In past few years the shift of ad spends from traditional channels to mobile devices has been the biggest trend in the advertising industry, and this has provided an immense opportunity for app developers and publishers to monetize their content. The massive user base of mobile phones across the world has resulted in aggressive ad spending in mobile, yet optimum monetization of the mobile inventory remains a challenge. Fill rate plays a major role in revenue optimization for app developers and publishers.

 

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What is fill rate?

When an ad request is sent to an ad source (like an ad network) not every ad request is returned with an ad. The percentage of ad requests that are returned with ads for a given site or app is called fill rate. Fill rate signifies how effectively the inventory of a publisher is utilized.

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Why fill rate is important?

A publisher may have a popular site or app which generates good traffic; but if the site or app fails to get and display ads then the opportunity of generating revenue will be lost. For example, if you have a 50% fill rate that means half of your traffic is not seeing any ads and you are losing 50% revenue opportunity.

Let’s say a site has 40% fill rate, 1% CTR and 1 USD CPC, then for 1 million ad requests the site will generate revenue of 4000 USD. If eCPM and everything else remain unchanged then an increase in fill rate to 80% will double the revenue to 8000 USD. It means, without changing the popularity of the website or app, proper selection of ad delivery partner can significantly increase the revenue.

 

How to improve fill rate and optimize revenue?

In order to maximize fill rates publishers tend to work with more than one ad network through some of the following ways:

Multiple Ad Slots

Some publishers use multiple ad slots on one page where each ad slot sends ad requests to different ad networks. Expectation is at least some of the ad requests will be served. It might increase the overall impressions but has significant impact on performance and user experience. Handling of multiple requests increases the load time of the ads and multiple ad slots on a page hampers the content and user experience for that particular page.

Daisy Chain

Some publishers use ‘daisy chain’ where they send ad requests to a single ad network and moving onto the next in case of a no-ad. The chains generally have up to 3-4 ad networks where the sequence of ad networks is static. Daisy chain can help in improving the fill rate but the repeated polling increases the latency which affects user experience negatively. As the sequence is static the chain is not capable of revenue optimization.

Parallel ad requests

Some publishers send parallel requests to multiple ad networks. The ad returned first gets displayed. It will fetch a healthy fill rate and the latency will not be affected. However the revenue might not be optimal as the first ad fetched may not offer the maximum revenue.

 

All these methods may increase fill rate but they don’t ensure maximum possible revenue generation. So, what’s the way to fetch higher fill rates with revenue optimization?

 

The best way is to use a yield optimizer, which can yield better performance for the publisher. A yield optimization system is capable of dynamically identifying an ad network with the best possible revenue potential and fill rate at a particular time in a particular geography for a defined target consumer. The intelligent system will forward the request for ads to those networks which are most likely to return ads capable of giving high revenue realization to the publisher.

Adiquity is one such platform for mobile advertisement. When Adiquity receives a request for an ad from its publisher, the sophisticated proprietary algorithms of Adiquity dynamically identifies the network, from its long list of ad network partners, which is most likely to return an ad capable of fetching the best revenue. Having a wide network of ‘ad network’ partners ensures that the ad can be served irrespective of the diversity (based on geography, handset, carrier, time etc.) of request. It helps publishers to attain an excellent fill rate and much higher optimization of inventory.

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