Mediation management

ironSource supports leading ad sources on the Mediation platform. Once you set up the ad source on your dashboard, you can serve mediated ads on your app based on eCPM prediction and country. 

Follow this guide to manage your mediation activity.

Before you start
  • Make sure that you’ve correctly integrated the ironSource Rewarded Video, Interstitial and/or Banner Mediation in your application.
  • To set up and activate ad networks to serve through the ironSource Mediation platform, follow this article.

Step 1. Navigate to page

Log in to your ironSource account, then go to MonetizeManagement ➣ Mediation

Step 2. Select application and ad unit

From your list of Applications on the left-hand side of the mediation management page, select the app you’ve already set up with an ad source on the mediation platform and now want to manage. Then, select the relevant ad unit (Rewarded Video, Interstitial or Banner)

Step 3. Define priority for ad sources

You will see the ad sources and instances you’ve activated on the SDK Networks and Ad units & Placements modules and can manage them according to preference.
Waterfall includes the following:

  • Tiers:

The group’s waterfall is divided into 3 different tiers – ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’ and ‘Tier 3’. The tiers are served according to hierarchy. For example, the instances in Tier 1 will serve before Tier 2, and the instances in Tier 2 will serve before Tier 3.
Watch this how-to video to learn more

  • Rate
    Rate is a manual price you can assign to an instance to make sure it is prioritized correctly. It is used only to prioritize the instance in your waterfall. This value is not sent back to the network and does not affect revenue reporting.
    • Rate Setup:
      • Instance level: Global rate can be set on instance creation within the SDK Networks module. It will apply to all mediation groups and countries this instance is included in.
      • Group level: Instance level rates can be overridden on the group level. Group level rate applies to all countries included in the group.
      • Country level: Group level rates can be overridden on the country level. Country level rate applies only to the country it is set to.
    • Rate functionality:
      • Non bidding ad source instances waterfall position:
        In ‘Sort by CPM’ and ‘Optimized’ tier types, if a rate is set than instances will be prioritized according to the rate. If no rate is set, instances are prioritized based on eCPM. In ‘Manual’ tier type, the rate has no impact on the instance position.
      • Bidding ad sources waterfall position:
        If a rate is set, the bidder algorithm will take it under consideration when placing the bidder within the waterfall instead of the eCPM.

Watch this how-to video to learn more

  • Tiers types:
    • Sort By CPM
      Networks are automatically sorted and delivered in descending eCPM order, or rates, if rates are set.
      • eCPM calculation:
        eCPM is calculated on the instance and country level using historical data for revenue and impressions. 
      • Updating eCPM:
        Each instance’s eCPM per country is updated every 2 hours and sorted accordingly. 
      • Rate:
        When a rate is set, it overrides the instance eCPM and the Sort by CPM uses the rate value instead of the eCPM. 
    • Manual
      The instances will deliver according to the order you place them, regardless of eCPM or rate.
    • Optimized
      Ad sources are prioritized using ironSource’s dynamic meditation algorithm, which adjusts the waterfall per session and gives each instance a chance to deliver in different positions to improve the eCPM.
  • Capping
    • To set capping, click on the 3 dots icon on the right side of the instance, which is exposed when hovering over the instance.
    • Define how many ads should be delivered from this ad source. This is helpful to allow for a range of ad delivery opportunities from each ad source.
  • Bidding section

All active bidders will be listed in this section. Each active bidding source provides a real-time bid for each impression opportunity. When a hybrid waterfall is in place, meaning both bidding and non-bidding sources are active, the CPM bid from the bidding sources will be dynamically sorted in the waterfall for each ad impression.

Step 4. Create a country group

In case you would like to define different waterfalls for different countries you’re able to create a group by clicking ‘Add‘ and add countries and segments to be included or click ‘Duplicate’ to create a new group with an existing group’s full setup. 
Creating customized groups of countries and segments can help you manage ad sources and compare the predicted eCPMs. For example, by including your best-performing countries in one group (e.g., Top Countries), you can efficiently analyze, optimize, and manage the ad sources of the specific countries within the group.

Add new group

Within each group, you can individually customize the ad network waterfall and priorities for enhanced flexibility to control over user group targeting and optimization.

To determine the minimum price you will accept for impressions from bidding networks for your group, set a floor price. Any bidding network that bids below the set floor price won’t be included in the auction. This feature gives you more control over your inventory and the eCPM you earn. 

Once you’ve added groups you’ll have to decide on the group hierarchy. Group hierarchy is important because it’s possible for a user to belong to more than one group, therefore the hierarchy you decided will determine which ad network waterfall that user receives.

You will then see the Ad Source Priority options for the selected country on the right-hand side.

Group settings:

  • Click the three dots icon on the group:
    • Edit: Adjust any of group configurations including group name, countries, segments and active instances
    • Duplicate: Copy the waterfall to a new group. Select a new group name, countries, segments and adjust the active instances, if desired. All instances will be copied from the duplicated group in their exact positions within the waterfall sections.
    • Delete: Delete an entire group and it’d waterfall

  • The groups you define here will only be accessible for the specific application you selected in Step 2.
  • Groups can include countries and segments while both are not mandatory
  • The same country can be included in more than one group. 

Step 5. Understand waterfall performance

For further insights into the performance of each network you can: 

  • Analyze available metrics: Find helpful metrics for each active instance directly from your waterfall. Use these insights to help optimize your waterfall and extract maximum value from each ad network.

Non Bidding metrics:

    • Impressions: Total impressions served
    • eCPM: Effective cost per thousand Impressions; calculated as (Revenue / Impressions) * 1000

Bidding metrics:

    • Impressions: Total impressions served
    • eCPM:  Effective cost per thousand Impressions; calculated as (Revenue / Impressions) * 1000
    • Revenue: Total revenue earned
    • SOV: Share of voice of revenue compared to total revenue from both bidding and non-bidding sources
  • Specify a time period – All reporting data is reflected based on the time frame chosen on the top right of the screen:

👏 Done! You have now optimized the ad delivery from ad sources on the ironSource Mediation platform.

Check out our best practices guide here for tips on how to most effectively manage your waterfall