Digital advertising continues to remain a major revenue source for publishers and app developers in addition to subscriptions and affiliate programs. Indeed, digital ad spend is expected to top $700 billion in 2023.
Google Ad Exchange (AdX) and Google AdMob are two of the leading monetization platforms, with the majority of publishers and developers using them to generate revenue. While Google AdMob is a mobile ad network that is ideal for app developers, Google AdX is an ad exchange that helps both website owners and mobile app developers to sell their ad inventory. Both platforms boast a large network of premium advertisers.
While they both help generate revenue for publishers, the features they offer do differ. Let’s compare the two platforms to help publishers choose which can best help them reach their full earning potential.
Google AdX vs AdMob: The Full Overview
Google AdX is an ad exchange that allows large publishers and developers to sell their inventory to advertisers around the world by deploying real-time bidding (RTB) technology. Founded in 1995 as Doubleclick Ad Exchange, it was acquired by Google in 2008 and renamed Google Ad Exchange.
Part of the Google Ad Manager (GAM) suite, AdX acts both as an exchange and an ad management platform, allowing large publishers to leverage multiple ad networks in order to sell their inventory at a premium to advertisers. It also assists advertisers in efficiently targeting consumers. The prices are set in a real-time auction ensuring efficient usage of ad spaces and allowing sellers to control who can advertise on their websites and apps.
Google’s huge network of advertisers allows publishers access to a large number of buyers. On the demand side of things, it ensures advertisers have access to a wide array of websites and apps from different niches to choose from to display their ads.
AdMob is a mobile apps monetization platform that helps developers sell ad space directly to advertisers. It does this by allowing developers and advertisers to connect with each other through ad bidding and mediation.
Google AdMob supports both iOS and Android platforms and lets app owners display high-quality in-app advertisements to maximize their revenue without disrupting the user experience. Leveraging Google’s global reach and vast resources, AdMob enables advertisers to serve ads globally by creating interactive in-app ads that occupy each ad unit sold to the advertiser by the app publisher.
Is Google AdX the Same as Google AdMob?
Google AdX is not the same as Google AdMob. Whereas one is an advertising network, the other is an ad exchange. Moreover, AdMob only caters to mobile app publishers.
Ad networks like AdMob serve as an intermediary between app publishers and advertisers. They collect and bundle ad space from a pool of publishers based on their niche and help sell it to advertisers for a fixed percentage of total revenue.
On the other hand, an ad exchange like Google AdX is a marketplace that allows publishers and advertisers to buy and sell ad impressions through real-time auctions. Unlike ad networks, AdX allows publishers to set a minimum price and transact impressions based on user data.
Google AdX is also not the same as Google AdSense, as some new publishers are likely to think. At its heart, AdX is a monetization platform that allows publishers to sell display advertising space much like AdSense.
However, while both small and large publishers can earn money with Google AdSense simply by signing up and getting approved, AdX works on a much larger scale and is available only to large publishers. Publishers can refer to this guide for a detailed Google Adx vs Google AdSense comparison.
Google AdMob vs AdX: What’s the Difference?
Both AdX and AdMob help app developers sell ad spaces to make money, however AdX has more premium inventory and is an invite-only program. They alsodiffer in terms of how they function and several other features that are listed below.
AdX limits access to large publishers, while AdMob doesn’t have any strict traffic requirements if your app adheres to Google policies.
- A Google Ad Manager (GAM) account
- Host an updated ads.txt file (authorized digital sellers) comprising the details of buyers
- Adherence to Google Ad Exchange policies and appropriate brand safety measures
- Access reserved for large publishers with a minimum of 5 million page views per month.
- It doesn’t have any strict minimum traffic requirements
- The app owner or developer must be 18 years old or above
- Developers must use Android Studio 3.2 or higher to integrate apps with AdMob. The mobile application’s build file must use the following values:
- compileSdkVersion of 28 or higher
- minSdkVersion of 19 or higher
AdX Sign-Up Process
To access Google AdX, publishers need to have a Google Ad Manager account.
Direct access to Google AdX is on an invite-only basis at the discretion of Google Account Managers, unless a publisher signs up through a channel partner. If publishers fulfill the requirements listed in the above section, Google will assess their suitability based on different parameters such as ad viewability and might allow you to create an account.
While direct access to AdX offers you the maximum flexibility, you’ll need an expert’s help to boost revenue.
AdMob Sign-Up Process
Every app that applies for an AdMob account has to go through a mandatory app readiness test for it to be accepted into AdMob and post ads. You would need a phone number and a Google account to create your AdMob account.
Here are AdMob’s sign-up steps:
- Open https://apps.admob.com
- Sign in to your Google account or create a new account
- Create a Google Publisher account with AdMob by filling in the necessary information fields like Country or Territory, timezone, etc.
