What Is A Mobile Ad Network And What Does It Do?

Mobile devices have rocked the world for some time, with the number of users accessing the internet having exceeded PC users long ago. Of course, the ad tech industry responds to this change. While the number of mobile-specific ad networks are increasing, finding a reliable network is becoming more challenging.

What is the working principles of a mobile ad network?

At the most basic level, the mobile ad network is an integrated system that connects advertisers and publishers to match the inventory of suppliers with the advertiser demand. Mobile ad network pools the inventory of unsold ads from publishers and sells it to advertisers. The course of proceeding is that marketers pay publishers to advertise their brands on mobile devices. The logic is similar to the other mediums in terms of designing to reach a certain demographic, based on where and when the advertisement appears.


As all platforms, there are challenges facing the mobile ad network community. The huge improvements on mobile devices affect the mobile-specific ads. As mobile devices become more sophisticated, users access the Internet via advanced browsers, so the need to generate mobile-specific ads may decrease. Nevertheless, it is expected that some percentage of mobile ads will continue to be generated via a mobile ad network, even as all technological advances.

What are the differences of mobile ad networks?

While some networks are very selective about the quality and publishers allowed in the network, some decide more quickly. More restrictive ones have exclusive access to premium publisher inventory. Alternatively, a groups of publishers have their own ad networks to control the inventory in the pool. It means they can maintain premium pricing.

Pricing (Campaign Types) and Ad Formats

You have alternatives in terms of campaign types and ad forms when you use an ad network, according to your mobile marketing strategy, including your target audience, budget, goals etc. Any mobile ad network provides users with several types of ad campaigns, based on what specific action they are charged for. Here, you can realize their purpose of usage and differences.

  • CPM Mobile Campaign: cost per mile advertising model, where the advertiser is charged each time his ads are shown 1,000 times (so-called ‘a mile’).
  • CPC Mobile Campaign: cost per click advertising model, where the advertiser pays a publisher for every user click on the ad. Formula: CPC = Cost/Number of Clicks.
  • CPI Mobile Campaign: cost per install advertising model, where the advertiser pays a publisher for each installation linked to the ad of a mobile app. It implies the app owners are charged only when a click on their ads resulted in an actual app install. This action requires first app open. Formula: CPI = Cost/Number of Installs.
  • CPE Mobile Campaign: cost per engagement advertising model, where the advertiser pays a publisher for user interaction with an ad, for instance, choosing to expand a 3D ad unit.
  • CPA Mobile Campaign: cost per acquisition advertising model, where the advertiser pays a publisher for each specified action linked to a specific advertisement, like registration after an install.
  • CPCV Mobile Campaign: cost per completed view advertising model. where the advertiser pays a publisher for user’s completed particular action. This type applies to mobile ad networks focused on video ads only.


Some major ad formats are supported by mobile ad networks.

  • Banner: It is an old, classical static or animated image ad format. placed inside an app interface.
  • Interstitial Advertising: It is a full-screen ad form that blocks out their host app’s other content. They are displayed at natural app transition points, such as between game levels.
  • Native Advertising: It is a form of paid media, where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. This advertising matches with the visual design of page, like natural content. Why is it so important within mobile ad formats? Because, users don’t feel like they are exposed to advertisement unwillingly.
  • Video Advertising: It is growing quickly as an ad format on mobile and, with native advertising, will be the future of mobile advertising. Video advertising format is more dynamic than others and can convey the information or message easily to the users.
Images captured from https://www.majority.co/mobile-ad-types/

Originally published at growthtower.com on August 31, 2016.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.