With just 35 employees, Germany-based Lotum develops mobile quiz and word games for global audiences. When they realized they were spending too much time and resources managing their mediation waterfall, Lotum knew they had to find another platform to stay nimble. It was challenging to manage so many placements and mediation groups with their current solution across all sixteen of their apps, including 4 Pics 1 Word, a popular game where users guess the word that four images have in common.
Lotum had been working with Google since 2013 and considered AdMob a trusted partner. The team liked that AdMob helped them gain efficiency and reduce the complexity of waterfall mediation management. AdMob's bidding solution, which helps maximize revenue for their inventory, also intrigued them. After testing out AdMob mediation on 4 Pics 1 Word, Lotum fully launched mediation for all their apps, noticing increased efficiencies across their teams.
Saving time with updated functionality
Lotum originally built an internal system to manage ads mediation, but it required heavy resources and time from their business intelligence team. The team needed to gather all the information from their mediation partner’s networks, transfer it to their database, then look at the average eCPM for all markets and ad networks. Then, Lotum would manually update the thousands of eCPMs on their mediation tool.
“There were a lot of functionalities that were missing with our mediation partner,” says Dennis Becker, Head of Development at Lotum. At the same time, they noticed that Google AdMob was constantly developing new features.
“We saw that AdMob was putting a lot of work into improving their product, and they have a really nice user interface that makes it easy to manage the different placements and mediation groups. It also gives you control over what types of ads can be shown in your games,” says Joel Redant, Monetization Manager at Lotum. The team was also using multiple Google products, including Firebase, A/B Testing features, and ad inspector, which performs tests to make sure your ads are running properly. They knew AdMob would integrate seamlessly with these products.
Running localized tests
To test whether AdMob would provide them with increased efficiency and revenue, Lotum set up an A/B test within one localized version of its 4 Pics 1 Word app. Half of the users were in the AdMob test and the other half were in their other mediation solution. They checked app install numbers and daily active users throughout the experiment. They opted to fully launch AdMob mediation on all the localized versions of the app. Lotum continued the experiment phase as they tested it against the apps in other markets. Overall, the experimentation period lasted about six weeks.
One critical factor for success was to confirm whether the AdMob platform would save the team time and operational resources. On their other mediation platform, Lotum needed to manage thousands of entry points.
“Definitely, in comparison to what we’ve used before, we were quite pleased with the setup,” says Dennis of AdMob mediation. “With the automatic eCPM optimization in the different countries, there were fewer layers that we had to delve into.” For an even more seamless waterfall management experience, Lotum also integrated AdMob’s bidding solution, taking greater advantage of the entire platform.
AdMob has a really nice user interface that allows you to easily manage the different placements and mediation groups, but also gives you control over what type of ads can be shown in your games.
Monetization Manager, Lotum,
Reducing complexity and increasing efficiency
With AdMob mediation, Lotum reduced complexity and achieved a 25% time savings in their workflow, freeing the team up to focus even more on user experience and data insights. They also started using ad inspector, replacing an in-house tool to QA their ad networks SDK. “There are a lot of things from AdMob that are making the day-to-day business easier,” says Joel, highlighting their ability to QA updates to Ad network SDKs. “This is the main reason we decided to try out the ad inspector.”
One significant value-add for Lotum is a newfound confidence in their mediation platform. “As we switched, it wasn’t so much about the revenue but everything around it,” says Dennis. “Knowing that Google is serious about AdMob and taking care of everything is an excellent feeling.”
Today, Lotum uses interstitial and rewarded video ad formats across all their games because they were the best fit and offered an appealing user experience. Looking forward, the team is investing in user acquisition, an area that’s often challenging for ad-focused publishers, by leveraging insights from AdMob and Firebase. Lotum is also looking to experiment with new ad formats, such as adaptive banners and rewarded interstitials, to include alongside traditional formats and further improve monetization and the user experience.