Doomsday delayed! Google extends mobile app ad request deadline.

TL;DR: The time to generate substantial revenue from application monetization using multiple ad request waterfalls is now, as Google has postponed the expected deprecation of multiple waterfall ad requests. Now is the time to ensure the most optimized integration with all of Google’s monetization sources to achieve excellent results in Q4, while preparing for the expected changes next year!


This post breaks from the usual news in the ad tech industry. It’s short, sweet, and brings good news towards Q4 for mobile game and app publishers. On September 7, 2023, Google, through Carlos Façanha, Director of Product Management for App Ads, announced an extension of the bidding deadline for publishers moving away from waterfall instances.

For a long while, mobile publishers have employed a strategic approach. They’ve seamlessly integrated GAM partner slots into their waterfall setups to enhance their waterfall’s competitiveness. This GAM partner demand comprises their own, whether direct or reselling, with a notable emphasis on Google’s contribution. This strategic move granted publishers broader access to Google’s demand, resulting in boosted fill rates, eCPM and overall average ad revenue per active daily user. However, with Google’s exclusive shift to bidding, this approach would have lost its effectiveness. It forecasts a dip in eCPM for publishers and clouds the prospects for GAM partners. The options boil down to either reducing reliance on Google and diversifying demand sources or, well, possibly necessitating a complete business transformation.

Let’s not overlook the timing of this deadline delay news. We’re nearing Q4, which is the most critical period for the advertising industry. Those who monetize their games through ads understand that this is when the revenue potential peaks. Advertisers allocate substantial budgets for holidays like Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Christmas. And the company that likely receives the lion’s share of these ad expenditures in mobile games and apps? That’s right, Google. So, Google’s decision not only provides developers with extra time to adapt, as they mentioned in their blog, but it also safeguards against potential major issues or market share loss during a pivotal time of the year for Google.

In summary, there’s a positive update from Google this time. Mobile game and app publishers can maintain the use of multiple calls in their waterfall setups, provided they include a bidding ad unit. This policy remains in effect for the entirety of Q4 2023. It’s worth noting that in early 2024, the complete transition will occur, with Google exclusively responding to bidding calls.

Interestingly, Google will cease responding to ad requests from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom on January 16, 2024, unless they include the TCF 2.2 consent string. When you factor in the shift to bidding and the seasonality effect (where eCPM tends to drop from Q4 to Q1), January might prove to be a challenging period for app publishers relying on ads. They could experience a notable decline in eCPM, consequently affecting the average ad revenue per active daily user.

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