deltaDNA SmartAds uses intelligent mediation to ensure that the right ad is shown to the right user at the right time.   SmartAds gives access to over 30 Ad Networks, ensuring that fill rates and revenue are maximized by using the best quality ad networks, to maximize the CPM.  By using our segmentation and targeting tools, you can target Ad responsive players and protect those who object to Ads.

With the ability to change the Ad behavior during game play you will also have the flexibility to change the ads shown to your users, and A/B test your ad campaigns.

Check out our Smart Ads FAQ and Glossary

Setting up SmartAds
SmartAds is set up automatically on every account when you sign up for deltaDNA. You don’t need to do anything additional to include SmartAds running on your account. By adding the SmartAds extension to the deltaDNA analytics SDK you will automatically be able to start showing Ads in your game and generating income.

The on-demand version of SmartAds is a completely self service implementation of this  technology. This will set up a  dynamic mediation waterfall to make sure the most valuable Ads are being shown to each player as they play the game. You will have the SmartAds Dashboard automatically set up, and access to powerful analytics and control over your Ads through the Engage campaign management system.

SmartAds will generate revenue as soon as it’s launched within your game and the ads are switched on. Games that are within the free paying tier below 10,000 MAU will generate revenue from SmartAds.

The Enterprise version of SmartAds ads provides increased control on the Ads that are displayed, allowing you to define black lists of Ads that you don’t want to be shown in your game. Enterprise gives you access to all the Exchange networks as well as the Dedicated Networks increasing your reach. Also if you game is aimed at under 13 year old players or if you want to use features such as House Ads you will need to use the Enterprise version. To qualify for Enterprise you game must have an MAU of greater than 100,000. If you want to discuss the Enterprise version of SmartAds talk to your account manager at deltaDNA.

Supported Ad Networks
SmartAds supports two types of Ad Networks: Direct and Exchange.

Direct Networks are networks that are built in to the SmartAds SDK.  These networks drive the Ad display straight from their own inventory and are directly optimised through the SmartAds technology.

Exchange Networks are accessed through one of a number of exchange partners and are displayed using one of the Direct Networks. This allows SmartAds to access a wide range of Ad Networks without having to bloat the SmartAds SDK with extra code.

Direct Networks are the most valuable source of Ads and will deliver the vast majority of the Ads, Exchange Networks allow SmartAds access to extra fill while making sure the most valuable ad is available to show the user at any given time.

SmartAds supports both interstitial and rewarded Ads, using the best Ad network for each Ad type.

Direct Ad Network support:

Exchange Ad Network support:

Mediation Waterfall
The Mediation Waterfall is the list of Ad Networks that SmartAds will attempt to use, ordered by the highest paying eCPM for that user. Each time SmartAds attempts to show an Ad it will retrieve an Ad from the Network at the top of the Waterfall.  If that network is unable to fill the Ad, then SmartAds will select the next Ad network and so on until either an Ad is available to serve or there is no Ad available from any of the Ad Networks.

The Waterfall itself is delivered to each user at the start of a session, and is optimised for each user to connect  the highest paying networks with the ad placements. SmartAds will then optimise the Mediation Waterfall itself, demoting Networks and managing the floor price, time between Ads and number of Ads in a Session to deliver the best experience to each user.

The management and control of the Waterfall is managed by the deltaDNA platform. The platform will  figure out the expected eCPM for each Network and will use that value  to automatically optimise the Waterfall. This is being done on a continual basis.

The waterfall is also managed by the deltaDNA Ad Ops team for Enterprise clients to increase the revenue of Ads through negotiation with Ad Networks.

House Ads
House Ads are where you run an Ad for your own games in place of a paid for Ad. These are generally run at the bottom of the cascade, to give fill if no paid for Ad is available. SmartAds provides the ability to run House Ads as a part of our Enterprise Managed service and will work with you to make them available and place them correctly within the automated Cascade so as to not impact revenue.

SmartAds Dashboard
A SmartAds dashboard will be automatically added to your game. This dashboard is a custom dashboard and gives you 8 pre defined charts that allows you to see the results of SmartAds. These are the basic charts you will use to monitor the success of SmartAds, but this is by no means the full analysis that is available, because SmartAds gives you event level data on the Ads that are being shown, to which players and how much they are worth you can build custom charts and queries, this is covered in the section on using the Analyze tools with SmartAds.

The eight pre-defined SmartAds charts are:

Impressions per Day

impressions
Impressions are the number of times an Ad is shown to a user. This chart shows the number of impressions per day over the last 30 days. Ad Networks use impressions as a payment metric, eCPM is a common metric which is defined as is the cost of 1000 impressions.

Predicted Revenue per Day
The predicted revenue per day shows the revenue you have generated from Ads each day. Ad networks will often not report revenue until a number of days after the event and the actual revenue is not a final number until the end of the month. The number used in this chart is the predicted revenue calculated by the deltaDNA platform. This number is not exact but generally accurate to within 5% of the actual revenue. This revenue is also in US dollars as that is the revenue reported by all the Ad Networks.

Fill Rate per Day


The Fill Rate per Day shows you the number of Ad Requests and the number that were delivered an Ad (Fulfilled). If an Ad was not shown there is a number of reasons why this would happen:

  1. No Ad Network was able to deliver an Ad of sufficient value, a ‘No ad available’ will be reported.
  2. If SmartAds is still trying to find an available Ad and runs out of time to deliver one, then ‘Not ready’ will be reported.
  3. If the maximum number of Ads that can be shown in the session as defined by SmartAds is reached then ‘Session limit reached’ is reported.

