Prebid Mobile 2.0 and the Reopening of the Mobile Ad Marketplace

The mobile advertising market continues to consolidate, leaving app developers with fewer and fewer options for monetisation and mediation partners. In some cases, consolidation has introduced direct conflicts of interest with those monetisation partners, as many have acquired game and app development studios with competitive supply.  

So how can you build a monetisation stack that affords you more ownership and control over your in-app ad experience?  

We believe that the mobile ecosystem needs an open, transparent, and efficient supply chain without conflicts of interest. It’s why we’re so encouraged by the recent release of Prebid Mobile 2.0, a free and open-source monetisation software development kit (SDK) for Android and iOS apps. 

This release represents an important step forward in reopening the mobile advertising marketplace: Prebid Mobile now has the feature set to compete as a first-class mobile app monetisation SDK.   

As part of the Prebid Mobile Project Management Committee, we worked with leaders from across the industry to build an independent SDK that enables mobile header bidding and end-to-end ad rendering. Prebid Mobile can work either within your existing mediation ad stack or on its own, giving you a legitimate opportunity to take back control of your app inventory, data, and yield. 

Why Prebid Mobile 2.0? 

Open and transparent 

Prebid Mobile is a community-driven and completely neutral technology, providing the industry with an independent monetisation solution and affording app developers more choice. It’s designed to facilitate mobile header bidding across all ad formats to maximise your yield, while also providing impression-level transparency into each auction. 

Moreover, Prebid Mobile creates a direct line to dozens of demand sources, all connected via Prebid Server. With media buyers’ growing focus on efficiency and supply path optimisation, an SDK that creates direct supply for buyers is an extremely powerful tool. 

Configurability and ease of use 

One of the issues with the previous incarnation of Prebid Mobile is that it required the use of a traditional ad server. While ad servers are widely used in web environments, mediation platforms are much more common in mobile. Prebid Mobile 2.0 introduces ad rendering support and a suite of updated mediation adapters for Google Ad Manager, Google AdMob, and AppLovin MAX, making it easy for you to plug Prebid into your mediation ad stack. 

Alternatively, you can use Prebid Mobile 2.0 on its own, without a mediation platform or ad server. This flexibility allows you to create your own ad stack, using the SDK’s rendering capabilities to show rewarded video, interstitial, or banner ads to your users. Prebid Mobile 2.0 also offers support for SKAdNetwork 2.2 in iOS apps, providing you with access to incremental app install demand. 

Looking ahead, we’re working with contributors to add the first Prebid Mobile plugins, beginning with additional support for addressability and viewability measurement (via the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK). You’ll have the freedom to select which Prebid Mobile plugins you include in your SDK build to optimally configure your Prebid ad stack. 

Control of your data 

The decline of cross-app tracking due to privacy frameworks like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (and Google’s Privacy Sandbox in the future) has created a more urgent need for publisher control around ad targeting, measurement, attribution, and fraud prevention.  

As audience creation moves to the supply side, consider how you manage data gathering and access. Rather than rely on a mobile ad platform—which could collect information about your users and deploy it for competitive purposes—you should take back control of your data. Whether it’s collecting first-party data and passing it to media buyers in a privacy-safe manner or more closely evaluating the SDKs installed in your apps and the data they collect, control starts with the ad stack.  

Prebid Mobile connects to Prebid server, allowing you to maintain ownership of your first-party data within your own ad stack. A publisher-owned Prebid stack grants a lot more flexibility when it comes to audience data collection and deployment, helping you increase your addressable supply. That flexibility is well within reach with Prebid Mobile 2.0. 

The mobile ecosystem deserves an independent, standalone monetisation platform that provides full control over both the app and ad experience. We will continue to invest in Prebid Mobile at Index, and work with our customers to improve efficiency throughout the supply chain and maximise yield.  

To learn more about Prebid Mobile 2.0, check out the rendering documentation, consider joining the Prebid Mobile Project Management Committee, or contact our team for additional guidance.

Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin

Senior product manager

Mike Mullin is the product lead for mobile at Index Exchange. He also serves as vice chair for the Prebid Mobile Project Management Committee. Prior to joining Index, Mike led Verizon Media’s monetisation SDK product efforts. He also held roles at Millennial Media and Jumptap.

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