Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers

Written by publift2019

21 Sep, 2020

Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers

Signing up with a mobile ad network is a great way for publishers, including app developers, to make passive income from your website and benefit from app monetization by selling ad space to advertisers.

We’ll discuss the leading mobile ad platforms for publishers and discuss some important factors to consider before deciding. There are a variety of mobile ad networks out there and you don’t want to waste time on the wrong ones. Let’s dive in.

What is a Mobile Ad Network?

A mobile ad network is an integrated network that connects publishers with advertisers, which produces passive income for the publisher through mobile advertising. Mobile ad networks that cater to publishers are SSPs (supply-side platforms).

These networks are platforms where publishers sell ad space in their mobile app or on their website, helping to generate additional revenue. Advertisers purchase this ad space to market their brand or products.

When a customer is using your app, they may see these advertisements displayed somewhere on their screens. There are different types of mobile ad platforms offering various advertising options. As a publisher, you want a network that brings you income without damaging your reputation by showing inappropriate or unrelated advertisements. You also want to choose one that offers a variety of ad formats.


Mediation allows a publisher to connect multiple ad networks with one single software development kit (SDK). These platforms are the best way to bring in app revenue without a lot of effort.

Rather than having to search through advertisers to find the ones with the best eCPMs that you want to feature in your app or on your site, the software does the work for you.

If you plan to sign up for multiple ad platforms for app monetization, you may want to start with one that offers mediation so that you can keep all your ad campaigns organized and in sync.

Cross Promotion

If you’re a publisher with multiple apps or sites available, you may want to search for ad networks that let you perform cross-promotion advertisements. This process would help increase your app ad revenue.

This in-app ad marketing technique lets developers market their apps within each other. When a person uses one of your apps, they will see an ad recommending they try your other apps.


Factors when deciding on a Mobile Ad Network

With all the different mobile ad platforms out there, it can be challenging to figure out which is the right choice for your app or site. You want to pick one that offers fair rates, the ability to target specific audiences, quality graphics in multiple formats, and high eCPMs.

Types of Ads

Some traditional types of advertising can be done in-app. Before choosing an ad network, take time to see what kinds of advertisements the company offers. Check out our guide to mobile ad sizes to get a better idea of how to choose the best ad format and size for your app or website. Options include:

  • Interstitial (full-screen banners between game levels that stay open a set amount of time)
  • Rich media (mobile banner with HTML, JS, CSS, and image files)
  • Rewarded video ads (offer a prize for watching)
  • Video ads (gets best engagement rates; shows video advertisement)
  • Native ads (textual or video ads similar to the content of the app; not direct advertising)
  • Banner ads (static ads at the bottom or top of a screen; can be full-screen ad)
  • Playable (interactive test version of the app; preview of the game that customer can try)
  • Game ads (Can be interactive or static; use with rewarded videos or interstitial ads

Ad Campaigns

Mobile ad networks use multiple types of ad campaigns. Before deciding on a platform, take time to review the kinds of ad campaigns they offer. There are five different types.

CPM – (cost-per-mile) is the best publisher building model, as you can make money each time your ad shows in an app or on site. This method charges advertisers each time an ad shows 1,000 times (a mile).
CPC – (cost-per-click) with this model, advertisers are charged for each ad click. With this method, you only pay for times when an ad is clicked. Publishers using this method run risks of providing free advertisements that don’t earn you income.
CPI (cost-per-install) with this model, advertisers are only charged when a click on an ad results in a mobile app download. It is essential to keep up with this metric as it shows a price you spend for new customers.
CPA – (cost-per-action) this style is a more advanced form of a CPI, where publishers can make more inventory. This method allows payment for specific actions such as in-app purchases, subscriptions, signups, etc. It’s also a useful method for advertisers.
CPV – (cost-per-view) this method is best for advertisers with video ad campaigns. You receive a charge for each time the video plays.


Top notch mobile ad networks will have detailed reporting that you can access in one easy to view dashboard.

You want to see reports about your sales performance, including the number of impressions, clicks, installs, video ad views, platform, country, ad format, and so forth.

Having insights lets you see how your advertisements are performing to decide if there needs to change. Maybe you’re doing better with one advertising type than another, so you’ll know to switch advertising types.


Seven Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers

Now that you know what to look for in ad platforms, let’s look at some of the top mobile advertising networks for publishers. We’ll also look at each company’s features and tell you what types of ad formats they use.

Facebook/ Instagram

Facebook, and its partner Instagram, have become one of the best platforms to reach users. These massive social media platforms garner thousands of users, making it the best platform to advertise your app.

Both sites offer advertising campaigns for any budget. Furthermore, you can narrow down the target audience using demographics like:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship status
  • Education
  • Job
  • Likes and interests

Facebook and Instagram use ad types including: image, video, video poll, carousel (up to ten images), slideshow (short video ads), collection (mobile only to feature five products), instant experience (full-screen ads that load quickly), lead (signups), dynamic (promoting targeted products), and advertisements featured in Stories and Messenger.

Setting up an ad campaign is straightforward, with a few simple steps. You’ll have to define your objectives, set up your demographics, select ad format and placement, choose a budget and schedule and then create your ad.

