I'd like to put targeted ads in my free iOS application. My app serves a relatively niche group (say hobby fisherman). What's the best ad network to use? I've used Admob and Apple's iAds in other applications. The targeting was seemingly non-existant. For example users of a casual game were shown ads for banks, cell service providers and random unrelated apps.
When looking at websites aimed at a similar niche I noticed very relevant ads (from Google/DoubleClick). So I'm wondering which ad networks allow the user to specify a niche or even individual companies for the ads to show.
Edit : looks like Adsense keywords can be specified in Google's DoubleClick iOS SDK
In case of niche apps, the free is usually not the best way to go (think about it - eCPM you could get with a well positioned app is $1, how many users would you need to earn $3000/month?).
I mostly do niche apps, and if I make one free, I put in in the ads for my other apps / products. I think this is the way it's usually being done.
I'd suggest switching to a paid app.
Ad networks use different optimization methods, so it's hard to say.
It may be more important to look towards a more independent ad network who will give you better service and support, since it sounds like you might need some nuanced help or customization with what you're trying to achieve.
I'd recommend researching a few online and seeing what they offer as far as targeting and optimizing ads. You can even use a few ad networks at a time to leverage your inventory to see how things work out.
I've been working with free apps now for the last 3 years, many of them in top position in Apple appstore, Google play and Windows Phone, with several hundred million impressions per months, here are my 2 cents.
First off, we start with iOS and Android: Choose a ad mediation network rather then a single ad network.
And ad mediation network let's you use several ad networks at the same time.
Some example of ad mediators are:
Now a days many networks cooperate, so for example millenial and other networks are also starting with mediation.
When you chose mediation, there are a couple of things that you should consider.
Worth a mention There are some other services that are not exactly "ads", but they are close enough
and are pretty cool.
Kiip.me - Reward based system. If you have achievements in your app, your customers could get rewards from this network. Pretty cool idea and I want to try this as soon as I have the achievement system in my apps.
PlayHaven - This is a pretty cool platform that offers up a lot of great services, so that you don't have to write them yourself. They have cross promotion systems and some other nice features, worth a checkout.
Hope this gives you some good ideas!
Good luck and feel free to ask me questions, I'm in no way a monetization expert, just willing to share my experience and learn something new on the way.