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Glossary of Mobile Advertising Terms

Ad Whales

What is an Ad Whale?

Apps that choose to monetize mostly via ads may find it difficult to acquire new users who can help generate significant revenue. With ads, it's generally more difficult to figure out who are the best users and who to target:

  1. Users with large session count
  2. Users who opted in to large amount of ads
  3. Users who shared / posted / performed social actions

2% of your users install other apps after viewing ads in your app, these users contribute more than 90% of your ad revenue and can be referred to as “Ad Whales”. This group of users highly resembles the users who make purchases in your app. They are a small group that contribute most of the revenue.

Understanding who your ad whales are could be very useful if you want to spend your advertising budget smartly. You could learn more about the demographics and interests of these users and find more users who share similar characteristics. Better yet – you can let the lookalikes algorithm do this job for you and simply sit back and see your user acquisition campaigns target only users who are similar to the Ad Whales you found.

How to find the Ad Whales?

Unlike In-App Purchases, ad revenue events are not generated inside your app. Finding the Ad Whales is almost impossible unless you have an ad traceback system in place. Traceback is a technology that allows you to trace ad revenue back to the user level. Once you have such a system in place, it’s easy to see who are the users that contribute the most amount of ad revenue.