Audience Network Overview

The developer side of Audience Network helps publishers monetize their app by selling ad space to advertisers.

  • Publishers own an app or website. Publishers can monetize their property by showing ads to their audience.

  • Advertisers create online ads for businesses and services that they are paid to promote. Advertisers buy ad space in a publisher's app or website to promote their brand.

This documentation is intended for publishers.

If you're an advertiser, please check out the Audience Network business site.

Publishers typically see the best payout by auctioning their ad space out to multiple advertisers. There are many different ways to run an auction; the mediation model that you choose will have a huge impact on the coding that you will need to do, as well as the amount of revenue you can generate.

The information in this overview will help you choose between the following mediation models supported by Audience Network:

Waterfall Mediation


Waterfall mediation organizes a list of ad sources by their highest historical CPM. The bidder with the highest historical CPM is offered the chance to fill the ad space at a specific price point. If they refuse, the bidder with the next highest historical CPM is offered the chance to fill the ad unit, and so on.

Waterfall mediation is still widely used in online advertising, but it is quickly losing ground to bidding. For information about upgrading an existing waterfall implementation to take advantage of bidding, see Waterfall Mediation. Publishers that replace their waterfalls with bidding often see the following improvements:

  • Increased ad revenue. When every demand source bids in an open and fair real-time auction you see more competition for your inventory, which means better prices for every impression.
  • Improved operational efficiency. By removing the burden of maintaining complex waterfalls, bidding helps you increase operational efficiency so your team can focus on driving more impact for your business.
  • Access to more demand. Bidding allows you to easily add more demand sources, helping you increase competition for your inventory with minimal effect on latency and minimal impact on operational resources.

Bidding with Partner Mediation


Bidding is the most modern advertising model. In this model, multiple advertisers bid into a real-time auction that begins when an app or website is about to display an ad. This auction usually finishes in less than a second. The bidder that offers the highest price in the specified timeframe wins the auction and serves an ad to the ad space.

Most publishers use mediation partners to run the actual auction. This is a good solution if you don't have the resources to build your own mediation stack. For more information about using a mediation partner, see Bidding with Partner Mediation.

Bidding with In-House Mediation


Bidding with in-house mediation is intended for publishers that are large enough to have their own advertising support team and need granular control over which ads are shown in their ad space. In this model, publishers run their own real-time auction between multiple advertisers.

Audience Network Bidding Kit 2.0 helps you implement auctions, integrate with multiple real-time bidders, and customize auctions to meet your needs. For more information about implementing an in-house mediation stack, see Bidding with In-House Mediation.

In This Section

Bidding with Partner Mediation

Describes how to use a mediation system such as AdMob or Applovin to select ads based on bidding.

Bidding with In-House Mediation

Talks about how to create your own in-house mediation system to select ads to display.

Ad Formats

Describes the various formats available for Audience Network ads.


Defines key terms that are used in the Audience Network developer documentation.


Contains videos that explain key concepts about Audience Network.