Applovin, Ironsource and now MoPub: Tenjin's view on recent innovation in app revenue and what it means to our clients

What recent progress in the industry since Tenjin built out a custom-tailored session/country ad revenue model for Voodoo back in autumn ‘16!

It’s been exciting months for anyone who is following innovation in free to play mobile games. Possibly driven by the success of hyper-casual games, we now have seen a lot of innovation around ad revenue: first Ironsource came out with a user-level ad revenue API last October, then after acquiring MAX Applovin recently followed with a similar API approach.

This week now MoPub went a step further and released their version of ad-revenue estimates that are based on impression-level data via an SDK integration.

Our integration with MoPub: how our Enterprise clients benefit

Above all, there are two things to know for our clients.

1. Implementing and managing granular data from this integration adds complexity to clients who want to integrate with MoPub data on their own.

In the SDK case, developers have the ability to forward raw impression level data to any service they want to organize and analyze it. This sounds easy in practice, but creating an ETL pipeline for any individual developer is very costly and time consuming. When integrating with MoPub’s impression level data directly from the device, the developer needs to build a pipeline and warehouse that allows for impression values that normalize multiples schemas, high scalability, and are lower than 1 cent. The associated ETL process needs to account for tying multiple data sets together on the user, campaign, site, country or channel level for each type of partner.

In contrast, Tenjin’s Enterprise clients who integrate with MoPub will see a dedicated table in their DataVault.

2. At the same time impression data provides another dimension and allows new ad optimization techniques.

We have listed a few of the things that Tenjin’s DataVault clients can do with the support of our customer success team in our announcement.

  • Analyze impression revenue data: MoPub will provide Tenjin customers with their ad impression revenue estimates. These records will include other data fields like demand source, ad placement, currency, country information, and more.
  • Determine the optimal amount of impressions to show users: Clients can now identify the values of each impression shown depending on the ad format and impression order.
  • Clarify revenue precision: To account for any discrepancies, MoPub will flag revenue data to indicate which network sources provide exact figures or their estimates. This helps publishers determine the average eCPM with a higher degree of granularity when measuring ROI and building LTV models.
  • Figure out patterns in high eCPM impressions vs low eCPM impressions: which users have high eCPM vs low eCPM.

Tenjin Enterprise clients do not need to figure out these techniques themselves. They can rely on our Customer Success to support them on code level.

What the recent innovation in the ad revenue space means for our clients

We frequently get asked by clients what the innovation in the space means for them.Below are some of the key points based on an internal debate.

  • Everything is still based on estimates. Even the ad networks who are exposing this data like Mopub indicate if the impression revenue is an estimate or not
  • We now see +15 different ad revenue LTV calculations of estimates out there in the wild. We expect the number of calculations and client confusion to increase. Please talk to your account manager if you need help to pick the approach that is right for you.
  • Customers will find that summing up all the impression ad revenue that is supplied by the mediation provider will not add up to what is in the reporting APIs. This is why they are all estimates. We find that MoPub is now increasing the transparency around this topic. Its SDK will flag data as either “publisher_defined” / “exact” / “approximate” and Tenjin clients will be able to see this information in DataVault.
  • In other words, there are multiple competing approaches here: Ironsource/Applovin (daily downloads of an API) vs MoPub/Fyber (subscribe to SDK events) and internal estimations.
  • Tenjin clients are still able to build custom ad revenue calculations using our Custom Event feature.
  • While we integrate MoPub first, as always we support all kinds of modeling. We help Tenjin Enterprise clients in their own custom API, site_id and data warehouse integrations of the Applovin and Ironsource APIs. Please get in touch with your account manager if you are interested in Enterprise support on this.
  • At Tenjin, the ability to get impression revenue data directly on the device will affect the way that developers think about user experience and monetization . Since the ad revenue data is accessible on the device instantly, developers will find ways to utilize this in real time to create better experiences for their users.

Thanks to Chris, Carole and Makoto for feedback.

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