Part 1: Appodeal vs Ironsource

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This is my first vs blog post on Android. On the first part of the blog, I am just going to talk about the set-up and what my thoughts and predictions are.

The app is a coronalabs built app. One of the first 64bit apps that I have built on Corona.  I am using the Appodeal beta corona plugin (Appodeal version 2.5.3). For Ironsource I have created a native java plugin using the latest version available 6.9.0.

On the lua side, I have a library that wraps both plugins and exposes an identical interface. When a player first installs and launches the app they get assigned a monetization provider. This monetization provider gets saved both on the local device and on the Gamesparks server. I did this so that once this experiment is over, I can switch all the users back to Appodeal by changing the provider value on GameSparks.

Ironsource from my experiments is very stringent about what ad library you can use with what version of Ironsource. Appodeal, for the most part, is very flexible. Although Appodeal adapters download a specific version of the ad libraries unless there is a breaking change you can downgrade or upgrade them and Appodeal doesn’t care. So for this experiment, Appodeal and Ironsource are using the version of the libraries that were recommended by Ironsource.

Applovin, Adcolony, and Ironsource are being used on both but on Appodeal I am using Appodeal’s keys and on Ironsource I am using my keys. On my iOS experiments, Appodeal always gets a better price with their keys on Applovin not sure what will happen on Android.

Facebook and Admob are being used on both and on both I am using my keys. I have separated them out by using different placements or ad units.

Unity and Amazon are being used on both. My keys for Ironsource and Appodeal’s keys on Appodeal. Appodeal has a threshold before they start using Unity and Amazon so don’t expect any Unity or Amazon revenue on Appodeal

And of course, Appodeal DSP is being used on Appodeal. In all of my vs testing on iOS, this is where Appodeal always eeks out a win.

Some other things to mention that are slightly different between the two. On Ironsource I have implemented app-ads.txt file on my website. I contact Appodeal and they are still testing it out so no Appodeal entries in the file.  Appodeal on facebook does pricing segmentation and I left the default setup for Ironsource. My Appodeal setup will not show any video ads when the user is on a mobile network but on Ironsource I didn’t find an easy way to accomplish this. On Ironsource there is no limit on the frequency of rewarded ads but on Appodeal my current set-up will limit rewarded video to 1 every 2 minutes.

I am going to run the experiment until I feel I have enough data. At this point, I am thinking somewhere north of 50K impressions. I am going to look at not only eCPM but also retention and stability.

So here are my predictions: My guess is that Appodeal will win the eCPM battle by a small margin. But I have already decided that unless Ironsource is significantly better (more than 15%), I am going to roll back to Appodeal at the end of the experiment.




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