tech experts will customize your ad tech to ensure the best fit for your app specifically, including optimizing performance in different GEOs and tailoring in-app ad units to unique layouts. Plus, they implement revenue-boosting ad tech like:

  • AI Bidder Optimization. Our AI-powered bidder optimization can switch between client-side and server side header bidding, along with matching you with the best ad exchanges and networks for the ad unit. This typically results in a 7%+ average revenue increase.
  • Dynamic Floor Pricing. Our program algorithmically changes auction floors to foil bid shading and to match market conditions to improve fill rates. Up to 20% average revenue increase.
  • Rewarded Ads. Rewarded ad units give users the option of watching ads to receive in-app rewards (e.g. in-game currency or access to paywalled content), therefore increasing impressions.
  • Interactive Ads. Interactive ad formats like quizzes and polls encourage audience engagement and therefore revenue. Up to 3% average revenue increase.
  • Video Ads. Both instream and outstream video ads are an eyecatching option implemented via Snigel’s AdStream. 23% average revenue increase.
  • Super Adhesive Ads. This is an ad format in which large ads are displayed in a smaller ad unit that scrolls when the user does. Up to 20% average revenue increase.
  • Adaptive Ads. When the bids for multiple small ads is greater than the bid for a single large ad, our adaptive ad units display the smaller ads alongside each other in a larger ad space. 10–30% average revenue increase.
  • Smart Refresh. Our version of ad refresh cycles in new ads based on user actions such as switching between tabs, scrolling, or spending a set amount of time on a page. 6+% average revenue increase.
  • AdBlock Revenue Recovery. Upon detecting an app user has enabled an ad blocker, our software will serve them ads compatible with their settings. 10+% average revenue increase.
  • Privacy Compliance. Our AdConsent platform ensures data is managed in accordance with the GDPR and the CCPA. 1–2% average revenue increase.

All together, Snigel’s ad strategy and ad tech support is the reason our clients experience an average overall revenue increase of 57%.

Who We Partner With

Snigel works with publishers who make at least $50/day from their current monetization efforts or who demonstrate high growth potential. In addition, we don’t use lock-in contracts, so if you’re not satisfied, you’re free to leave whenever you like.

3 Advertising Platforms for Web Apps

1. Google AdSense: Supports Small Publishers & H5 Game Ads

Google AdSense homepage: You create. We'll help you earn.

Google AdSense draws on the Google ecosystem to provide banner, native, and H5 game ads for desktop and mobile. They don’t have any traffic or revenue minimums for prospective users, so they’re often a good choice for small publishers. However, despite the calculator tool on their front page, they don’t provide users with the reporting features necessary to transparently track how much revenue they’re earning from their cost-per-click (CPC) ads.

Another benefit of Google AdSense is that they’re non-exclusive: you can use other app monetization platforms alongside AdSense. For example, if you want to take advantage of both clicks and impressions in your app, you could combine Google AdSense and Snigel. (Snigel can calculate whether you’ll make more money with just one platform or with both together.)

For more info on Google AdSense, take a look at these articles:

2. Ezoic: Tiered Header Bidding for Web Apps

Ezoic homepage: Ad Monetization, Content Creation Tools & Video Suite

Ezoic is a header bidding partner that’s self-serve for its first tier, which is open to publishers who make less than $2,500 per month. This includes analytics for ad metrics, ad tech like video ads, and dynamic ad positioning. However, creators aren’t paired with strategists unless they make at least $6,000 per month, meaning most app publishers are on their own for implementing the ad tech and formulating an ad strategy.

For more info on Ezoic, see our article on the six factors that affect how much Ezoic pays.

3. Media.net: Cookieless Contextual Advertising

Media.net homepage: Are you ready to maximize your revenue?

Media.net is a hybrid ad network and header bidding partner that offers display and native ads for desktop & mobile along with a reporting dashboard to track performance and earnings.

Notably, they offer cookieless contextual ads powered by the Yahoo! Bing search network.

They do offer ad strategy support, but publishers must agree to a non-compete clause when they sign up.

For more details on Media.net, read our article comparing Media.net with AdSense and Snigel.

3 Advertising Platforms for Mobile Apps

1. InMobi: Ad Exchange

InMobi homepage: Driving Real Connections

InMobi is a premium ad exchange that specializes in mobile ads. Available formats include full-screen mobile video ads, rich media, carousel ads, and customizable native ad units, plus banner, interstitial, rewarded video, playable, and native ads for mobile games.

Their Pulse and Audiences services allow for customer feedback, data analysis, and audience segmentation and targeting options.

Revenue is on a CPM basis, and they also have fee-based premium services; they provide a reporting dashboard for publishers to monitor earnings and payouts. Publishers may give 15 days notice to terminate their contract.

2. Google AdMob: iOS and Android

Google AdMob homepage: Earn more revenue with your apps.

Google AdMob is one of the best mobile ad networks, and has no minimum sign up requirements. It’s usable on both iOS and Android.

They offer rewarded ad, native ads, banner ads, interstitial ads, and ads for mobile gaming apps, plus their audience segmentation features offset the usual lack of control over ads that ad networks suffer from. As for monetizing ads, users can choose whether it functions as real-time bidding (RTB) or waterfall mediation platform.

Google AdMob is a nonexclusive mobile advertising network, so if you want to use separate platforms for desktop and mobile, you can use it alongside Snigel. However, splitting your efforts between two platforms can make managing your ad inventory needlessly complicated.

For more information, read our article on Google AdX vs AdMob vs Snigel: When to Use Each One.

3. ironSource: App Ad Network

ironSource homepage: One platform to turn your app into a business

ironSource, which partnered with Unity Ads, is a self-described ad network that also offers a mobile ad exchange (both an SSP and a DSP). Monetization is based on CPM and effective CPM (eCPM).

Available formats include playable ads, rewarded video ads, offerwalls, and interstitial ads; ad tech includes A/B testing tools, custom integrations for Android and iOS SDK, analytics, and audience segmentation tools to support ad campaigns. Their service is non-exclusive.

Based on ironSource’s resources for ad strategy, they seem to be self-service on that front. In addition, their standard notice for ending a contract is 90 days, though under some circumstances it can be shortened to 30 days.

Finally, they also include an integration with TapJoy.

About the Author

Ira is Snigel's Head Of Marketing. She supports our team and publishers by creating awesome guides on the latest adtech trends. Ira's background is in software development, communications, and media.


Let our team of experts assess how Snigel can increase your ad revenue.
We pride ourselves on creating meaningful relationships with our publishers, understanding their priorities and customizing our solutions to meet their unique needs.

Get in touch →

More From Our Blog

blog feature image Do Video Ads Impact Your SEO?

Do Video Ads Impact Your SEO?

We all know that adding video ads to your website can really bump up your revenue—sometimes by as much as five to ten times more than regular display ads. But despite this, many publishers hesitate to use them, worried about how these ads might affect their site’s performance and whether it’s worth the risk. So, […]

Real-Time Bidding vs Header Bidding: Everything You Need to Know

Real-Time Bidding vs Header Bidding: Everything You Need to Know

Real-time bidding (RTB) is the automated process of buying and selling ad inventory via live auctions. Header bidding enables publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad demand sources simultaneously. In this guide, we go into more detail about what each of these are, pros/cons, and how they affect your revenue potential. Along the […]

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.