Tips for a Successful MoPub Waterfall

Your revenue growth is our prime directive. These tips improve the effectiveness of your waterfall and account setup.

If you are a new publisher, we encourage you to follow these recommendations when starting your monetization with MoPub; they help you maximize competition for each impression, reduce latency, and grow your app’s overall ad revenue from combined demand sources.

If you are a seasoned publisher, or are interested in increasing your app’s ARPDAU and LTV, we recommend reviewing our Waterfall best practices & recommendations: Top 14 dos and don’ts blog post.

Activate Advanced Bidding

Whenever possible, we recommend activating networks available on Advanced Bidding. This reduces your waterfall latency, improves fill rate, and increases the number of impressions per daily active user (DAU) across many geos, all of which can lead to a higher average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU). MoPub’s largest publishers have all activated Advanced Bidding. The measured results via A/B tests have confirmed between +5% to +45% higher ARPDAU and a reduced time in waterfall management.

(You can activate Advanced Bidding by navigating to the desired ad unit(s) under the Apps tab, selecting the Advanced Bidding tab and enabling Advanced Bidding.)

Use MoPub Marketplace

MoPub Marketplace is a strong demand source. It gathers brand and performance campaigns from Twitter and more than 130 DSPs. Marketplace creates additional competition with the networks and has proved to increase average eCPMs and ARPDAU when it competes at all levels of the waterfall. We’ve A/B tested enabling Marketplace in waterfalls with several publishers, as opposed to disabling it, and found that revenue and ARPDAU are consistently higher when Marketplace is enabled.

To ensure fair competition among all demand sources (which helps maximize earnings), our advice is:

  • Recommended: Simply activate Marketplace on Advanced Bidding, without necessarily having other networks live on Advanced Bidding. (You can activate Marketplace on Advanced Bidding in the Apps tab’s Ad Unit Details page’s Advanced Bidding tab.)

OR

  • Give fair access to MoPub Marketplace by having one MoPub Marketplace line item at the bottom of each priority. Ideally, set up only one priority and one Marketplace line item for the entire waterfall. (You can manage your waterfall in the Apps tab’s Ad Unit Details page. Set a single Priority across your waterfall to order your ad sources by CPM.)

Add Networks to Your Mediation

There are many ad networks available for in-app monetization. Some of them offer strong added value, while some others may add little value for the integration work required. That said, we recommend that you integrate at least eight to ten strong ad networks to maximize the competition and diversity of ad campaigns. Doing so can help you increase ARPDAU. Consult with your dedicated MoPub Partner Manager or file a ticket in the MoPub Support Center to identify the best performing networks per country and per ad format, and to learn which networks you may be missing out on based on your inventory. For a complete list of our supported network partners,refer to our Mediation Overview article.

(You can add networks for mediation in the MoPub Platform’s Networks tab by clicking Add New Network. Then target those networks to the ad units using line items in the Orders tab.)

Create Country Tiers and Specific Geo-Targeting

Not all countries have the same eCPM and ARPDAU average, and not all networks have a strong global demand. For these reasons, we recommend adjusting the country targeting of your waterfall to remove unnecessary latency. One way to do this is to create country tiers within your waterfall and manage the targeting using line items. Make sure to limit the number of line items in an ad unit using the following strategy:

  • The top calls (Tier 1) with high eCPMs target only the most valued geos, such as the US, UK, JP, KR, etc.

  • Widen the geo targeting as you go down in the waterfall, finally having a WW targeting from the middle to the lowest calls.

Consider that some networks only have good demand in Tier 1 and Tier 2 geos, and you can therefore exclude them from Tier 3 and Tier 4 geo targeting. This can be easily observed per line item call for each network in MoPub Analytics. As an example, China being a specific country, it will only have certain networks included in the targeting.

(You can set geo targeting options by navigating to the Orders tab, clicking on an order, and then editing a line item.)

Use Auto-CPM for Accurate Network Pricing

It’s important that the eCPM on MoPub’s line items reflect the real eCPM that networks are paying. Most networks can set up fixed CPM floors (hard floors), but those can vary by a few cents or a dollar. Some larger networks even have more dynamic averages, where the eCPM can increase by 20%-30%.

The MoPub Auto-CPM feature updates the line item’s eCPM every 24 hours based on the past seven days’ data collected via the network API reporting connection. The updated eCPMs ensure that supported networks’ line items are correctly organized in the waterfall, from high to low CPM calls. In addition, Auto-CPM results in more accurate impression-level revenue data (ILRD) collection and more accurate ILRD reporting.

(You can enable Auto CPM by first going to the Networks tab, clicking on the network name, and in the Network settings submenu, enabling Reporting Access, entering your Network Account Credentials, and clicking Save. Then, in the Auto CPM preferences submenu, toggle Enable Auto CPM updating to Enabled, and specify your desired inventory.)

Simplify your Priorities

MoPub mediation allows publishers to use priorities for special calls. Some publishers also use priorities to organize their different country tiers’ waterfalls. In addition to those two reasons, we recommend that publishers define one single priority for their entire waterfall, using one MoPub Marketplace line item at the bottom of that priority. Having one priority is also recommended for the best use of the Auto-CPM feature so that line items can freely move up and down without being blocked in a priority.

(You can manage your waterfall in the Apps tab’s Ad Unit Details page. Set a single Priority across your waterfall to order your ad sources by CPM.)

Questions? Contact your MoPub partner manager or the MoPub Support Center for any questions.


Last updated July 13, 2021

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