Mobile App Monetization Glossary

From newbies to industry experts having all the basics of mobile app and game monetization can be daunting. We have compiled 76 important mobile app monetization terms that will help you understand the dimensions of the monetization strategies, ad mediation and in-app advertising.

  1. 1st Look
    1st Look is associated with waterfall mediation where the highest-ranking Ad Network gets to avail the 1st Look of the ad request. In case an Ad Network asks for the 1st Look this means that the Ad Network wants to be on the top of the waterfall model.
  2. A/B Testing
    A/B Testing is done in a similar environment with just one distinct variable which is later tested for results based on the provided KPIs. This method is used in the implementation of monetization for apps and games.
  3. Ad Exchange
    An ad exchange is a platform that enables convenient buying and selling of ad inventory from various Ad Networks.
  4. Ad Frauds
    Ad Frauds are a set of fraudulent activities that are used to drain an advertiser’s budget without giving genuine campaign results. These frauds include SDK spoofing, click injections and more.
  5. Ad Inventory
    An ad inventory is a virtual inventory owned by a publisher with vacant ad slots available for advertisers to purchase.
  6. Ad Mediation
    A platform that ensures that a publisher’s available ad slot is filled up with the best paying Ad Networks’ ad. An Ad Mediation platform on behalf of the publisher sends an ad request to the Ad Networks with available ads from the advertisers.
  7. Ad Network
    Ad Networks bridge gaps between publishers and advertisers willing to sell their ad inventory for monetization. The Network on similar grounds facilitates the advertisers to find available ad inventories for purchase.
  8. Ad Request
    Ad Request is a chunk of data sent to the Ad Network from the publisher’s end to inform about an available ad slot waiting for an ad to be served. An Ad Request contains essential information such as device type, ad format and type required to be served.
  9. Ad Revenue
    Ad Revenue is the amount of revenue generated by efficiently placing advertisements within a mobile game or app.
  10. Ad Server
    Ad Server is the technology used by advertisers, publishers and Ad Networks to effectively serve ads to manage and monetize a mobile game or app.
  11. API – Application Programming Interface
    An Application Programming Interface allows an external developer to access the internal tools of a game or app without making changes from scratch.
  12. App Monetization
    App Monetization includes the practices implemented to make money from within a mobile app.
  13. App Publisher
    A publisher can be an app owner or an app developer who makes its ad inventory available for the advertisers to advertise.
  14. Appographics
    Appographics is a fairly new technology/strategy used by advertisers to target audiences by their app usage behavior and preferences.
  15. ARPDAU – Average Revenue Per Daily Active User
    ARPDAU – Average Revenue per Daily Active User is a key performance indicator that explains how well a game or app has been monetized. It explains how much revenue do users generate for an app per day.
  16. ARPU – Average Revenue Per User
    ARPU – Average Revenue per User is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by the active daily users for a given period of time.The formula for calculating ARPU is total revenue / number of users.
  17. ASO – App Store Optimization
    ASO – App Store Optimization is the process of using effective strategies for improving app visibility on App Stores. (Google Play, iTunes, etc.)
  18. Attribution Platforms
    Attribution Platforms give credit to the traffic sources that drive in conversions after marketing. The platform helps one quantify the value of marketing efforts being actively used.
  19. Audience
    A defined set of users/ people who are targeted for a specific marketing campaign.
  20. Auto-Mediation
    Auto-mediation is the process automatically executed by an Ad Mediation Platform to enable ad serving from the highest paying Ad Network for the game or app publisher.
  21. Banner Ads
    Banner Ads is an ad format served within an app or game to monetize it. There are 3 types of Banner Ads; Standard (320 x 50), Medium Rectangle (300 x 250) and Large (320 x 100). These are placed on the bottom or top of the game/ app interface.
  22. Bid Optimization Technology
    Bid Optimization is used by Ad Networks that improve conversions and conversion value (CPI, CPC, CPA, etc) with the help of machine learning.
  23. Churn Rate
    Churn Rate is the number of users who have stopped using a mobile game or app. This rate includes two types of churn users; those who have just stopped using the app and those who have uninstalled it.
  24. Cohort
    A cohort is a group of users that have similar characteristics.
  25. Conversion
    Conversion is the success rate of an advertising campaign, given a set key indicator. In some cases the number of app downloads, whereas in others the number of active users might be listed as the conversion rate for a campaign.
  26. CPA – Cost per Acquisition
    CPA – Cost per Acquisition is the total cost used per conversion. In the case of in-app advertising, the amount used to result in one successful download is the CPA for a defined campaign.
  27. CPA – Cost per Action
    CPA – Cost per Action is the total amount charged to an advertiser per defined action for a particular advertising campaign.
  28. CPC
    CPC – Cost per Click is the total amount charged to an advertiser per defined click for a particular advertising campaign.
  29. CPI
    CPI – Cost per Install is the total amount charged to an advertiser per defined install for a particular advertising campaign.
  30. CPM
    CPM – Cost per Mile is the cost calculated per thousand impressions.
  31. CPV
    CPV – Cost per view is the total amount charged to an advertiser per defined video view for a particular advertising campaign.
  32. Cross Promotion
    Cross Promotion campaigns are run by game or app publishers to advertise their game or app within their own app inventory.
  33. CTR
    CTR – Click-through Rate is the number of clicks initiated by unique users per total number of ad impressions.
  34.  DAU
    DAU – Daily Active Users is the number of users that open a game or app on a daily basis.
  35.  Direct Deal
    A Direct Deal is when a publisher directly contacts an advertiser to initiate a monetization deal without the assistance of Ad Mediation or Ad Network.
  36. DSP – Demand Side Platform
    A Demand Side Platform is a forum from which advertisers are able to purchase ad inventories from a variety of available ad exchanges.
