It’s only been a little over 4 months since we announced the AppLift SDK to provide user-friendly monetization to Android app developers. In the short time since the launch, AppLift has gained tremendous traction, with thousands of Android apps currently using our SDK.
The first version of the SDK supported the interstitial as the main ad format. The interstitial is unobtrusive and effective, and thus provided an innovative new way to monetize Android apps. We’ve received many requests to allow easier integration with advertising formats that many developers already have in their apps, especially with banner ads. Last week we launched an update that provides exactly that: a banner format for AppLift.
Our banners have a predictable design consisting of text asking users whether they’re interested in more free apps and a button that takes them to the AppBrain offerwall. The text of the banner automatically shows in the users’ device language for the most popular 20 languages used on Android. When clicked, the user is taken to the AppBrain offerwall which features targeted high quality apps for the user to download.
We hope that this new format will make it even easier to profit from the monetization opportunity that the AppBrain offerwall provides. To really make integration a breeze we even provide pre-made integration adapters for the Admob mediation and AdWhirl frameworks.
Flexible ad serving via mediation
If you’re only using a single banner provider there is no guarantee that the performance of that provider will be good in the future, that it will always have an advertisement available (“low fill rate”) or that it will be best in all regions of the world. If you want to switch you need to launch an upgrade to your app and are dependent on your users to upgrade quickly. “Mediation” means that you include many different ad providers in your app at the same time, and that you can switch between them without having to relaunch your app.
A mediation framework can optimize which users are served by certain networks, and makes sure that if the best ad network doesn’t have an ad available, other networks are tried.
The way this works is as follows: instead of putting a specific banner of a single ad network in your app, you put in a “mediation placement”. This typically will require a mediation SDK (in the case of Admob it’s already built into the default Admob jar). Your app will then also require the jars for the ad networks it wants to use in addition to admob, and usually a specific jar that contains code to hook up the ad network to the mediation framework. In the case of AppLift, you’ll need “appbrain-sdk-android.jar” and “applift-admob-mediation.jar” which both can be downloaded from https://github.com/swisscodemonkeys/appbrain-sdk.
Full instructions on how to set up AppLift banners in Admob’s mediation interface are available at http://www.appbrain.com/info/sdk-admob-mediation-applift. If you use AdWhirl for mediation, instructions are here: http://www.appbrain.com/info/sdk-adwhirl-applift.
When this is all set up, you can change at any moment how much of your inventory is assigned to different ad networks, and thus get the highest revenue from the banners in your app.
Banner performance is hard to compare, as it’s dependent on how frequently people switch activities in your app, which countries your audience comes from and how engaged users are in your app, so we can’t give or promise specific eCPMs. However, our early test partners have reported that AppLift yields a big increase over general big banner ad networks. This is confirmed by extensive testing in our own apps, where AppLift eCPMs generally outperformed market leading ad networks by 2x or more, and had a nearly 100% fill rate.
If you’re ready to start using AppLift banners, head over to the integration documentation: http://www.appbrain.com/info/sdk.
Mathijs for the AppBrain team