In-Game Advertising

Maximise Your Game's Revenue: Google Ad Manager vs AdMob Explained

June 1, 2023
5 Minutes

Navigating Google's tools for greater game revenue

In the fiercely competitive arena of game publishing, every cent you earn can be viewed as a soldier in your revenue army. 

Now, let's embark on a quest through Google's ad management platforms, AdMob and Ad Manager, and unlock the secrets of escalating your game's ad revenue. 

Let's delve into these powerful tools, to better understand how they can boost your revenue trajectory in the game publishing universe.

Understanding Google AdMob and Ad Manager

Before we plunge into the depths, let's familiarise ourselves with the basics of Google AdMob and Ad Manager. These tools can be stepping stones towards a more profitable game publishing journey.

AdMob serves as an excellent resource for partners who prioritize open auction, mediation, or open bidding, and those without a sophisticated direct business. It's a self-sufficient tool that is straightforward to manage, making it an ideal starting point. 

In March 2023, AdMob boasted integration in a whopping 88 percent of Android apps and approximately 80 percent of iOS apps that leveraged ad network SDKs, according to App Mysite.

Ad Manager is a powerhouse tool for focusing on monetizing across platforms and ideal for those with a significant direct sales function.

💡Key Insight: Multiple Customer Management (MCM) Account and Inventory feature as well as First and third party Audience Data Management is only available to Google Ad Manager 360 users.

Comparing Features: Google Ad Manager vs AdMob

Google Ad Manager offers some unique additional features compared to AdMob. Let's delve into these key differences.

The tick means a feature is available. The cross shows the feature isn't available.GAM360 only implies the feature is available only for Google Ad Manager 360 users. The features not listed here are available on both platforms.

Google Ad Manager vs Google AdMob

Advantages of Google Ad Manager Additional Features 

Ad Manager provides additional demand by striking programmatic deals with buyers and offering advanced optimization techniques such as Target CPM. 

💡GAM Key Benefit: Increases reach to advertisers, consolidates all interactions onto one platform, and offers a range of collaboration options.
  • Transaction Types: Handles multiple methods like traditional reservations, direct, programmatic guaranteed deals, preferred deals, and open auctions.Each transaction type has its own characteristics and benefits.
  • Programmatic Direct: This feature includes preferred deals and programmatic guarantees. These are considered direct sales as publishers source opportunities, negotiate, close, or execute deals with the individual directly. Google has improved the transparency of its programmatic direct deals to allow publishers to see the reasons why their deals are not transacting, which can help them troubleshoot and improve their revenue.
  • Audience Management: Empowers publishers to customise audience lists or use a Data Management Platform (DMP) to boost inventory appeal and CPMs.
  • Cross-Platform Capability: Manages ads across web and mobile, with "Unified Pricing Rules" allowing universal floor price setting. 
  • Target CPM: An advanced feature in Ad Manager, Target CPM allows publishers to set a desired average CPM for their inventory. This serves as an alternative to traditional floor pricing, aiming to boost fill rates and ad revenue by dynamically adjusting floor prices.
Target CPM

Further Insights into Target CPM:

  • Machine Learning (ML) Optimization: Google's ML expertise allows Target CPM to dynamically adjust floor prices, enhancing fill rates and yield while preserving an average minimum price for your inventory.
  • Optional Features: Target CPM, an optional feature for unified and First Look pricing rules, provides the flexibility to designate each rule as a floor or target CPM.
  • Yield Optimization: With Target CPM enabled, the dynamic allocation temporary CPM is maintained, optimizing overall yield and enabling non-guaranteed demand sources like Authorised Buyers, Exchanges via Open Bidding, and remnant line items to win more auctions, thus increasing your fill rate.
  • Choosing a Pricing Rule or Target CPM: When setting unified pricing rules, you can choose between a pricing rule or target CPM. While pricing rules set a firm floor, Target CPM offers more flexibility.
❌GAM Potential Challenges: There may be instances when Ad Manager can't meet the target CPM, such as when the rule is new, lacks sufficient data for optimization, or when inventory traffic fluctuates significantly.

