One of the two popular ways to make money off apps is ads. This business model enables you to reach wider audience without having to first convince a user to download your app. Microsoft has recently announced 'ad mediation' to increase fill rates and revenue of in-app advertisements for Windows Phone. Today, Microsoft has published an in-depth 'how-to.'
First, what is a fill rate? This is the percentage of advertisements successfully displayed in an app. To load an advertisement, the app sends a request to an ad network, and a percentage of those requests return a full advertisement. If they are unsuccessful, you will see a blank, or black box, which obviously doesn't make the developer any money.
With ad mediation, Microsoft aims to increase this percentage (fill rate) by utilizing multiple ad SDKs (software development kits, in this case referring to using multiple ad networks). This means that if your app makes a request to one ad control, which cannot serve an ad, it will make a request to a second control, and so on until it has an ad to display.
Microsoft saw an increase from a 60% fill rate with one ad SDK to 98% using multiple SDKs through ad mediation.
While results will vary, it is almost guaranteed that you will see higher fill rates. And in addition to fill rates, ad mediation offers a chance for optimization. You can gear your app to prioritize performance, revenue, etc. The 'how-to' focuses on revenue, prioritizing the ad network with the highest eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions).
From a development point of view, Microsoft has focused on making the implementation as easy as possible. The Dev Center configuration page for ad mediation has these features: app level configuration, global and optional market-specific configuration, ad refresh rate, pause/resume ads, ad network prioritization, ad network exclusion, and fill rate reporting by ad network and by market.
To find out more about the ad networks available, developer configurations, steps, best practices and more read Microsoft's post at the VIA link below.