AdTech Gyan: WTF Is Ad Mediation?

Despite the fact that mediation is a very popular tool between publishers around the world, some still resist on using it.

Thinking about it, we have some reasons why mediation is an advantage.

The power of mediation in your hands

Monetizing apps with ads is becoming more and more complex. For example, we are now achieving a useful state on location-based advertising, which is about showing contextualised ads for a targeted audience.

With new technologies, innovative solutions emerge.

As the name already suggests, mediation serves as a management optimization between publishers and ad networks. Even though ad networks optimize monetization themselves, they are numerous and to manage several of them at the same time is a very hard thing to do.

Here’s a fact: with mediation the publishers always wins.

And this post is here to show you why.

Ad mediation benefits

When you’re a publisher and you’re working with two or more ad networks, it is practically impossible to manage them with no help. Can you imagine how stressful can be organizing ad requests and deciding which ones to prioritize?

The ad mediation platforms come to eliminate this problem by (1) ranking the ad networks in order of preference and (2) setting the best one on top.

Plus, ad mediation saves time and stress in the best way possible: for free.

Most of the ad mediation platforms are for free mostly because they are solutions from the ad networks to the publishers they work with.

It’s time to choose

As well as the mediation does to the ad networks, you have to choose them in order of preference.

Take in consideration the ones that are also networks and you have partnership with and the ones who have good reviews.

6 things that make a good mediation platform

Before choosing the right ad mediation platform, you have to go through a series of variables, from the most subjective ones to the more technical processes.

1. Is it well-known?

Of course a specific platform shouldn’t be your go to just because it is popular among other publishers and ad networks, but it helps.

If a mediation platform is known by you, it is probably also acknowledged by the best ad networks and, therefore, the greatest advertisers.

2. Customer support quality

Your chosen platform may be the best in technical terms but if it doesn’t have a great customer support it all goes down.

What if something went wrong? What if you need to make some questions? You certainly don’t want to wait days for the answers or not having them at all.

3. User interface

As well as your application, the ad mediation platform has to have a good, clean, navigable UI. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on that feature only, but, I mean, it is important.

After all, you are the one who’s going to be looking at it constantly, and you have to do it in the best way possible.

4. Product stability

So now we’re heading to more technical features. Make sure your chosen platform is a stable product, meaning it is truthful and it doesn’t have errors.

Ask for other publishers’ reviews and indications and consider their experience in market.

5. Ad Unit options

Some platforms do not allow Ad Units other than banner or video. Make sure you have all the options you need at your hand with the chosen one.

6. Reporting

You know you have to receive reports on what’s being done, right? But is it sent by email or in another way? And how often is it updated? Once a week, every other 10 days?

This is a very important factor you have to take in consideration before choosing your mediation platform.

Take good care of what belongs to you

Most mediation platforms are not real time. When a mediation platform has a huge amount of partner publishers and advertisers, some demands are not evaluated like they should be, and sometimes the highest bids are not on top in real time.

This happens because many platforms’ technologies are not so well developed and most of the reported data are over two days old.

To get away from this problematic situation some platforms are connected to a DSP (demand-side platform) in which publishers can access real-time bids for their inventory.

Also, keeping in mind that some free ad mediation platforms have their own ad networks and not every impression on your app is worth the same, you might just do the math and imagine that some of them keep the best-paying impressions for their networks to have a better rank and earn more.

Yes, they do that.

That is why some mediation platforms need to be more transparent about their work and you have to choose one who does that.

Top ad mediation platforms of 2016


  • Best coverage for video ads
  • Easy reporting interface
  • Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity and Adobe

Iron Source

  • Reporting per user and historic eCPM in autopilot mode
  • Easy to make waterfall management decisions
  • Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity and Adobe


  • Widest ad-network coverage
  • Banner and Interstitial have the best coverage
  • Platform support: iOS, Android and WP7


  • Ability to create custom segments with different logics
  • Advanced capabilities and segmentation feature
  • Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe, Cocos2d-x, Cordova, Marmalade and tvOS


  • SSP and mediation services combined in the same SDK
  • Best access to RTB ads
  • Platform support: iOS and Android.


  • Simple and concise interface
  • Good waterfal visualization
  • Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe, Cordova, Buildbox

If you have In Loco Media as an ad network, you might want to check out AdMob, Mopub and Doubleclick (which do not appear on this list).

What to do next?

The perfect mediation platform can only be great if you work with good ad networks.

Choose the ones that combine the best fill-rate with a nice support and the ones you think fit the best with your product.

After selecting the perfect team, monetizing your app is going to be easier and more efficient.