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Glossary

Ad Server

Ad Server

Sergey Zubkov

Updated: July 27, 2023

5 min read

Content

What is an ad server?

Ad servers play a crucial role in housing a campaign’s various creative elements like images, audio, and videos, and deciding which versions to present to particular audiences. Additionally, advertisement servers collect essential information on ad performance, such as impressions and clicks, which can offer valuable insights to a UA manager.

How do ad servers work

Ad server technology is designed to connect ads with relevant audiences based on descriptive tags such as geolocation, interests, and behavior. Mobile ad servers act as a mediator between advertisers and app developers/publishers, enabling them to monetize their content and generate revenue through advertising.

For instance, if a user is interested in a healthy lifestyle, the ad server may display creative assets promoting supplements, clean recipes, or sports gear. In the case of mobile apps, the ad server may suggest a health-tracking app. 

The ad server will also continue searching for similar users whose data indicates an interest in health and wellness. This targeted approach ensures that ads are delivered to the most relevant audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. By leveraging data and analytics on users’ interaction with the ads, ad servers can optimize ad placement and help advertisers achieve their marketing goals.

Ad servers for mobile apps

The main purpose of an ad server for mobile apps is to handle and distribute various types of ads like banner, interstitial, native, and video ads. Ad servers for advertisers manage and store creative assets, such as images, videos, and audio files, and display them to specific target audiences based on several criteria like geographic location, device type, and user behavior.

Mobile ad servers operate by collaborating with ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs) to gain access to a wide range of ad inventory and demand sources. They employ algorithms and machine learning models to optimize ad delivery and guarantee that the most suitable and captivating ads are shown to users. Ad servers also provide data analytics and reporting tools that enable advertisers to monitor ad performance and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.

For mobile app developers and publishers, ad servers offer an avenue to generate revenue through advertising without adversely impacting the user experience. By displaying relevant and appealing ads, ad servers can improve user engagement and retention rates, which can lead to higher user lifetime values (LTVs).

For advertisers, ad servers offer a means to reach a highly engaged and targeted audience through mobile apps. By leveraging the insights and data provided by ad servers, advertisers can optimize their campaigns and ensure that their ads are displayed to the most appropriate users at the right time. Ad servers can also help to reduce ad fraud and ensure that ads are displayed to real users, not bots or fraudulent traffic sources.

The features and capabilities of ad servers for mobile apps can vary depending on the provider and the specific needs of the user, including: 

  • Ad management: Ad servers allow users to create, manage, and track their ad campaigns within a single platform. Users can upload and organize their creative assets, set targeting criteria, and adjust their bids and budgets to optimize campaign performance.
  • Ad delivery: Ad servers use advanced algorithms and targeting capabilities to deliver ads to specific users based on various factors, such as location, device type, and user behavior.
  • Reporting and analytics: Ad servers provide detailed reporting and analytics tools that enable users to track ad performance and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Users can view metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and revenue, and use this data to optimize their campaigns for better results.
  • Fraud prevention: Ad servers use a variety of techniques and technologies to prevent ad fraud, including bot detection, ad verification, and viewability measurement. By ensuring that ads are served to real users, ad servers can help to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of ad campaigns.