Last week, we caught up with Vishay Nihalani from the AdMob team in Mountain View, CA. Vishay is the Product Manager for the AdMob Mediation effort here at Google. Mediation helps developers easily integrate and manage multiple ad networks into their Android and iOS applications. Vishay was able to provide some useful insight on why AdMob built mediation, what the benefits are, and what to expect in the future. Let’s find out what he had to say.

Hello, Vishay. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about AdMob Mediation! Can you tell us what prompted AdMob to develop a mediation framework?

That’s a great question. When Google acquired AdMob, we also acquired AdWhirl, an open source ad mediation solution that helped developers fill every ad request instead of only a few requests. The popularity of AdWhirl made it clear that mediation was something that developers wanted.

At Google, we decided to take the concept of AdWhirl a step further by integrating mediation directly within AdMob, allowing us to scale the product and add new features that developers need.

What is the benefit of switching to AdMob Mediation?

Developers should use mediation to make sure that no ad request goes unfilled. AdMob mediation in particular has some cool features that help you to maximize your revenue by using the highest paying networks first. Since many networks tend to focus on specific regions, AdMob allows you to set eCPM values at the country level as well.

Like AdWhirl, AdMob Mediation is free no matter how many impressions you serve, allowing you to scale your app and take full advantage of this feature.

Should I still use mediation if I’m only using AdMob?

Mediation is largely geared for multiple networks, but there are advantages to using mediation even if you’re only using AdMob. Using mediation, you can quickly serve house ads to all your users. You can use mediation to add a promotion advertising campaign for a new app you’ve just launched before showing a network ad, or to promote your other apps if the AdMob network has no ad to fill your request.

Why did AdMob decide to do client-side mediation as opposed to server-side integration?

One of our main goals with AdMob Mediation is to scale to as many ad networks as possible. Not all ad networks have server side APIs, and we didn’t want to have this barrier to joining our mediation offering.

Another huge benefit to client-side mediation is that it is transparent and neutral. Any third party network can easily plug into AdMob Mediation, and all interactions between the third-party SDK and the third-party ad server is completely independent of AdMob. A good example of this is the skyscraper format - even though the AdMob network doesn’t offer skyscraper ads, AdMob Mediation still supports third-party ad networks who want to serve skyscraper ads through mediation.

Finally, doing client-side mediation allows us to easily add new partners. We don’t have to wait for the next AdMob SDK release cycle to launch them.

Can you tell us about any new features coming to AdMob Mediation, or where the product is headed?

We’re planning to make it even easier to integrate mediation into your application by making all ad network placements mediated by default. This means you won’t need to swap out IDs when you switch to mediation. We want to make it easier to help maximize your revenue, and we have some features in the works that we think developers will be excited about!

Enough about mediation...Tell us about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.

I play a ton of soccer and I love to travel. Sometimes I even travel to watch soccer. I attended the World Cup in 2010, and I’ve already blocked off my calendar for Brazil 2014!

Wow, that’s exciting! Other than the World Cup, what was the most exciting part about visiting South Africa?

I went shark cage diving with great white sharks not far from where the Indian and Atlantic oceans intersect. There was this intense moment where a great white was lured in by the bait and was thrashing at a tuna’s head about a foot away from my face! It was a serious Jaws moment.

Thanks for the interview, Vishay. Now get back to work and help us make more money!