Trying to find the best mobile ad networks to advertise your app or game? Want to get one step ahead of your competition?
You’ve come to the right place.
This article brings you a list of the best mobile ad networks for publishers and advertisers in 2023. Our main focus is on the top alternatives to the “giants” like Meta and Google.
Let’s dive right in!
About the AppsFlyer Performance Index
The list we’re bringing you is based on the 14th AppsFlyer Performance Index. This is the industry’s most relevant report on top-performing mobile ad networks.
What makes it so relevant?
To create the Index, AppsFlyer analyzes a tremendous amount of data. In the latest Index, they analyzed 25 billion app installs 610 media sources and 18 thousand apps. This includes Android users and iOS users who have opted in for ATT.
Best Mobile Ad Networks: The Giants
The Performance Index delivers different rankings that app publishers and advertisers are interested in. For example, retention rankings, IAP and IAA rankings, remarketing, and even SKAN rankings.
Each of these rankings is useful and helpful in its own way.
One of the most popular rankings among advertisers and publishers is the Retention Index. Thanks to this index, you can find out which ad networks deliver users that use apps for the longest time.
Traditionally, the first few places in the rankings are taken by the same industry giants. From one Index to another, they usually just switch positions. In this Index (Android), the first five places are taken by Google, Unity, Meta, Mintegral, and AppLovin.
A similar pattern can be found in the IAP Index. Here, the latest top positions on Android were taken by Google, Meta, TikTok, Unity Ads, and ironSource.
When it comes to the SKAN Index, Meta surpassed the last year’s winner, TikTok. This tells us that the ad network’s internal SKAN modeling improved significantly.
Advertising on one of the giant ad networks has some pretty obvious advantages. For instance, their enormous reach and their technical ability to navigate privacy changes.
However, it is important to mention that advertising on these ad networks is getting more and more expensive.
The sudden rise in cost started in H2 2020 when CPIs on iOS increased by 30% and by 10% on Android (AppsFlyer). Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of it. For example, hyper-casual advertisers report that, on Meta, their CPIs have almost doubled in the last 12 months.
Not only that, but these networks are extremely saturated. Most of your competitors are using these ad networks. Creative competition is super high, and standing out from the crowd is harder than ever before.
Sounds like it’s time to start looking for alternatives, right?
We’ve found them for you.
The AppsFlyer Growth Index
One of the best places to look for quality alternatives to the biggest ad networks is AppsFlyer’s Growth Index.
In this Index, we can find an overview of the fastest-growing ad networks for H2 2021. For some reason, users are massively starting to use the featured ad networks to discover apps and games.
If you want to gain a competitive advantage, this is the place to be.
A lot of your competitors are still not using these ad networks. They have either not heard of them or are afraid to get out of their comfort zones. This gives you a chance to get ahead of them.
It is safe to expect that, in the next Indexes, the ad networks from the current Growth Index will start appearing in the other categories as well. When that happens, the majority of publishers will start noticing them.
By the time that happens, you will already understand which of these ad networks work for your UA strategy and which don’t.
Best Mobile Ad Networks: The Alternatives
Ready to find out what are some of the best mobile ad networks in the world right now?
On this list, you’ll find some strong contestants from the Growth Index (Android). We’ve also hand-picked some additional ad networks that make great alternatives to the “big ones”.
Here comes the list.
Bigo – Mobile Social Ads
The 1st spot on this list of the best mobile ad networks belongs to Bigo Ads – a platform for creating, managing and monitoring mobile ads. With Bigo Ads, advertisers can place ads on different platforms owned by its parent company, BIGO technologies.
The biggest platform owned by them is Imo, an instant communication app with over one billion downloads on Google Play. The other one is Likee, a short video creation platform with +500 million Google Play downloads.
Like is one of TikTok’s fiercest rivals. This ad network has been constantly growing for years already. According to Sensor Tower, in H1 2021, it ranked # 2 in revenue among social photo and video apps. This puts it right behind TikTok and before Instagram!
Bigo’s platforms are most popular in South Asia, Southeast Asia, MENA, and Russia. Therefore, if these are your target markets, Bigo ads are certainly a great choice.
When it comes to Bigo, you should also know that your competitors might already be familiar with it.
This ad network has already appeared in the previous Growth Indexes. It has also started appearing in other categories. For example, it currently holds 21st place in the Retention Index.
MyAppFree – Premium in-App & SDK Traffic
The MyAppFree ad network is a newcomer to the Growth Index. Even though it’s been on the market for years, in the second half of 2021, this ad network had the most impressive performance so far.
Want to tap the potential of this ad network?
Here are the main things you need to know about it.
MyAppFree is a cross-device app marketing platform. It provides services for both ad publishers and app advertisers.
The heart of this platform is the MyAppFree discovery app. This popular app has over 1,5 million users on iOS and Android. Here, publishers can promote their apps to MyAppFree’s loyal audience and gain thousands of downloads every day.
What are the options for advertisers?
