The Performance Index 2017 by AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer is an Israeli company that has been operating on the mobile advertising market since 2011. In the ecosystem of competing products for mobile games and mobile apps, for many companies simply remaining on the market for so long is a success. However, ever since the beginning, AppsFlyer had an ambition of becoming number one mobile app attribution platform. The company was founded in Israel, but it currently has 13 offices in distant corners of the world. AppsFlyer succeeded in obtaining development financing from such VC as Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, Pitango and Magma, in total gathering 84 million dollars in the financing rounds so far. Apart from cooperating with such giants as Facebook and Twitter, the company integrates over 2 thousand networks on all continents.

Their authorial SDK is available on the best mobile platforms, providing the user with feature-rich analytics tools that include everything that mobile app marketers might need. The fair practices and belief that everything can be measured and examined makes AppFlyer the go-to solution of the largest tech companies out there.

One of AppsFlyer’s excellent practices is their content marketing. As part of it, they have recently prepared the next edition of their ranking of the best mobile advertising networks. In May 2015, when they revealed it for the first time, we did not expect it to become an industry standard – and that the following versions will be impatiently waited for by all developers and mobile app marketers. The ranking is the best source of information for the effectiveness of the most popular mobile advertising networks, and, after the changes implemented this year, it even more accurately reflects the real effectiveness of the companies it lists.

The report was devised based on data gathered from January to June of 2017. To qualify for the research, networks must have had at least 20 000 assigned app installations – this gave a final sum of 250 mobile ad networks, which in total brought their users 6 billion installations of 5.5 thousand different mobile apps, along with 80 billion sessions.

How was the report devised?

The report was divided into a number of categories. The fundamental division is differentiating between games and other apps. In regard to this division, mobile advertising networks have been assessed in terms of their Power Ranking, a combination of the volume, retention in mobile app and average session length per user, their Volume Ranking, which is the number of installations the network has brought, and the ROI Index, which most accurately reflects the results of an advertisement network by utilizing hard data. The two devised rankings are then sorted in terms of their platforms and regions.

In this edition of the report, the largest change comes from implementing the return on investment indicator, the AppsFlyer ROI Index. Another new feature is the increased emphasis on including the amount of unfair installations, as they have become the largest issue in the mobile app industry. The complete methodology is described in the report itself and, noticing the effort put into the research, it is no wonder that AppsFlyer is treated as a valuable source of information.

Below is a breakdown of example results, where we present the top 5 networks of each category. Depending on the ranking and the region, the report includes up to 25 positions, and so we can find all the influential players on the market, not only the top ones. We recommend downloading the full report – you can find the link at the bottom of the article.

Games / All platforms / (largest volume, retention and average session length)

Gaming Universal Mobile Power Ranking

Apple Search Ads

The “primordial” network of a leading platform – iOS. Software created directly by the developers of the systems are always excellently integrated with the ecosystem of its devices. Despite the influence that Apple has on its own store, it does not misuse the advantage over third parties, and their network is even praised by smaller developers for the fairness in their competition with larger operators. The network is focused on the per-click financial model and can boast fantastic targeting of keywords typed into the App Store by users. Apple Search Adverts are displayed above the free search results.
As of November 8th, 2017, mobile app promotion on iOS is yet to be made available. This is surely a matter of time.
Currently, mobile iOS apps can be marketed through Apple Search Ads in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.

Chartboost

Mobile ad network from San Francisco focused on promoting and monetizing mobile games for Android and iOS. Utilizing data such as the country, operating system version, and device type, it targets users and lures them in with engaging formats. Playable ads, rewarding video game players, interstitials and complex animations generate traffic calculated in the CPI, CPCV, and CPC models. Recently one of the most popular advertising networks for promoting and monetizing mobile games.

Western Europe / Games / iOS / Promoting iOS mobile apps (largest volume, retention and average session length)

Western Europe Gaming Power Ranking

Applovin

App marketing platform based on “added value” for the client, served in native and video advertising, interstitials, and banners. Excellent for the fashion, games, retail and travel industries. It targets our future users predominantly based on demographic data, age, gender or matrimonial status, accounting for the concentration indicator of a given market.

North America / Apps / iOS / range

Mobile advertising networks:

Adcolony

Earlier known as Opera Mediaworks (currently a part of Opera ASA). The network is focused on “high quality” users and known for providing multimedia formats, especially video ads and interstitials. It operates in the CPI, CPA, CPM, CPCV, and CPS models. It can boast integrating 14 thousand different publishers, with whom it works directly, putting emphasis on premium brands. It works excellently in the motor vehicle, fashion, e-commerce, travel, retail, tech, telecommunication, beauty, and food industry – practically everywhere where brand is of importance. It is the leading network for video advertisement mobile game promotion. I recommend it to the larger publishers.

Western Europe / Apps / ANDROID / Android app marketing (largest volume, retention and average session length)

Mobile Ad Network Western Europe

Vungle

Vungle focuses entirely on video formats (including interactive ones). The special thing about this start-up in the mobile advertisement industry is the “Vungle Exchange” – a technology which provides high quality, 15-second clips with practically no latency, which positively influences the user’s experience. The network is available for iOS and Android devices and allows for operation in the CPI, CPM, CPCV, and CPC models. Currently, Vungle’s SDK is used by over 45 thousand apps, which translates to 3.5 billion formats viewed so far. I recommend it to the larger publishers.

UnityAds

Unity a graphic engine, is a solution used both by large studios and indie developers. Unity’s environment works on practically all systems, ranging from stationary consoles, PC/MAC/LINUX computers to web browsers. Since 2005, its popularity has constantly been rising, and thanks to the adaptiveness of the technology, it is currently the leader on mobile platforms. It is thus no surprise that Unity’s creators decided to utilize the popularity of their solution by offering their own advertisement solution. The UnityAds network, operating based on the CPI, CPA, CPM, CPV, CPCV, and CPC models, focused on video ads in mobile games, offers deep integration with the app, making the advertisement part of the whole experience. If you are a small or medium-sized mobile game publisher, UnityAds will be perfect for you.

The ROI Index / Android / ROI
Android User Acquisition ROI

IronSource

The network is based on simple concepts of serving the client – understand, engage, earn. The company provides modern formats for virtually any type of app: rewarded video ads, innovative “Ofterwall” ads (rewards for completing a given task), interstitials, and native advertisement. Great integration with social media sites (Google, Facebook, and Twitter), a wide range of operation models (CPI, CPA, CPM, CPV, CPE, and CPC) and presence on the main mobile platforms (Apple and Google) make IronSource a common find on the very top of AppsFlyer’s current ranking.

Full report from AppsFlyer is here.

Best mobile advertising networks according to AppsFlyer
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