  37. eCPM
    eCPM – effective cost per mile is used to calculate the revenue successfully generated. The formula for calculating eCPM is the total revenue / total number of impressions x 1000.
  38. Fill Rate
    Fill Rate is the number of successfully answered ad requests per total number of sent ad requests. Fill Rate is displayed in a percentage format, therefore, the formula is total number of ads served / total number of ad requests sent x 100.
  39. Freemium
    Freemium model is a hybrid of free and premium where a basic game or app is made available for free download, whereas upgrades are made available later.
  40. Frequency Capping
    Frequency Capping allows an advertiser to limit the number of times an ad is shown to a single user within a set time or session.
  41. Game Monetization
    Game Monetization includes the practices implemented to generate revenue from mobile games.
  42. Game Publisher
    A publisher can be a game owner or a game developer who makes its ad inventory available for the advertisers to advertise.
  43. GDPR
    GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation is a set of regulations compiled to empower the people of the EU with more control over the personal data being collected and shared. With this, the advertising companies will have to notify their users before collecting any data.
  44. Highest Performing Ad Network
    The highest performing Ad Network is the one that ensures the highest fill rate and bids to pay the highest amount for an available ad slot.
  45. Hybrid Monetization
    Hybrid Monetization is a fine mix of monetization strategies combined to make the most out of effective monetization.
  46. Icon Ads
    Icon Ads format is a relatively newer concept. This icon sized ad is placed within a mobile game or app interface without having an intrusive impact on the user experience or functionality.
  47. IDFA
    IDFA – Identifier for Advertisers is a unique ID used by Apple to identify its users based on their devices. Every unique device has a unique IDFA actively used by advertisers to effectively market.
  48. Impression
    An impression is a single episode where an ad is successfully served after an ad request is answered. The number of impressions are the total ads successfully served to the users.
  49. In-App Advertising
    In-app advertising is a monetization strategy used to generate in-app revenue by serving ads within a mobile game/ app.
  50. In-App Purchase
    In-app purchase is a monetization strategy used to generate in-app revenue by allowing users to purchase within a mobile game/ app.
  51. In-App Revenue
    In-app revenue is the money earned from a mobile game/ app by implementing various monetization strategies.
  52. Interstitial Ads
    Interstitial ads are full screen static ads that cover the mobile game/ app interface to display content.
  53. KPI – Key Performance Indicator
    KPI – Key Performance Indicator is a metric set up to monitor performance and measure it, however, KPIs can be different for various campaigns.
  54. Lookalikes
    Lookalikes are additional sets of the audience created by using existing information, usually the geo-location, interests, demographics and behaviors.
  55. LTV – Lifetime Value
    LTV – Lifetime Value is the total revenue generated by a user during the time span of his usage of a mobile game or an app.
  56. Native Ads
    Native ads format is the type of ads that match the mobile game/ app interface with respect to the theme and color scheme.
  57. Offerwalls
    Offerwalls are ad formats that display multiple offers within a single ad. The offers are often listed or placed in a grid format with active CTAs.
  58. Playable Ads
    Playable ad formats are ads that consist of playable chunks of game apps. With these being served, users get to partially use the game interface before downloading it.
  59. Programmatic Advertising Platform
    A programmatic advertising platform is a platform that automates all the stages of ad serving, whether for advertisers or publishers.
  60. Reach
    Reach is the number of unique users who can be potentially targeted for a specific campaign.
  61. Retargeting
    Retargeting is the strategy used by advertisers to serve ads to the publishers based on previous user data and behavior.
  62. Rewarded Ads
    Rewarded ads are ads that display offers consisting of rewards. These rewards can be utilized on the condition of action. In most cases rewarded ads route to videos and users gain rewards only when a view is generated.
  63. ROAS – Return on Advertising Spend
    ROAS as the name suggests is the return on advertising spend. This is a KPI often used by advertisers to compare their campaign success.
  64. ROI – Return on Investment
    ROI, the return on investment is the KPI used to determine a campaign’s success in accordance with the efficiency of the investment put in.
  65. RTB – Real-Time Bidding
    RTB – Real-Time Bidding takes place during the process of auto-mediation when advertisers bid in real time for an available ad slot.
  66. SDK – Software Development Kit
    SDK – Software Development Kit is an all in one installation package with multiple software development tools inside.
  67. SDK Integration
    SDK Integration is the process of installing and merging the software development kit with a mobile game or app.
  68. SDK Mediation
    SDK mediation is when each ad network installs an SDK on the game or app publisher’s app. Whereas, the mediation takes place on the client’s end.
  69. Server-Side Mediation
    Server side mediation is when SDK is provided by the mediation company and the Ad Networks serve ads from the same SDK.
  70. SSP – Supply Side Platform
    A Supply Side Platform allows the publishers to sell their ad inventory efficiently in an automated manner.
  71. UDID – Unique Device Identifier
    The UDID, the unique device identifier, was an ID used by Apple to identify its users based on their device. Every device has a unique permanent ID that advertisers used in previous times. However, this has now been replaced by IDFA.
  72. Unified Auction
    Unified Auction is referred to as unbiased auction which is often known as an open auction. None of the Ad Networks is given any preferences while the bidding is being carried out.
  73. User Acquisition
    User Acquisition is the marketing efforts used to gain new users by running advertising campaigns.
  74. Video Ads
    Video Ad formats consist of interactive videos that end with an active CTA that enables conversions later when displayed.
  75. Waterfall
    The waterfall model is used by an Ad Mediation Platform to rank Ad Networks as per the eCPM generated. In this case, the highest paying Ad Network is ranked on the top and the second highest paying ranked lower and this goes on.
  76. Yield Management
    The usage of business practices and tools to elevate revenue generation.