The advertisers who join the MyAppFree performance network will gain access to a premium audience across its Universal Network. This includes a big number of direct publishers, in-app traffic, and SDK traffic. The company is also releasing games with rewarded video ad inventory available to advertisers.
Thanks to all this, MyAppFree can reach as many as 30 million MAU!
All the campaigns on the platform are CPI-based, so you only pay for the users you actually get. On top of that, you can even pick out placements from the publishers you prefer.
All of this gives you a high level of control over your app’s growth.
MyAppFree is an especially good choice if you want to attract more users from North America. The thing is, looking into the rankings for the North American market, this ad network reached a high 3rd position.
Sounds like the right solution for your app? Read more details about it here or get in touch with us!
Jampp – Machine Learning & Predictive Data
Jampp is an ad network that has climbed positions since the last Growth Index – from eleven to four.
This is certainly a good reason to consider it.
This US-based programmatic platform is built specifically for the needs of app publishers. To help them grow their app businesses, Jampp utilizes machine learning and predictive analytics.
To get started with this platform, publishers only need to set their goals. After that, Jampp’s algorithms choose the optimal combination of placements, bids, and creatives to reach a positive ROI. It all comes down to putting trust in AI.
Besides the Growth Index, this ad network was also featured on the IAP Index (26th position) and the Remarketing Index (11th position).
AyeT- Studios – Rewarded Video & Offerwall
AyeT-Studios specializes in rewarded advertising. This means that the only ad formats this ad network supports are rewarded video ads and offerwalls.
These ad formats can be used for different purposes, from building awareness to gaining more installs, For this reason, the platform allows advertisers to choose between six different campaign types (CPI, CPE, CPL, CPC, CPA, CPS).
This is the first time this AyeT-Studios has earned a position among the best mobile ad networks. Therefore, if your favorite ad format is rewarded ads and you want to stand out from the competition, this might be the place for you.
Vivo – Proprietary App Store Placements
Vivo is a popular Chinese OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). It is famous for its phones, but it is also becoming famous for its ad network capabilities. Vivo had a 10% market share of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q1 2021 (Counterpoint Research).
This tells us that Vivo has a huge audience waiting to be reached.
How can you reach them?
Vivo has its own app store called V-Appstore. In it, app advertisers can promote their apps and reach new audiences. Apps can be promoted with banner ads, chart rankings, flash ads, search bar appearances, etc.
Probably the best thing about advertising on Vivo is that its audience can’t be reached through Google Play and the App Store.
In the latest Index, this ad network ranked 23rd in the Retention Index and 13th in the IAP Index. Previously, it has appeared in several editions of the Growth Index.
Xiaomi – OEM Preloaded Apps
Xiaomi is another popular OEM advertising platform. According to the latest data, Xiaomi now has over 508 million monthly active users (Counterpoint Research).
Xiaomi’s ad network is not limited to its app store. Advertisers can place their ads on many different properties on Xiaomi devices. For example, across its firmware MIUI, in its owned apps like Mi Music, Mi Video, Mi Browser, Mi Store App, etc.
In other words, Xiaomi is pushing ads all over the place.
If you want your app to reach potential users while doing anything on their phones, this is a good choice.
Xiaomi has been a part of the Index for years now. It has previously appeared in different Android rankings. For example, last year, it ranked third in the Growth Index. Now, it has climbed its way through the Retention Index (18th position) as well as the IAP Index (16th position).
JetFuel – Influencer Marketing Platform
The influencer marketing trend is not going away anytime soon. For this reason, advertising with JetFuel is a good alternative to the big mobile ad networks.
JetFuel is an ad network that works with over 12,000 influencers on Tiktok, Snapchat, and Instagram. By working with JetFuel, advertisers get access to thousands of influencers who can promote their apps by creating custom ads.
It’s important to note that this ad network operates on a CPI basis, so you only pay for the actual results.
Finally, let’s talk rankings.
In the latest Index, JetFuel appeared in two rankings – the IAA Index (both for iOS and Android), and the IAP Index for iOS. This tells us that this ad network is more successful on iOS.
Basically, if you want to reach Gen Z on their iPhones using their favorite apps, this ad network is for you.
Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers: Choose Wisely
Congrats, you’re now familiar with some of the best mobile ad networks in 2023.
Now, it’s time to make some strategic decisions.
We’re not saying you should stop advertising on well-known ad networks like Meta (Facebook) or Google. What we’re advising you is – put aside a portion of your advertising budget and invest in a currently growing ad network.
If you get things right, this can make you a fortune.
If not, the results will probably be similar to the ones on the other ad networks. Hence, you won’t lose much.
Our final piece of advice is to choose them carefully. To be able to do that, simply consider how each of the best mobile ad networks reflects your business goals.
For example, some of the ad networks perform better in the Western market, while others have better results in the East. Some are more gaming-oriented, while others work for all types of apps. Finally, don’t forget to consider each of the ad network’s features and possibilities.