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Beyond the state of play: ironSource LevelPlay product philosophy
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With MoPub announcing their platform’s sunset, many developers are looking for an alternative mediation provider that they can trust to always put their interests and needs first. For any developer who hasn’t been with us for the last 8 years, we wanted to introduce ironSource LevelPlay, our mediation platform, and share our product philosophy as well as our upcoming roadmap and features. 

Product philosophy

When we first built our mediation platform in 2013, our goal was to enable app developers to maximize their ad monetization potential. We anticipated that not only was ad monetization going to grow in importance as a meaningful revenue stream for app developers, but that managing it was going to become increasingly complex and challenging. 

Fast forward, and the App Economy opportunity was growing at an incredible rate - especially for games - and the sophistication of app-based businesses would need to grow too. We quickly understood that in order to really maximize their ad revenue, developers would need to be able to leverage additional tools and products. 

This became the North Star of our product roadmap: anticipating the technology needed to efficiently and successfully grow an app business - innovative technology that goes beyond the current state of play - and then building best-in-class products to do just that. 

Philosophy in action

By following this principle, ironSource was first-to-market with multiple products designed to help app developers optimize their monetization activities. Today, we’re proud to see many of these innovations come as standard in any mediation platform, including: 

  • User activity reports (think DAU, ARPDEU, ER, etc) for a deeper look at app usage and ad engagement trends
  • Monetization A/B testing suite that offers 3 tools which enable developers to make data-driven decisions on their monetization strategy, helping them yield even better performance
  • Progressive loading: More recently, after understanding the amount of developers struggling to deal with rewarded video latency, we were the first to build a solution that enables zero latency into our ad serving logic that works without any input needed from the developer.

Perhaps the best example of our philosophy in action came when we anticipated that ad monetization would need to be treated just like in-app purchases for developers to truly maximize their growth. That’s why we were the first to build our platform in a way that links both sides of the app growth lifecycle, from user growth to ad monetization. Before these products, there was virtually no synergy between monetization and user acquisition within the industry:

  • Impression-level revenue which was the first in the industry to let developers accurately measure ad revenue on the impression level, and link that data to the marketing channel responsible for that specific impression 
  • Automated ROAS optimizer which leverages ad revenue and in-app purchase data to maximize scale while reaching a campaign’s ROAS goal
  • Cohort reports that give developers a deeper understanding of how their user base engages with ad monetization throughout their lifetime
  • Cross promotion solution which functions as a bidding network that only runs cross promotion campaigns, enabling monetization managers to run cross promotion campaigns in a way intended to maximize eCPM, and user acquisitions managers to bid on CPI rather than CPM
ironSource LevelPlay product roadmap: Looking ahead

In the last few months we’ve released a handful of exciting projects, and have many more coming through the pipeline - all of which were built anticipating market needs and designed to help app developers continue optimizing their app businesses. In addition, following conversations with MoPub publishers moving to ironSource LevelPlay, many of these features were built with them in mind, in order to close the gap between the products they’ve become accustomed to:

  • MoPub migration tool (already live): Following the rapid sunset of MoPub, we’ve been working closely with MoPub publishers to make their migration to ironSource LevelPlay as seamless as possible. Now we’re giving developers everywhere the same capabilities many others have already successfully used - by enabling seamless migration to ironSource LevelPlay mediation. 
  • Custom adapters (already live) gives developers the flexibility to integrate any SDK network they want into ironSource LevelPlay auction, and receive the same level of reporting, testing and optimization they get with every other network. 
  • ironSource Exchange (already live), powered by Open Measurement and smart caching capabilities, connects developers with the industry’s top performance and brand DSPs. This project took three years to perfect, and now advanced features like direct-sold campaigns, PMPs, and tags, which have been used by mediation partners for years, are even more accessible and easy to use. 
  • Performance improvements for banners and MRECs (already live) such as adding dynamic sizes, higher bidding density generated by more buyers.
  • Ad quality (already live), a product that shows developers exactly which ads are running on their app and the effect they have on key metrics like churn and revenue. 

With 2022 around the corner, here’s a glance at the projects we’re currently working on: 

  • App Analytics (coming): Perhaps the most exciting project we’ve been working on, our App Analytics solution - intended to be one of the most comprehensive in the industry - will not only improve collaboration between monetization and marketing managers but also product managers, by providing granular reporting on app performance. 
  • Real-Time Pivot (coming): Transparency and democratizing access to data has informed much of our product development. From conversations with partners, we’ve understood that many developers lack the ability to analyze their data in real time, slice and dice it as they want, and easily compare it with historical data - which is planned to be available on ironSource LevelPlay in the coming weeks. 
  • More and better bidding networks (coming): Understanding that more competition means more revenue for our partners, we always make it a priority to onboard as many networks as possible to our mediation - with Yahoo, Vungle, and Pangle being a few recent examples. Currently, we’re working closely with several networks, both existing and new, to onboard them to in-app bidding and improve performance for developers. The biggest evidence of success here is the feedback we receive from networks that their bidding adoption on ironSource LevelPlay is significantly higher than other platforms. By mid 2022, we aim to have 20 bidding networks available. 
  • Advanced A/B testing capabilities (coming): We’re continuing in our effort to go beyond the status quo, and will soon introduce new automation tools that will give developers even more options for optimization - for example, automatically serving the ad experience that generates the highest ARPDAU and best UX. 
  • Open source adapters (coming): Many leading developers have made it clear that the flexibility and control that comes with open source adapters is critical to their success - we’ve already started working on this exciting project, and expect to ship it soon. 
  • Native ads and rewarded interstitials (coming): To fully round out the ad units available on ironSource LevelPlay, we’re planning to offer rewarded interstitial and native ads, along with leading SDK bidding networks and dynamic setup so developers can better control these important ad units. 
  • Real-time reporting on ironSource Exchange: As we’re expanding the capabilities of ironSource Exchange, we’re working on giving developers full transparency into DSP performance, with a real-time reporting dashboard. 

By building technologies that go beyond the state of play, not only are developers able to scale their app businesses in the most efficient way possible, it also helps grow the ecosystem as a whole. The more money developers are able to generate from their apps, the more they can invest in growth. The more profitably they grow, the more money they have to reinvest in growth or development of new titles. 

To learn more about the products we build and the philosophy behind them, get in touch or check out our mediation platform.

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