Introduction

Networks Setup is a tool meant to increase transparency when working with Appodeal and give you maximum control over mediation. Networks Setup allows you to keep track of activated networks in your applications, to manage ad units (add and delete, as well as switch their priority in the waterfall) and independently link your own ad network accounts to the Appodeal account. Now you can manually adjust the position of ad units where it is necessary. At the same time, some networks can continue operating in an automatic mode.

On the Appodeal side, you can either use your accounts for the ad networks or you can use our Appodeal default accounts, but for some ad networks, you can use only your accounts.

  • Your Ad Network Accounts: You can read more on how to connect your ad network accounts below in our Networks Setup guide for each ad network.
  • Appodeal Default Accounts: To use Appodeal default accounts for the ad networks, you need to full fill the requirements, which you can find in your App Settings -> Mediation Settings -> Line Items in your Appodeal account

You can read more about these options here.


The tool consists of three parts: Mediation Ad Networks, Line Items, and Priorities.

Mediation Ad Networks settings allow you to manage linked ad network accounts to be used within applications.
You can independently link your accounts and subsequently use them in applications. For most networks, Appodeal accounts are used by default, but you can always add your own. After linking, you can enable them in your applications. Related income reports will be aggregated for you in the Appodeal dashboard.

Line Items provide an opportunity to enable or disable ad networks, choose an ad network account for each network, and manage line items created in these networks for the application.

Priorities give you the power to create custom waterfalls. With this functionality, you can manage line items order using one of four modes: in-app header bidding, manual, eCPM, and automatic, or you can use all of them at the same time. Moreover, you can create waterfalls for each of the countries, or you can even target the waterfall for certain user segments.

Priorities setting is available only with Appodeal SDK 2.6.1+

Glossary

Ad unit - a unique entity that should be created on the ad network side to serve ads.

Line item - the synonym for the ad unit. We use the term “line item” in the Appodeal Dashboard.

eCPM (Effective Cost Per Mille) - the metric that helps measure the generated ad revenue from 1000 ad impressions.

Backfillis a special ad network with zero eCPM. (read more here)

Waterfall - a list of ad units sorted from top to bottom based on the historical eCPMs. With waterfall, when requesting an ad to fill, the best-performing ad networks appear at the top of the waterfall.

Network account - an account of the specific ad network that an app developer can link to their Appodeal account to simplify the process of showing ads.

Waterfall algorithm explanation

Whenever a user opens an application, we send a list of ad units (or waterfall) to the device. All the ad units in the waterfall are prioritized based on historical eCPMs. While caching we fire all ad units one by one until one of them returns with an ad creative. With this approach, we ensure the best possible eCPM. Moreover, this guarantees a solid fill rate.

Actually, we have two waterfalls. The second one is the waterfall that is described above. And another one is used to serve ads as soon as possible. This waterfall contains the cheapest ad units with the best fill rate performance. So if you call “show method” right after the initialization of our SDK, ads will be shown almost immediately. Otherwise, we will initiate the ordinary waterfall to fill an app inventory with the most profitable ads.

In-App Header Bidding algorithm explanation

In-App Header Bidding works as a unified auction aimed at finding the highest-paying ad among all the demand sources in real time, making their opportunities equal. 
In-App Header Bidding provides closer access to the actual highest price per impression for publishers.

In addition to that, in-app header bidding significantly reduces latency and invigorates the ad delivery process. The ad requests and the auctions are processed on the server side.
Therefore, devices no longer need to run consecutive client-side ad requests.

Mediation Ad Networks

To find this tool navigate to the Integrations page > Mediation Ad Networks tab.

This tool is used to create and manage your ad network accounts. The Admob account can be set up automatically. For other ad network accounts, there are just a few simple fields to fill out. These fields can be different from one ad network to another, depending on the set of data points each ad network requires. You can set up any of the ad network accounts as a default account, and we will use it for all the new apps.

Line items

To find this tool:

  1. You should navigate to the Apps page
  2. Choose the app you want to manage line items for
  3. Click on the three dots on the right to see the options
  4. Select the Mediation Settings tab. For your convenience, we divided line items by the ad types.

