IronSource: Top advertising mediation platform

By | September 6, 2023
Reading Time: 7 minutes


WakeApp continues its educational rubric for mobile app marketers “Source of the Month”.

Why are we doing this?

If earlier, in order for an application to become popular among users, it was simply necessary to create a unique program that has no analogues and connects the client and the service, today this is not enough. The number of applications in the app stores has reached unprecedented heights: 2.6 million in Google Play and almost 4.5 million in the Apple App Store (Statista).

The WakeApp team decided to help novice marketers, partners and specialists in the mobile app promotion market to be aware of the latest GEO trends and traffic sources and promotion features in them. This time we would like to introduce readers to an equally well-known source of traffic and a tool that specializes in promoting mobile applications – Iron Source.

IronSource is a top ad mediation platform and one of the largest mobile app monetization platforms operating in the mobile advertising market since 2010. The platform allows developers to monetize their products, and our clients receive large volumes of high-quality traffic from all over the world. Thanks to automatic costing mechanisms, for each ad impression, developers receive the highest possible payout, and advertisers receive a lead.

In November 2022, IronSource partnered with Unity to form the industry’s leading in-app creation and advertising platform.


Facts about IronSource:

  • Industries: Gaming, Mobile App Installs
  • Payment Models: CPA, CPC, CPCV, CPE, CPI, CPL, CPM, CPS, CPV, Flat Rate, Revshare / ROAS
  • Audience:3 billion
  • Applications: +80 000
  • 87% of the top 100 Google Play and Apple Store apps are connected to IronSource
  • In November 2022, IronSource announced the end of its merger with Unity Ads.
  • 50% Research and Development
  • Year of foundation – 2010


IronSource provides ready-made ad units with several modern ad formats. An advertiser can capture the attention of users through both impressive reward-per-view videos and interstitial ads and banners.

To attract traffic, it is proposed to use the following advertising formats:

  • Rewarded videos. The format is most effective in building mutual trusting relationships with the audience through an equal exchange of values.
  • Advertising that works on the principle of mini-shops. The user is presented with a list of actions for which he can receive some valuable reward. The tool allows you to increase revenue from traffic monetization, increase audience engagement, and keep it in the application longer.
  • Interstitial video ads. A tool for monetizing traffic using creatives that involve the user going to the advertiser’s website within the software. Allows you to earn money without interrupting the user from using the application.
  • Rewarded interstitial ads. A format for attracting large amounts of traffic within the application by rewarding users for watching videos. Appears during natural user transitions.
  • The format with the simplest integration algorithm in the application and high demand from advertisers.


Each of the available IronSource formats is an effective tool for attracting potential audience within the application.

IronSource is one of the most popular ad mediation platforms to not only increase app revenue, but also increase your effective CPM. Through IronSource, you can work with several ad networks at once and integrate through a single SDK.

You can choose from 15 ad networks available on the platform. IronSource will manage them for you, which will save your time and make the process of attracting traffic as comfortable as possible. The uniqueness of IronSource is that with its help you can track key indicators such as: DAU, ARPDAU and engagement.

Ad networks connected to IronSource and using its traffic:

  • AdColony
  • AdMob
  • Amazon
  • AppLovin
  • Chartboost
  • Facebook
  • Fyber
  • HyprMX
  • InMobi
  • Maio
  • Mintegral
  • myTarget
  • Tapjoy
  • UnityAds
  • Vungle

Today, IronSource is included in the arsenal of all major market players. A wide range of targeting options brings some advertisers more than half of all incoming traffic, which once again proves the effectiveness of the platform. The platform independently filters incoming traffic and filters out fraud and irrelevant users.


