Best Practices: Instances and Waterfall Management

Multiple Instances is an advanced feature which allows you to expand  revenue opportunities with your ad network partners through waterfall optimization.

In this guide you will find best practices on the optimal configuration of your waterfall instances, whether you are using ironSource’s Mediation solution or mediating ironSource using a 3rd party Mediation solution.

Using Instances with ironSource Mediation


  • It’s recommended to have just one instance from each network in the auto-optimization group. Ideally without a set eCPM, allowing  the network achieve it’s natural performance.
  • For ironSource network:
    • Always use the ‘Default’ Instance (Instance ID 0) as the auto-optimization instance
    • Use the optimized pricing model

Manual Priority

  • Any instance from any network with a fixed rate should be placed into a manual position. Use as many instances as you want, and place them in descending order according to rate.
  • It’s always best to communicate and discuss the with each network which position they’ll be achieving with the rate you’ve agreed to.

Creating and Managing Groups

Groups allow the flexibility to control your waterfall based on country and user segment or a combination of both.

  • Be careful not to create groups that have conflicting settings
  • There is a hierarchy function in the group order, meaning the 1st group will override the 2nd group, and so on.  Keep this in mind when applying the same countries or user segments to multiple groups:
  • Deactivate instances intended for specific countries with a specific deal on other countries/groups where that deal does not apply. This ensures there’s no ad delivery on countries outside of the agreed targeting and terms, which can influence or harm the performance of the deal.

Top Tips for Instances and Waterfall Management

  • Choose highest eCPM countries: It’s best to use instances and set CPM targets for the countries generating the highest eCPMs, to create more competition for your best performing Geos.  For countries that have eCPMs within $1-2 of each other, using ironSource’s Mediation you can group them together and set a CPM price for the group.
  • Ensure there’s enough volume to optimize: Each instance for every network should be able to achieve at minimum 1,000 impressions per day to ensure effective optimization.
  • Allow the CPM to run for at least 48 hours: When setting CPM rates on the instance level, allow sufficient time for each network to react to the change and adjust to deliver the best performance.
  • Strategize with your ironSource Team: We recommend you communicate with your dedicated ironSource team to discuss your monetization strategy. Together with ironSource, you can decide on mutual action plan of what rates ironSource needs to achieve at which locations in your waterfall to deliver optimal performance and revenue.