As you can see, Facebook and Instagram give you plenty of options for mobile/app advertising and app monetization.


AdMob is a mobile ad network owned by Google. It is the mobile version of Google Adsense. If you’re new to ad marketing, AdMob is a great place to start because it’s simple and straightforward.

AdMob lets you advertise using formats like text, images, video, or interactive media. And the great thing is you can choose what ad format you want to feature. All ads are custom to present ads related to your app, so you make more money.

You can place ads using automatic artificial intelligence, which means you add one line of code to your app, and ads are automatically generated. Or you can do manual, which means you pick and place ads where you want them.

AdMob offers multiple ad formats, including:

  • Banner ads
  • Video ads
  • Interstitial ads
  • Reward ads
  • Native ads

AdMob offers ad mediation if you want to link to other mobile ads networks. And you can track your campaign performance by connecting to Google Analytics.

And because it’s Google, it also syncs with Google AdSense if you’re running web campaigns. This ad network has features for beginner and advanced publishers designed to help maximize your profits.

However, AdMob does have limitations on ad placements, including not having more than one visible at a time during scrolling.


Smaato is an excellent mobile ad platform for publishers and advertisers. There are over 10,000 publishers and 90,000 advertisers, so you’re sure to sell ad space (or buy it).

Take advantage of real time bidding with the Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX) that creates super auctions. This lets you find the advertisers that will pay the most to advertise on your mobile app.

During these real time bidding super auctions, you see where the highest demands for impressions are so you can get maximum profits on an impression-by-impression foundation, resulting in higher-paying eCPMs.

Smaato allows video, interstitial, banner, interactive, and rewarded ads.

SPX (Smaato Publisher Platform) can automatically optimize demand sources using Dynamic Demand. And you have the option to mediate other SDK-enabled ad networks.


If you want to get advertising on your mobile games, you can’t do better than Unity. This platform is specifically for monetizing mobile games using video ads.

Unity is compatible with iOS or Android platforms, and all game engines, including Adobe Air, Marmalade, and Corona. You can even set up in-app purchases, which allow your customers to buy things without leaving the app.

They offer CPM or CPI campaigns. And they support ad formats of interstitial, video, or banner. You can even set Unity ads up to work with plugins from SkyRocket, MoPub, or other mediation companies.

You can set your target demographics by connection, country, or operating system to always reach the right viewers. With over 35 million players in 128 countries, you’re sure to reach your target audience.

The easy to view dashboard provides near-instantaneous reporting so you can keep up with how well your ad campaigns are performing by the hour or day for the most effective app monetization.


InMobi is one of the largest independent mobile ad networks that allows you to reach customers worldwide. This company can handle mobile and web ad campaigns, so you’ve got all the tools you need to monetize your apps.

InMobi is compatible with Android, iOS, and mobile web and offers ad campaigns in CPC and CPI. Available ad formats include banner, native, video, rich media, and interstitial.

Set your target audience by features such as carrier, time, os, operator, country, channel, or device, so you always advertise to the closest possible matches.

If you want to advertise to users outside your country of origin, InMobi has markets in the US and the UK, South Africa, Japan, Europe, India, and Kenya.

They also offer a mediation platform if you want to work with multiple ad networks, although you may be limited to which other networks you can use.


MobFox is an ad network for publishers, app developers, and advertisers that allows you to monetize your apps.

Download the MobFox SDK to work with all advertising formats. The SDK works with all significant SDK-enabled networks and plugins, including Unity, Cordova, AdobeAir, and GameMaker.

You can set filters for targeting such as geography (narrowed by country, region, city or zip), carrier, channel (IT, business, travel, Entertainment etc.), and demographics (age, gender, lifestyle, relationship, native language and education).

Choose to target pre-grouped behavioral audiences or create custom audiences. The SDK allows for all major formats, including native, interstitial and banner, rich media, and video.

Also keep up with how well your campaigns are doing using detailed reports through Moat. GeoEdge provides ad verification to keep your app and users safe.

Smarty Ads

The final mobile ad network we’re going to talk about is Smarty Ads. This site offers a full package of ad tech tools to help you monetize your apps and sites.

Signing up for Smarty Ads gives you access to premium ad network campaigns, demand side platforms, and ad agencies through OpenRTB protocols using Smarty Ads DSP.

The White Label Solution gives you customizable advertising solutions so you can have full control of your ads. SmartyAds SSP is an all-in-one solution for monetizing your content with access to multiple brands.

Real-time quantum analytics let you view actionable ad campaign insights. It’s also compatible with DMPs, SSPs, Ad Servers, Ad Networks, and Billing systems.

They offer CPI or CPM formatting campaigns with banner, in-app, interstitial, native, video, and rich media ad formats.


Key Takeaways for Top Mobile Ad Networks

There is no way to say which mobile ad network is the best because they all offer different features. Publishers will have to make a choice based on your company’s needs. Look for a mobile ad network that provides you with high eCPMs, insight reports, and multiple advertising formats.

To maximize the monetization of your apps, consider signing up to be a publisher and an advertiser. You can sell ad space in your apps to generate income. But you can also purchase ad space from other publishers to market your app, thus improving user acquisition.

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