Top App Install Ad Platforms (2021)

Updated: January 26, 2022

There are several business models that serve as a foundation for mobile app advertising. Each model defines for what specific performance or action an ad company charges advertisers. The most popular models are CPM (cost-per-mile), CPC (cost-per-click), CPI (cost-per-install) and CPA (cost-per-action).

Among these models, CPI and CPA are the most efficient ones for app marketers user acquisition efforts. They allow brands to measure actual ROI (return-of-investment) for a budget they allocate to advertise their apps. With a proper ad campaign data analysis, app installs ads allow app marketers to acquire high quality users and expand their app’s user base.

Since the dawn of both major mobile app ecosystems – iOS and Android –  mobile user acquisition has been a challenge for app developers and brands. App stores alone weren’t sufficient to meet app developers needs in acquiring new app users, primarily because of the app discoverability problem. To meet this demand, co-called, Pay Per Install networks were launched that allowed marketers to buy app installs ads in bulk.

There are dozens of such networks that offer app marketers a technical platform to generate mobile app installs. The efficiency of these networks depends on their reach, ad formats and the number of different targeting options they support. In size such networks range from giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter that offer the best targeting options to smaller players that compete in CPI costs, better customer support or better reach in specific geographies.

Because of the overwhelming success of Facebook Ads that helped the company to generate the bulk of its revenue on mobile, other companies picked up the trend fairly quickly. The first one who followed was Twitter, with Twitter ads back in 2012, Pinterest with Pinterest for Business in 2014 and finally Snapchat joined the app install race the same 2014. The most recent addition to this family was TikTok in 2019 with is advertising platform for video ads.

All these platforms leverage their multi-million user base profile data to target app install ads like other advertising platforms simply aren’t capable.

Now the question is – how much do app marketers pay for a mobile app install on various app install ad platforms, as well as on Facebook?  The following table presents CPI data points for iOS and Android for US app market in March of 2020.

An average app user acquisition cost

Mobile OS US
iOS $1.45
Android $1.05

Source: Chartboost

Meanwhile, according to BusinessInsider data, mobile app install advertising revenue jumped from $3.6 billion in 2014 to $4.7 in 2015. Also Business Insider Intelligence data reveals estimates for this and previous years –  in 2018 app install advertising revenue reached $6.7 billion and in 2019 – $7.

Mobile App Install Advertising Revenue (US), in billions

Source: Business Insider

Of course today an app install and user acquisition are no longer the only app marketers concerns. App re-targeting or reengagement campaigns are increasingly common on app advertising platforms. One of reasons for the initial drive to get mobile app installs was to achieve high ranking on app stores with so-called burst campaigns.

Top App Install Ad Platforms

  • Performcb - #1 Performance Marketing Network Worldwide
  • Zoomd - Know More, Do More
  • AdColony - The In-App Marketplace for Brands
  • RevX - Made for Growth, Built for App Marketers
  • Bidease - #1 DSP for mobile app marketers
  • AdQuantum - Revenue Acquisition for Mobile Apps
  • App Samurai - Self-Service Mobile Advertising Tool for Startups
  • ironSource - Connecting people with apps

 

The idea of a burst campaign was simple – generate a big number of downloads within a short period of time and signal an app store algorithm that the app needs to be ranked high on a chart. As time went by, both Apple and Google became smarter about their ranking algorithms and so burst campaign became way less effective. It forced app marketers to change their app marketing strategy and ultimately they began to pay more attention to mobile app users engagement to retain them and counteract a mobile churn.

Below you can see the list of major networks and platforms that offer app installs – some of them work on a CPI model and others use a CPC or CPM based trading approach but with the focus on delivering app installs and users.

Performcb

#1 Performance Marketing Network Worldwide

(0) REVIEWS

 

Perform[cb] offers advertisers proprietary fraud-fighting software solution PerformSHIELD™. It allows marketers and brands to analyze traffic in real-time and do post-processing analysis of a traffic’s validity.

Learn more about Performcb
FoundedEmployeesRevenuesSocialTraffic
201251-200---

 

Zoomd is dedicated to helping advertisers and publishers achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs) through a patented, performance-based advertising platform. The Company’s User Acquisition platform unifies more than 600 media sources under one dashboard including Google, TikTok, Samsung premium inventory and much more.

  • Business Models – Choose your preferred business model CPC/CPI/CPO/CPE/CPA
  • Fraud – Detection as part of the platform, adding you an extra layer of safety
  • Measurement – integrated to all major 3rd party mobile measurement solutions
  • Cost-efficiency – Save countless resources by managing all campaigns under one screen
  • Data Play – Enjoy machine decisions based on more than 500Million data points a day
Learn more about Zoomd

AdColony

The In-App Marketplace for Brands

10
(1 vote)
(1) REVIEWS
FoundedEmployeesRevenuesSocialTraffic
2008400$192m+25k4m+

 

Founded in 2011, AdColony was created by mobile developers, for mobile developers and has grown into one of the largest mobile advertising and monetization platforms in the world with a reach of more than 1.5 billion users globally. AdColony is known for its exclusive Instant-Play™ HD video, Aurora™ HD Interactive video, and playable technologies, its global performance advertising expertise, its programmatic marketplace, and its extensive ad SDK footprint in the top apps worldwide.

