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Navigating Change: Google Ads move to real-time bidding for apps

In a strategic shift aimed at optimizing the app monetization landscape, Google Ads is moving primarily towards real-time bidding auctions for apps. This transition away from multicall requests in hybrid mediation chains aligns with Google Ads’ commitment to enhancing advertiser ROI and fostering new monetization avenues for app publishers. Here, we delve into the rationale behind this shift, its implications for publisher ad revenue, and recommended strategies for adaptation.

Understanding the Transition: The Why and the When

Google Ads’ move away from multicall requests signifies a commitment to streamline and fortify the programmatic advertising ecosystem. This strategic evolution aims to pivot towards real-time bidding auctions for apps, fostering efficiency and competitiveness. The timeline unfolds with a grace period, extending beyond October 31, 2023, allowing continued responsiveness to multiple calls within hybrid waterfalls on supported platforms. The full transition is anticipated to conclude by January 2024, marking a pivotal juncture in programmatic advertising.

Impact on Publisher Ad Revenue: Navigating Uncharted Waters

The most palpable impact for app publishers lies in the exclusive adoption of Google Bidding for ad purchases. This departure from traditional practices, particularly the reliance on multiple calls for each ad unit, requires app publishers, especially those with intricate waterfall mediation setups, to recalibrate their strategies for optimizing ad revenue.

Historically, app publishers have optimized ad revenue by setting up multiple Google Ad Manager calls for each ad unit, allowing for a nuanced approach to targeting and monetization. The shift towards Google Bidding exclusively signifies a departure from this established practice, prompting app publishers to explore new strategies and adapt to a more centralized, real-time bidding framework.

At AnyMind, we noticed a 20-40% drop in Google multicall revenue through the Applovin and IronSource platforms for most of our app publishers.

Strategies for App Publishers: Adapting to the New Norm

Embrace Hybrid Integration
App publishers are encouraged to adopt a phased approach by seamlessly integrating bidding ad units into their existing mediation waterfalls. This hybrid integration serves as a pragmatic bridge between the legacy and future states, ensuring a gradual and effective transition. By doing so, app publishers can maintain a degree of continuity while preparing for the paradigm shift brought about by Google Ads’ evolution.

Diversify Revenue Streams
The adage: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” holds true in the ever-evolving landscape of app monetization. To strengthen resilience and mitigate potential revenue disruptions, app publishers should explore and incorporate alternative ad networks and formats into their monetization strategy. Diversifying revenue streams not only insulates against disruptions but also unlocks untapped opportunities for sustained growth.

Below are the top mobile demand sources in South East Asia. By integrating these demand sources, you can uplift your revenue by 20-40% (depending on your traffic location & formats).

Stay Informed and Consult Industry Experts
In the dynamic realm of programmatic advertising, knowledge is a potent asset. App publishers are advised to stay informed about industry trends, updates, and best practices. Given the transformative nature of the changes introduced by Google Ads, seeking guidance from industry experts and consulting services can provide valuable insights and help navigate the transition with precision.

Below are insightful sources for industry updates:

Optimize User Experience & Ad formats
Uphold user-centric principles in ad delivery. Ensure ads are unobtrusive, relevant, and enhance the overall user experience. Satisfied users contribute to prolonged engagement and enhanced ad performance.

Below are the formats that were introduced in 2023. At AnyMind, we’re seeing significant revenue uplift from the following formats (contributing 20-30% total app revenue).

  • Splash banner Ads: occupies a part of the splash screen, not more than 40% of the screen estate. Splash banners can be anchored to either top or bottom of the screen.
  • Exit Ads: can be either Native or Medium Rectangle Banner (300×250) format, shown when the user clicks on the exit button, and shown together with Exit Pop-up to confirm the action.
  • Collapsible Ads: initially shows the selected banner placement as 1/2 screen, with the user then being able to manually collapse the expanded banner to standard banner size. The user will be able to manually collapse the banner immediately.
  • Native Full screen Ads: In between full-screen content or stories, users scroll down to view content or stories and Full-screen native ads show in between.
  • Conclusion: Charting a Course for Success
    As Google Ads reshapes the contours of app monetization, adaptability becomes the cornerstone for app publishers seeking to optimize ad revenue. By embracing hybrid integration, diversifying revenue streams, staying informed, and prioritizing user experience, app publishers can navigate these changes with resilience and position themselves for success in the evolving programmatic advertising landscape.

    This strategic recalibration is not just a response to change but an opportunity for app publishers to chart a course toward enhanced ad revenue optimization and sustained success. As the digital advertising landscape undergoes a transformative period, those who approach this evolution strategically will not only weather the storm but also emerge as pioneers in the new era of app monetization. In navigating these uncharted waters, app publishers have the opportunity to not only adapt but to thrive in the dynamic and competitive landscape of programmatic advertising.

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