Features of IronSource:

  • Access to detailed reporting tools to increase traffic monetization revenue.
  • IronSource ads are rigorously tested and do not interfere with application performance.
  • Access to auction rates in real time.
  • A/B testing. The system offers 3 powerful testing tools to optimize the process of attracting traffic.
  • Simple dashboard.
  • Setting up an advertising stream with adaptation for different audience segments.
  • Separate bids for each platform/publisher/app within the advertising campaign
  • Separate rates for each geo within RK
  • Integration with AppsFlyer: CPI and cost
  • Creative Tracking
  • Import bids / bids / CPI without waiting for a manager
  • Disabling / enabling advertising campaigns on your own
  • A/B testing of creatives: endcards, video
  • Fast tech. support
  • Full staking support by the IronSource team

Disadvantages of IronSource:

  • Heavily loaded technical support
  • No notifications to re-roll or stop an ad campaign

The funnel in IronSource is practically no different from other sources of in-app advertising. Users see in-app ads, click on the ad and go to the landing page and app card inside the marketplace. A large selection of high-conversion formats allows you to interest users in the advertised product and encourage them to switch.

High-quality optimization tools, a wide range of targeting options and highly efficient IronSource algorithms allow you to find interested target traffic and significantly save your advertising budget.


How can a marketer use IronSource?

In order to start using the advertising network, you need to register here.


Fill in all the required fields: full name, password, company name, city and country.

After filling in the fields, an email will be sent to the specified email address. Confirm your email to complete registration.


Step 1. Create an advertising campaign

In the left menu, select the Promote item, and then in the opened window, click Campaign → +New.





  1. Specify the name of the advertising campaign
  2. Add a link to the application
  3. Choose a payment model
  4. Determine your minimum auction bid

Step 2. Filling in basic information

Step 3. Set up attribution

  1. Add click link (Click URL)
  2. Add a link to the impression (Impression URL)


Step 4: Targeting

  1. Advertising format. Choice of Interstitial or Rewarding video.
  2. Device type. Mobile phone or tablet.
  3. OS version. Android or IOS.
  4. Publication planning. By default, the campaign starts immediately after the settings are completed. If you do not plan to launch an advertising campaign right now, select “Set dates”.


Step 5. Setting the budget

  1. Allows you to set a single daily budget for all advertising campaigns.
  2. By countries. Allows you to set the daily budget for each country separately.

 Interesting! The Iron Source functionality allows you to adjust and change the bid within the campaign by choosing certain publishers with higher CR, thus effectively allocating the budget.


Step 6. Setting up country targeting

With IronSource, you can create up to 15 ad groups depending on the GEO.



Step 7. Working with creatives

We can create our own unique creative or choose from those offered by the platform.


To create a creative you need:

  1. Specify a name for creative groups
  2. Choose ad format
  • Video and carousel
  • Video and full screen
  • Video and interactive card
  • game format
  1. Select language


Advertising is ready to go!


How is IronSource used at work in WakeApp?

Many of our clients are already connected to IronSource and are successfully getting positive traffic. I would like to note that IOS applications are especially well promoted in IronSource, the site complies with all Apple requirements regarding the preservation of personal data and respect for their confidentiality

The platform allows us to fine-tune the target audience, so our clients receive only relevant and profitable traffic. Extensive targeting settings allow you to comply with all the wishes of advertisers and attract only those users who are potentially interested in the product.

IronSource is one of the most popular ad mediation platforms that allows advertisers to drive high volumes of quality traffic using modern ad formats. Among marketers, IronSource is considered one of the most effective and popular sources of in-app traffic.

IronSource is one of the 30+ sources our media buyers use to promote their WakeApps.

For more than 5 years at WakeApp, we have been using this traffic source for the convenience of our clients, whose goal is to attract a young and, at the same time, solvent audience.


About the rubric: Every month we will issue instructions for promotion: by traffic source and by GEO traffic, talking about the features of promotion in a particular region, sharing prohibitions and life hacks when promoting in a particular source. Think of it as a mobile marketer’s desktop guide.

About us: WakeApp is an international mobile marketing agency with over 9 years of experience in the market. It is a leader in the development and promotion of gaming and non-gaming mobile applications in e-com, video streaming, food delivery, sport, utilities, finance verticals. Earlier in 2022, WakeApp received The Media Agency of the Year at Sigma Asia Awards, in 2021 the agency placed in 5 categories of the 13th edition of the AppsFlyer Performance Index XIII.

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