Textfree Lite also has ads running in it. Some of those ads drive people to buy our apps, but we also run advertisements from other companies. We get revenue from running those ads. So, not only are we an advertiser, but also a publisher.
So who are the top iPhone ad networks for advertisers?
And who are the top iPhone ad networks for publishers?
I read a hilarious article today that suggested that Yahoo, Google, and a couple others I won’t mention, were amongst the top mobile ad networks at this point. That is simply not true (at least not in my world).
NOTE: I am often wrong…so go ahead and correct me if you’re seeing something different.
The Advertiser Hat
O.K. so let me start by putting on my advertiser hat. I learned a lot about mobile ad networks, that I shared in my post Top 3 Mobile Ad Networks. In this post, I want to focus specifically on what to look for as an iPhone developer. In order to run an iPhone campaign, you need traffic, targeting, and technology:
Who has traffic
Admob – tons and tons and tons of iPhone traffic (I’m whispering now…and it’s cheap…$.05/click).
Quattro – really strong amounts of traffic and growing. And it’s fairly cheap.
Millennial Media – also really strong amounts of traffic and growing. Ditto…fairly cheap.
Let me share who doesn’t (at least in my testing)
Yahoo – at least when I tested them no traffic.
Google – last time I checked you couldn’t even target by the iPhone.
Who has the targeting
Admob – can target by specific country, device (iPhone or iPod Touch), or network (Carrier, Wi-Fi or both).
Millennial Media – can target by US vs non US (not as targeted), device (iPhone or iPod Touch), and category.
Quattro – can target by country, device (iPhone or iPod Touch), and category.
Who has the technology
What I mean by technology is really ease of use. At Pinger we are a small, nibble start up company, that needs to move really quickly. For example, I ran a bunch of new campaigns on Christmas day and last month a bunch that started and ended at midnight pacific time (I’m still tired!).
I know of only one company today, that passes the traffic and targeting test and also the technology/ease of use test. That’s Admob. Got to tell you, I’m so eager for Quattro and Millennial Media to get there and I believe they will.
I need a completely self serve system, where I can:
- Set up and launch a campaign on a Saturday night (exciting life I have)
- Watch my spend as it happens
- See reports and make changes as I go
- Turn on and off campaigns whenever I need to
For now, if I have a campaign set up in advance with Millennial Media, then I can start and stop it on my own. For Quattro, I have to work through an account manager to create, start, and stop campaigns.
If you are an iPhone app developer that has marketing dollars, start by testing Admob. Then branch out from there.
The Publisher Hat
My criteria for Publishers is:
2) Fill Rate
eCPM = effective cost per thousand. That means how much I make, for every 1,000 ads I show. This is where the tables turn.
Here’s how these 3 stack up:
Admob – I love Admob as an advertiser, not so much as a Publisher. Their eCPMs are low ($.30-$.50) from what I’ve experienced and read.
Quattro – Better initial eCPMs ($.50-$1) and opportunities to sell into brand advertisers and agencies.
Millennial Media – Also better initial eCPMs ($.50-$1) and opportunities to sell into brand advertisers and agencies.
Fill rate = the % of your available impressions where an ad is served. No mobile ad network is going to be able to fill all of your inventory all of the time. If you’ve got a paid product that you run ads for, when no ad is returned for an advertiser, that helps. Otherwise, it is essential to work with multiple mobile advertising networks to fill all your ads.
How hard is it to integrate with Admob, Quattro, and Millennial? All of them are fairly easy to work with, if you put their code (SDK) on your app. But then your limited to running one mobile ad network’s ads at a time. I think in an emerging space all of them are doing a good job of working with app developers.
Another option is an aggregator. I’ve read a lot about, but never tested AdWhirl, Medialets, and Pinch Media. They allow you to connect to a variety of ad networks at once, but of course they take their part of the cut. I thnk they are ideal for smaller developers that would never think of building their own ad server.
So there you have it.
Admob is my pick on the Advertiser side, Quattro and Millennial on the Publisher side.
photo credit: Dave-F Almost Retired
photo credit: Lin Pernille