This tool enables you to create and manage line items for all the supported ad networks, but it also gives you the power to turn the ad networks on and off when you need to.

Here you can find our special ad network with zero eCPM - BackfillIt is needed only at the start of mediation to increase the fill rate while other ad networks connect. You don’t get any revenue for these impressions. Backfill is automatically disabled after 1000 impressions.

To create a new line item for the specific ad network & ad type, you should extend the list of line items for this ad network and click the Add Line item button, or you can click on the gear icon to manage the settings for existing line items.

For every line item (including those created by Appodeal), you can specify the countries where this line item will be added to the “waterfall”. Choose countries from the list for even more precise targeting.

Default eCPM settings determine the start position of the ad unit in the waterfall. Once we have enough data from the ad network side, we’re able to analyze their eCPM tendencies and predict which eCPM would be more effective.

In the code field, you should fill the unique identifier of this ad unit.

Priorities

This tool is located right next to the Line items tab.

Priorities is a feature that allows you to move line item positions around with the “drag and drop” function and organize them into country/segment groupings that are easy to create. In other words, you can manage your waterfall configuration in a number of ways. Whenever you create a new app, we automatically add “Default configuration,” where all the line items are located in the Automatic Priority section. By default, this configuration is applied to all countries/segments. If you add the line item to the custom priority, it will override the "countries" setting for this line item. Thus it can work for the country which isn’t selected in the settings of this line item. You can create new configurations for the specific ad type by clicking the “New Configuration” button.

First, you need to add the name of your configuration. We advise you to name it by the countries/segments names you want to target this priority to.

Then you need to choose whether you want to target this configuration to a range of countries or for some segments. You can select one country as a group or a number of countries for the configuration. However, you can’t use the same country in several groupings (for example, if you choose Canada, USA, and Australia for one of the country groupings, you can’t feature Canada in another grouping).

The same principle applies to the Segments targeting.

Finally you need to configure the ad units positioning in the waterfall for the selected ad type. There are four modes you can utilize:

  • In-App Header Bidding
  • Manual Priority
  • Automatic Priority
  • eCPM Priority.

On the left, you can see the tab Unused line items — that’s where the newly created and previously unused line items are placed, so you can drag all the line items you’d like to use for Priority Modes. Keep in mind that in this section you can’t create new line items. For that, you’d need to use the Line Items tool.

In most cases, it’s recommended to add line items to the Automatic Priority, where they are positioned automatically (based on the statistics at our disposal). You can also use the “Move all unused line items here” button to move all the ad units from the Unused line items section to the Automatic Priority. Note that line items in this section are sorted by their names.

eCPM priority is in-between Automatic and Manual priorities and allows specifying eCPM for each line item for further automatic positioning.

In Manual Priority, you can arrange top positions: line items that go first. Manual Priority is basically for your preferred line items that you want to “release” as a priority in the waterfall. You can choose up to 3 line items for one position. In fact, it means that every time will be randomly selected one of the specified ad units and placed in the corresponding position in the waterfall.

In-App Header Bidding priority should be used only for in-app header bidding line items if you have created them previously in the Line Items section.
Here you can either set up price floors manually or 
select the Auto Price Floors option.

Not all ad networks support in-app header bidding.

All four modes are functioning simultaneously.

If a line item is displayed in the list in a muted state, that means it can’t be added to the waterfall associated with this priority for the reason this line item was switched off in the Line items tool.

Popular use cases

In this section, you can find some basic use cases of our Networks Setup separated by tools.

Priorities

  1. If you have a direct deal with an ad network, and you agreed on the position of the network in the waterfall, you should use the manual section to obtain the necessary results.

  2. Sometimes ad networks cannot display your statistics for different reasons. In this case, the positions of line items for this ad network will be automatically changed by our algorithm unless you put them in the manual or eCPM sections.

  3. If you are not sure which section suits you best, use the automatic priority section.

  4. You can use segment targeting to conduct A/B tests of two waterfalls for one country (by adding “country” and “part of audience” filters in the segments).

  5. To use the same waterfall configuration for a range of countries, you can target priority to these countries instead of creating priorities for each of them.

Line items

If an ad unit performs poorly, you can easily disable it using Line items, and this change will apply for all of the priorities.