Generally ‘No ad available’ and ‘Not ready’ are the same thing, this is where Smart Ads can not get an appropriate Ad from a Network. SmartAds will attempt to optimise to deliver as close to 100% fill as possible.

Click Through Rate per Day

Most Ad Networks will pay more for users that click on Ads. The click through rate, although not directly related to CPM has a strong correlation. This chart monitors which Ad Networks are generating the highest click through rate per day.

Country

Countries
The Country chart shows you the % of impressions per country over the last 30 days. This gives you a good indication of where the users are coming from and which country is generating the highest number of impressions.

Ad Type per Day


SmartAds supports both interstitial and rewarded Ads. Generally rewarded Ads will have a higher value as users have volunteered or “opted-in” to view the Ad. This chart shows you the split of impressions between Interstitial and Rewarded Ad types.

Interstitial Ads per Day

This chart shows the number of impressions each Ad Network is delivering for interstitial Ads. In this example you can see that admob is dominating the impressions, by delivering consistently strong eCPM.

Rewarded Ads per Day

This chart shows the number of impressions each Ad Network is delivering for rewarded Ads placements within your app.  . You can see that unlike interstitials the four Ad Networks are more evenly spread with no simple Ad network dominating. This may be due to changes in eCPM or their ability to fill these ads.

Analyze Smart Ads
The SmartAds SDK automatically generates three events which provide detailed information on  how Ads are being displayed and managed within your game. These three powerful events allow you to analyse the behaviour of the Ads and react to Ads being shown, building both powerful analysis and reactive engagements based on players behaviour.

These three events track the three stages of Ads within a game:

  1. adRequest
    The adRequest tracks the process of SmartAds in getting Ads ready to be shown. . As soon as a game starts, SmartAds will attempt to get an Ad, and this behaviour is repeated as soon as an Ad is shown. The objective is for SmartAds to always have an Ad available to show. The adRequest follows this process by trackingeach Ad Network as it is called for an Ad, the time it takes to respond and it’s index in the Waterfall. Any error an Ad Network reports is also tracked by SmartAds so issues can be easily spotted with Ad Networks.
  2. adShow
    The adShow event tracks impressions, hen an Ad is actually shown. This is different than adRequest which tracks Ads being loaded in preparation. The adShow event  allows you to see which Ad Networks are actually delivering Ads to be shown to the players.
  3. adClosed
    The adClosed event tracks when an Ad is closed. This is the end of the Ad lifecycle and tracks the value of the Ad as an eCPM value as well as whether the player clicked on the Ad and if they left the game to install another application.

Using these three events which are automatically driven by SmartAds allows you to build a detailed picture of the players behaviour. The eight charts that are preconfigured in the SmartAds dashboard will give you an indication of how this data can be used, but they are only the basics of what can be done by using this data to understand how your players are using Ads in the game.

Controlling Smart Ads with Engage
SmartAds is built to use the Engage tool set on the deltaDNA platform to allow you to control who will see Ads  and who will not see Ads. Each time you call theshowInterstitialAd or showRewardedAd you have the option to include a Decision Point.

The Decision point is defined in the platform and represents the point in the game where you might want to show an Ad. When the call is made, the SmartAds SDK will check to make sure that for this specific player a campaign has not already been set up to control the Ad. If there is a campaign set up the display of the Ad will be controlled by this campaign.

By default SmartAds will always show an Ad unless it is specifically told not to, therefore Engage campaigns are used to switch Ads off and not switch Ads on. This may seem counter intuitive at first, but Ads are likely to be shown to the majority of users, and switched off for a specific subset such as spenders or those players likely to spend. Having the default as Ads on makes this control easier.

For each point in the game where you show an Ad, you should provide a recognisable Decision Point that is set up in the platform. Having more points that you could show an Ad than you initially intend using allows you to experiment with different configurations and try different strategies without the need for a new build or certification.

To control SmartAds there is a new SmartAds Action in the Action menu.

When you create the SmartAds action, the default is to send the adShowPoint Parameter back to the game with the value set to Off. This will switch Ads off to the set of users in the campaign with this action. You can also add further parameters to control other aspects of the game.

With the action set up you can build a campaign to switch off the Ads at that Decision Point to either all players or a segment of players.

In this example the campaign is setup to switch off Ads in the Main Menu to Engaged Spenders, a key segment of players that you don’t want to show Ads to. You must make sure the campaign is set to repeat or it will only switch off the first time for each player.

By setting up these campaigns you can control your Ad Strategy and A/B test  different strategies and controlling exactly who gets and who doesn’t get Ads within your game.

You can also use the same Decision point to give some players Ads and other players offers to buy items with IAP’s. For example:  you might have identified a group of users who have not played in 10 days and they might be lapsed spenders. You could show video ads to a subset of users in this audience, by offering half of the audience video ads and the other half an in-app offer. This ability to mix Ads and in-app purchase offers is a powerful tool. You can use the metrics driven by SmartAds to make decisions on who should and shouldn’t get ads.  This allows complex Ad strategies to be deployed and managed completely through the platform.

In each of the Actions there is a SmartAds button on the parameters section, this will add the SmartAds parameter into the action giving you the ability to switch of SmartAds for that Action.

SmartAds Preferences

Controls on the SETUP->SMARTADS->SmartAds Preferences page let you limit the number of ads each player receives per session, configure the minimum delay between ads and set a minimum floor price for your Ads.