Future-proof Your Revenue: Diversify Your Demand Stack 

In the dynamic landscape of game publishing, diversification is key. Direct and programmatic approaches offer one way to diversify your demand stack and future-proof your revenue. 

Platforms like iion streamline this process, facilitating easy integration for publishers by utilizing direct demand, private marketplaces (PMPs), programmatic guaranteed (PGs), and open auctions.

iion targets markets where publishers typically see weaker demand, providing a platform that enables targeted, engaging, and scalable game advertising. 

iion's innovative adtech helps publishers secure long-term success and boost their revenue through strategic partnerships with premium brands offering access to a diverse portfolio of media buyers.

immersiion: A purpose-built Game Advertising Platform

iion’s proprietary self-serve advertising platform bridges the gap between monetisation and advertising across IAB gaming environments by providing a platform that enables targeted, engaging, and scalable game advertising.

immersiion facilitates relationships between publishers, global brands and agencies such as Omnicom Media Group, MMPWW, Entravision, M&C Saatchi, Innity, TotallyAwesome amongst others.

Check out immersiion platform

Access Diverse Demand Sources 

iion helps game publishers tap into the hidden potential of their games by providing access to unique demand sources and industry expertise. This is essential for revenue longevity and publisher success. 

iion has identified that certain regions exhibit greater potential for investment in game advertising by demand partners such as the APAC, MENA, LANTAM regions which present a sizeable opportunity. This provides publishers who utilise iion with a diverse and substantial demand base. 

According to bankmycell, the APAC region is expected to generate $67.53 billion, or 49% of total worldwide game revenues this year (2023) and $80.9 billion by 2025. This makes it a highly lucrative market for game advertising.

It’s key to remember that successful revenue maximisation lies not in the platforms, but the demand routed through them. Hence, diversifying demand sources, via multiple ad networks, direct sales, programmatic deals and more, is a recommended strategy and iion does this for you. 

iion’s cutting-edge adtech enables publishers to achieve long-term success and increase their revenue through strategic partnerships with premium brands offering access to a diverse portfolio of media buyers.

Thriving in a Changing Ecosystem

With the right tools and brand partners, you can not only withstand the upcoming changes to Google bidding changes but also thrive in the face of them.

Press play with iion today to boost your game's revenue. Together, we can transform your game's revenue landscape. 

Team up with iion - your trusted sidekick in the game of revenue generation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I losing revenue by sticking to AdMob and not doing direct sales from Ad Manager?
    Using AdMob alone doesn't necessarily result in lost revenue, however if you partner with an MCM partner there is additional value that could be gained from direct sales. In other words, if a publisher doesn't have a direct sales team, partnering with an MCM partner could be beneficial.
  1. Does AdMob, Google Ad Manager, and Google bidding via mediation cover all demand or is it competing over each other, and we are losing bids to Google? 
    The key to maximising revenue isn't necessarily about the platforms you use, but rather the demand channelled through those platforms. Diversifying your demand sources is a smart strategy. This could involve leveraging multiple ad networks, direct sales, programmatic deals, and other demand avenues.
    Remember, Google's bidding system is engineered to maximise publishers' revenue. It operates in your favour, ensuring the highest bid wins, irrespective of its origin.
    Furthermore, Google's "Enhanced Mediation" feature in AdMob is another tool at your disposal. It optimises the sequence in which your ad sources are called, helping you to further maximise your ad revenue.
  1. Is Google Ad Manager demand the same as Google Ads? 
    No, these two systems are not the same, and they serve unique roles within Google's advertising ecosystem.
    Google Ads is geared towards assisting advertisers in reaching their target audience, and it's only one out of 60+ bidders that participate in Google Ad Manager.
    On the other hand, Google Ad Manager's primary function is to aid publishers in monetizing their content by selling ad space to a variety of advertisers, including those from Google Ads.


App my site
Compare Ad Manager, AdSense, and AdMob

Google Ad Manager

Target CPM

Google Certified Publishing Partners

Google Analytics 4

Unified Pricing Rules

First Look

Guide to AdMob Mediation


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