Building innovative technologies which anticipate the needs of our partners is a key pillar in our product philosophy. It’s how we stay agile and ensure we’re always delivering value, helping our partners optimize their growth strategies. Often, that means being first to market with exclusive features and products that are only available on our mediation platform, ironSource LevelPlay.
Through the years, many of these innovations (cohort reports, ILR, monetization A/B testing, ad-based ROAS optimizer, and user activity reports) have been adopted as standard features in mediation platforms across the market. Here are 6 more innovations that are exclusive to ironSource and help our partners grow their app businesses.
1. App analytics
The synergy between monetization and marketing teams is critical to any app’s growth - which is why we innovated products like ILR and an ad-based ROAS optimizer. Now, we’re taking this trend one step further with app analytics - focusing on the product and developer teams, and connecting them to monetization and user acquisition.
Perhaps the most exciting project we’ve worked on lately, app analytics provides granular reporting on 360 app performance beyond monetization, including app-focused metrics like session length, playtime, and level completions. Together, the product, monetization, and marketing teams can use ironSource app analytics to solve complex business problems like:
- How does user playtime correlate to number of impressions?
- How does average session length correlate to the win percentage of the auction?
- Where in the user journey should you add a new ad placement?
- Do retained users spend more on in-app purchases?
2. Real time pivot reports
In general, we put a huge emphasis on innovating deep reporting products within LevelPlay because we see that reliable reporting is crucial to an app’s success - only with a granular yet comprehensive view of your app business can you make the best decisions to optimize your growth strategy.
Now, with real time pivot reports, developers get even deeper insights, which they can slice and dice and visualize - all in real time. The real time aspect is a huge innovation which will have an instant impact on success, as seeing performance changes immediately on the dashboard (due to a new app version, changes in the waterfall, etc) can help you iterate and improve your growth strategy faster. In addition, developers can:
- Easily compare time frames on one dashboard
- Drill all the way down to the hour
- Slice data using dimensions unavailable anywhere else, such as CPM buckets
- Visualize the data (bar charts, bubble charts, tables, heatmaps, grids, line charts, and more)
- Download data in one-click
- Break down multiple dimensions at the same time (for example, instance country breakdown)
Here are a few tips and best practices for optimizing performance with real time pivot reports.
3. Cross promotion bidding network
To date, the available cross promotion solutions in the market have zero optimization mechanism behind them - either developers place cross promotion campaigns in their waterfall as a line item, as lower-quality backfill, or even as a dedicated ad format. No matter the strategy - there’s no machine learning or optimization algorithm behind them, which makes it challenging, if not impossible, to ensure you’re getting the ROAS you want.
Understanding the challenges, and anticipating that cross promotion would become a critical part of developers’ growth success (especially considering the explosion of hyper-casual and the iOS privacy updates), we built a cross promotion bidding network.
Essentially, developers get their own bidding network, which only runs your campaigns on your apps. This way, you can run and optimize cross promotion campaigns like any other ad source, according to the CPI and ROAS targets you want - with its position in the waterfall set according to real performance that leverages machine learning and data science. You can learn more about our cross promotion bidding network and how it works here.
4. Zero latency with progressive loading
Given its negative impact on user experience, retention, app ratings and revenue, the industry is constantly looking for ways to reduce latency between rewarded videos, generally the strongest performing ad unit for app monetization. There are a few ways to do this: only show a traffic driver when there’s an ad ready to display, show a pop up apologizing for the empty ad space, or run a super tight waterfall. But even these strategies end up damaging the user experience, ARPDAU, or both.
Developers shouldn’t have to compromise on either. That’s why we innovated progressive loading, a mechanism built into our ad serving logic which ensures that there is always a rewarded video ad available to show, with no delay in filling an ad space, and causing the user to stare at a blank screen. Check out this piece of mine about progressive loading and how to optimize your rewarded video strategy for maximum impact.
In addition to giving users a better rewarded video ad experience with progressive loading, we built segmentation capabilities directly into ironSource LevelPlay, to give users the best ad experience in general - enabling developers to tailor ad experience for different groups of users with little to no operational work. In fact, building the product, we made sure to give our partners access to as many, if not all, segmentation use cases possible, including:
- Overriding capping and pacing per segment
- Setting a waterfall per segment (for example, paying users vs non-paying users, IDFA users vs. non-IDFA users, etc)
- Reporting on revenue per segment
- Breaking down cohort data per segment
Today, we’re raising the bar with dynamic segmentation, which gives even more control and agility to publishers building their ad experience, by adjusting the segments throughout the user session. This product can be used in various ways - such as adjusting waterfall strategies, changing the ad experience, and more.
6. Mobile app
Finally, there’s our mobile app - which is the first and only mobile version of a mediation platform available today. Today, a game’s success is determined by metrics that need to be constantly tracked and analyzed - and staying on top of data in real time is critical to making the right business decisions. But of course, developers aren’t always sitting at their desks to hop onto the desktop version of their mediation platform.
We released the ironSource mobile app to give developers an instant and digestible view of business performance, both for monetization and user acquisition, empowering their partners to react quickly to changes in the data.
As the year continues, we plan to release many more first-to-market, exclusive LevelPlay products, all designed to help our partners dominate the charts and optimize growth - so be sure to check back in on what’s coming down the pipeline.