- Click on Create AdMob account
- Go to Verify your account after choosing the communication preferences
- Put in your contact number and select the option among SMS or Call to get the verification code
- Enter the six-digit verification code received via a call or SMS
- Complete the process by entering your payment details such as name, payment address, and account type
AdX Ad Optimization
Google AdX allows you to expand your ad optimization options to ensure better ad performance and revenue. These include:
- Set a correct price floor: To maximize your ad revenue through AdX, it is crucial to set a correct price floor. While a low price floor may attract more ad impressions, these would come at the cost of a lower eCPM. A higher price floor will ensure better eCPM but the impressions are likely to be lower. To attain the desired eCPM, it is advisable to experiment with the price floor by starting low and gradually increasing to check what works best for you.
- Enable open bidding: Open bidding with AdX is another strategy you can deploy to boost revenue. In this method, Google allows real-time auction of your ad impressions to several demand sources at once, including AdX and other ad exchanges. This lets publishers sell the ad inventory to the highest bidder thus maximizing the revenue.
AdMob Ad Optimization
Here is how app publishers can optimize their AdMob account to serve ads globally through their apps:
1. Choose the right ad format: Select an ad format from the various formats supported by AdMob that best compliments your app’s user experience (UX). Common formats include:
- Interstitial: Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that appear at transition points in an app without affecting the app user’s experience
- Banner: Banner ads occupy space at the top or bottom of the mobile application screen.
- Rewarded: These engaging and interactive in-app ads offer different types of rewards for users such as extra points or extra lives in mobile game apps
- Native: Native ads fit perfectly within the app and match its look and feel
2. Enable all ad types: The type of ads you allow affects your revenue. To scale up revenue, it is recommended to enable all ad types. Allowing all ad types ensures more advertisers bid for your app’s inventory thereby increasing the average RPM.
AdX Analytics Tools
Since AdX builds on the Google Ad Manager platform, it derives most of its analytical capabilities from the latter. Users can see a variety of metrics such as ad exchange historical reports, measurable and non-measurable impressions, revenue, CTR, etc. from within Google Ad Manager. AdX allows for easy integration with Google Analytics for monitoring performance metrics.
AdMob Analytics Tools
With AdMob, developers can create a customized experience for different user segments and track growth with the help of Google Analytics for Firebase integration. They can also access actionable insights by simply linking the app to Firebase. It helps developers scale up their revenue and enhance user experience by segregating the audience based on different metrics.
AdX Revenue Share
Google AdX allows large publishers or app developers with a dedicated account manager to negotiate their own ad revenue share. This can potentially generate higher revenues as even a small change in the share percentage will have a substantial impact on the revenue of a high-traffic website or mobile app with a large user base.
AdMob Revenue Share
The revenue share percentage for using AdMob is 60:40. While developers get to keep 60% of the total revenue generated by selling the inventory, Google gets the remaining 40% for the services provided by AdMob.
AdX Ad Quality
Google ad exchange platform allows access to large publishers and relies on real-time bidding technology, which results in higher competition, and, ultimately, increased revenue per ad slot. It lets publishers or developers control who can display their ads on the website or app, thus ensuring only high-quality ads from premium advertisers are shown.
AdMob Ad Quality
AdMob is the biggest mobile ad network platform with a large array of premium advertisers that offer high-quality in-app advertisements and innovative ad formats.
AdMob vs AdX: Who Pays Better in 2023?
When optimized correctly, Google AdX provides better ad revenue for Tier 1 geographies such as the US, UK, Australia, etc. AdX CPM rates vary based on geolocation, the niche a publisher operates in, and the amount of traffic their website receives.
Google uses the following payment methods based on your payment address:
- Wire Transfer
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
- EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
The revenue an app developer stands to make from AdMod is determined by a range of factors such as user engagement, app category, monthly mobile app downloads, the revenue model employed by the app publisher etc. Whether the app publisher chooses in-app purchases or goes for a hybrid revenue model helps decide the amount of money generated through AdMob.
The CPM (cost per mille) rates — the price for every 1,000 impressions an ad receives — can range from $0.2 to $10 depending on the app user’s location.
Google AdMob uses the following payment methods:
- Wire Transfer
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
- EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
Difference Between Google AdX vs. AdMob vs. Publift
While Google AdX may generate higher revenue for publishers and app developers, it has higher barriers to entry.
For developers new to the mobile app industry, AdMob is usually the first network of choice. It doesn’t have stringent eligibility or compliance requirements and allows developers to generate ad revenue by displaying high-quality ad units.
However, for publishers looking for a platform that doesn’t have prohibitively high entry barriers, and yet offers a better deal than an entry-level platform such AdMob or AdSense, Publift is worth consideration.
Publift is one of the best Google AdSense alternatives that helps publishers and developers get the most out of the ads on their mobile apps or websites. It has been helping publishers increase revenue by up to 55% since 2015 by helping them to sell digital ad inventories to premium advertisers.
Contact us today to learn more about how Publift can help increase your website or app ad revenue and best optimize the ad space available on your website or app.