  • Mobile platforms: Android, IOS
  • Campaign types: CPM
  • Ad formats supported: Rich Media, Video
  • Targeting: Demographic
  • Key markets: US
Learn more about AdColony

RevX

Made for Growth, Built for App Marketers

10
(3 votes)
(3) REVIEWS
FoundedEmployees
201451 - 100

Made for growth, built for app marketers. At RevX, we help app businesses acquire and re-engage users via programmatic advertising to retain and accelerate revenue. We\'re all about taking your app business to the next growth level! We help you build sound mobile strategies, combining programmatic UA, app re-engagement, and performance branding to drive the results you need to scale your business: with real users, high retention, and incremental revenue.

Learn more about RevX

Bidease

#1 DSP for mobile app marketers

10
(3 votes)
(3) REVIEWS
FoundedEmployeesSocial
201711-503k+

 

Bidease is a mobile DSP platform for mobile marketers. Its built on a foundation of proprietary programmatic advertising technology, Machine Learning, and first party data. Bidease team optimizes campaigns across all major mobile formats for desired post-install behaviors at no risk to its clients’ bottom line.

  • Mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Mobile Web
  • Campaign types: CPI, CPA, CPM
  • Ad formats supported: Banners, Interstitial, Native, Rewarded Video, Video
  • Targeting: Carrier, Device, Gender, Geo, Interests, IP, OS
  • Key Markets: global
Learn more about Bidease

AdQuantum

Revenue Acquisition for Mobile Apps

(0) REVIEWS
FoundedEmployees
201551 - 100

AdQuantum is an expert mobile marketing team of 30 media buyers and more than 300 designers with extensive experience acquiring premium quality traffic in a variety of fields (gaming, e-commerce, fitness-wellness, finance, travel, etc).

Learn more about AdQuantum

App Samurai

Self-Service Mobile Advertising Tool for Startups

10
(2 votes)
(2) REVIEWS
FoundedEmployeesRevenuesSocialTraffic
-----

 

Mobile ad planning, execution and analysis are complicated for startups because they cannot reach all available app marketing tools. App Samurai makes it easy for them without requiring in-depth mobile advertising knowledge!

Thanks to App Samurai, you can easily create, manage, and measure acquisition campaigns, boost campaigns, and video campaigns to acquire qualified users.

Learn more about App Samurai
FoundedEmployeesRevenuesSocialTraffic
2010----

 

ironSource is the leading in-app video advertising platform. It is one of the biggest and oldest mobile advertising platforms launched in 2010. Focusing on mobile games, it makes free-to-play and free-to-use possible for over 1.5B people around the world. Over 80,000 app developers use its technologies to grow their businesses, among these such leading companies like Kongregate, Zeptolab, Big Fish Games, Zynga and Playrix.

  • Mobile platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Cocos, Amazon, AdobeAir
  • Campaign types: CPC, CPE, CPA, CPV
  • Ad formats supported: App Wall, Interstitial, Offer Wall, Video
  • Targeting: Custom
  • Key Markets: United States, Israel
Learn more about ironSource

Taptica

Engage valuable users on mobile

10
(1 vote)
(1) REVIEWS

Taptica is a mobile user acquisition platform, offering ML algorithms powered advertising solutions to brands and app developers. With a big network of approved publishers, Taptica is capable to reach more than 200 million mobile users worldwide. On the advertising side of things, the platform focuses on generating relevant and loyal audiences for apps and games and also offers a high volume of media, including RTB exchanges.

  • Mobile platforms: Android, IOS
  • Campaign types: CPA, CPC
  • Ad formats supported: Banners, Interstitial, Text, Video
  • Targeting: Custom
  • Key Markets: Latin America, USA
Learn more about Taptica

Liftoff

Drive campaigns for post-install events

10
(1 vote)
(1) REVIEWS

 

Liftoff is Cost-Per-Action optimized mobile user acquisition platform for app marketers. It provides CPI campaigns optimization via tracking post-install events for apps. It also provides retargeting features to bring mobile users back to a specific app and lookalike features to connect mobile apps with users similar to people who already use these apps.

  • Mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Mobile Web
  • Campaign types: CPI, CPA
  • Ad formats supported: Custom
  • Targeting: lookalike, retargeting,
  • Key Markets: Global
Learn more about Liftoff


Reddit Ads is an advertising platform from Reddit. It allows advertisers to reach specific audiences on the platform, either as self-service or via managed service. With Reddit Ads brands can tap into one of the biggest online communities that has extremely diverse set of interests.

  • Mobile platforms: iOS, Android
  • Campaign types: CPA
  • Ad formats supported: Social
  • Targeting: Custom
  • Key markets: UK, USA
Learn more about Reddit Ads

 

Get listed in the Mobile Advertising Directory

We help mobile advertising platforms and companies to reach new customers, generate sales leads and build their brands.  To get your service listed in our directories and promoted across email, blog, and social media start an advertising campaign with us. We have directory listings starting at $350 and sponsorship options starting at $1000 +

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

Join 20,000+ App Industry Professionals
Subscribe to Business of Apps to get the must-read app industry news & insights in your inbox.
By signing up to recieve our newsletter, you agree to our privacy policy You can opt out anytime.
Join 20,000+ App Industry Professionals
By signing up you agree to our privacy policy You can opt out anytime.
You are Subscribed!
Don't miss out on the latest Industry news
Don't miss out on the latest Industry news
You are Subscribed!