May 8, 2017 1:58 pm

Announcing Microsoft’s Ad Mediation Service

By / Senior Program Manager

In-app advertising continues to represent over one-third of the revenue that developers make from writing apps for the Microsoft Windows platform. As part of our continuous commitment to maximize developer monetization through ads, today we are excited to announce Microsoft’s ad mediation service, a federated cloud based ad mediation service designed to help app developers maximize their ad revenue. The ad mediation service along with the Microsoft Advertising SDK are the two key components of Microsoft’s new ad monetization platform that dynamically optimizes ad partner configurations to drive the highest yield for the developers and deliver innovative ad experiences for consumers.

Microsoft’s ad mediation service is now available to all developers through the Dev Center.

This service enables developers to maximize their revenue by serving ads on their application. The service works with a variety of ad partners that serve ads in various formats (banner, interstitial video, interstitial banner, native). This helps a developer to get the maximum yield from enabling ads on apps written on the Microsoft platform.

The service is an SSP (supply side platform) focused on ensuring developers get maximum fill rate and revenue from showing ads within their apps. The ad mediation service has several advantages for a developer when compared to alternative methods for serving ads from different partners.

  Microsoft ad mediation service Client side mediation Ad partner SDK integration
SDK support Single SDK Multiple SDK Multiple SDK
Yield Optimization Auto Manual Manual
Provisioning with Ad Partners Auto Manual Manual
Unified Reporting including all participating ad partners Yes No No
Unified Payout including all participating ad partners Yes No No

The picture below gives a view of the capabilities that the ad mediation service provides. With features such as risk and fraud detection, sending richer signals to advertisers and reliable reporting, the service is geared towards ensuring developers get the highest ROI for their ad placements. The choice of ad partners that offer ads in different formats and different markets is a number that will continue to grow beyond those listed in the diagram.

Growing ecosystem of Ad PartnersFig 1. Our growing ecosystem of ad partners including Microsoft house ads, community ads and app install ads

Enabling ad mediation using the Microsoft advertising SDK

With the ad mediation service, developers need to integrate with only the Microsoft Advertising SDK. Developers no longer need to integrate with different ad partners individually by incorporating their SDK nor do they have to individually go to the ad partners to provision their ad units. One of the greatest benefits of this system is that as Microsoft adds newer ad partners to the service, developers’ applications will update automatically.

The ad mediation service is available to developers of UWP (Universal Windows Platform) applications built using the latest version of the Microsoft Advertising SDK (10.0.2 or higher).

Maximize the yield for your apps through auto-optimization

The ad mediation service uses machine learning algorithms to select the best possible ads from the available ad partners to ensure highest yield for the developers.

Microsoft will auto-optimize for best possible yield for the developer. The yield optimization algorithm uses past performance, app information, user context and other parameters to compute the best yield at a per-ad call level.

A developer can also manually configure the ad partners to serve ads on a given ad unit. These selections can be done across all markets or can be configured to target specific markets.

Developers can learn more about configuring their ad unit for optimal yield here.

Explore how the ad partners are performing for you

Developers now get a unified analytics and payments across all ad partners in Dev Center.

There are enhancements in the advertising performance reports that give developers clear insights into how each ad partner is performing across different user markets and ad formats.

The new user experience for analytics also provides greater transparency and reliability. The developer can now see the last known good date for data from a given ad partner and is also informed about delays in reporting.

Developers can also use the ads performance reporting API to programmatically access their reporting data and build their own internal dashboards.

Developers can learn more about the new experience around analytics here.

We welcome you to try Microsoft’s ad mediation service. All your UWP applications are now auto-upgraded to this new experience. We look forward to hearing your feedback for continued improvements.

Please reach us at aiacare@microsoft.com with your questions and comments.

Updated May 16, 2017 8:57 am

Join the conversation

  1. What are you planning for support of Xamarin Forms? I realize it’s easy to integrate it directly into a Universal Windows project but how about some PCL love? And then why not just add Support to other platforms guys the same API…

  2. Parth, it is very exciting to have server side mediation from Microsoft like is available on AdMob and other ad providers. I am looking forward to taking advantage of these capabilities.

    All that is needed now is to improve the quality of the ad sdk and everyone will benefit. See recent discussion here about recent breaking changes that are making the Win 10 ad sdk unusable and causing lots of grief for developers: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsapps/en-US/1d5e1f23-bd61-4384-b55c-2d0cae8d4a03/new-adcontrol-freezes-apps?forum=aiasdk

    The Win 8.1 ad sdk has proven to be unusable since December. This is a well documented problem on the forum with stack dumps clearly showing double memory free exceptions. I understand Microsoft not putting a lot of resources toward Win 8.1 but 5 months of unusable ad sdk is a bit much to take especially when it was Microsoft that forced the migration to the latest Win 8.1 ad sdk by Jan 1, 2017.
    https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsapps/en-US/c4246172-97d2-46b2-bc16-3fac2ea91a46/adcontrol-corruption-2-double-free-causing-native-heap-corruption?forum=aiasdk
    https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsapps/en-US/18c0ad9e-cc09-4775-936e-7214f9086a08/windows-81-ads-sdk-heap-corruption-and-crashes?forum=aiasdk

    • Arthur, Thanks for the feedback. We are pushing out regular releases to improve the overall ad experiences and quality of ads sdk here – https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=AdMediator.MicrosoftAdvertisingSDK . Please start using this version going forward and give us feedback.
      Our focus has been primarily on UWP App Monetization. All of the new ad experiences such as native & viewability measurements are supported in UWP Ads SDK. We will look into addressing the particular issue that you are referring in 8.1. How can we help you with your migration to UWP Ads SDK & Windows 10?