Unified Ad for Windows Phone - Part 1 - Introduction

About a month ago I started a new investigation about which Ad Provider I should use. Things I wanted.

- Best eCPM

- Best Fill Rate

- Easy to use

Some of the things that are causing problems is the Ad Availability per Country. Depending on where your app is used more or less localized ads are used. So we know that the Microsoft PubCenter has a high eCPM for the US, it is low for The Netherlands. There are more of those problems with other Ad Providers. I heard there was a solution for this problem. Use the Ad Rotator for Windows Phone 7 which can be found on Codeplex. I did give it a try but at that moment AdMob was not supported (mostly because there were some AdMob specific problems) and also MobFox and Smaato weren’t supported. Those were the specific Ad Providers I was interested in.

My initial though would be, let’s try to modify the source a little bit, to get support for MobFox and Smaato in. But after looking into the source I was warned, almost all the code was in the Code Behind for the AdControl. While I am not against the usage of the Code Behind, I’m pro extensibility. The code I saw was far from maintainable and extensibility is done by adding more code. So when more AdProviders will be added code will be less and less maintainable.


When I look at the differences between the AdControls, they more or less do the same, but in a different way. All of them have a TestMode, but enabling the testmode is different for each AdControl. Same for the events they have. I want to have a unified ad control that does handle these ‘Complexities’ for me and the rest of the world. There isn’t such a control yet, so why not use the good parts of wp7adrotator (the remote configuration, multiple adproviders) and create something that suits my needs better. So I did.

The Windows Phone Unified Ad control is universal in the following ways.


- Country – Will be passed to all the AdProviders that support Country or Location as input

- IsTest – Will be pass to all the AdProviders that support a way of TestMode. Some have a simple boolean field, others require to set the PublisherId to be set to a specific value.


- NewAd – When a new ad is available this event will be fired, even though the different AdProviders have different events to notify the user, like: NewAdAvailable, AdLoaded, ControlAdRefreshed.

- NoAd – When no ad is availabe this event will be fired, even though the different AdProviders have different events to notify the user, like: AdFailed, ControlErrorOccurred, AdError.

- AdEngaged – When an ad is engaged or clicked this event will be fired, even though the different AdProviders have different events to notify the user, like: AdClick, ControlAdEngaged, ControlIsAdEngagedChanged, AdLeavingApplication. 

Best Fill Rate

To get the best fill rate the Windows Phone Unified Ad control supports ad provider rotation. As soon as an Ad Provider is not providing an ad the next Provider will be asked to provide an ad. This will enable you to get a higher fill rate compared to using just one ad provider. You can even roll in your own custom ad based on Xaml.

Best eCPM

Every single Ad Provider changes it’s eCPM from time to time. But they even have different eCPMs per country. Same as they might have, or might not have ads for a particular country at all. To get the best of both worlds Windows Phone Unified Ad control supports AdProviders per Country. Similar to the wp7adrotator, but instead the Country is used and not so much the full culture. If you already have configuration files for wp7adrotator you can use those as well, they are supported in the Windows Phone Unified Ad control as well.

Supported AdProviders

All Ad Providers that currently have an Ad Control for Windows Phone 7 are supported. Register with the ones you like best. Inner-Active support is experimental because they have no way to find out there’s an ad displayed or not, yet.

Microsoft PubCenter






There are two special Ad Provider implementations.

- None – This ad provider is used to not show an ad at all. Can be very handy during testing phase, when testing the application and not the advertisements. But could also be used to show no ads for a certain percentage of the app usage.

- GenericAdProviderForXaml – This ad provider is used to show some custom Xaml that’s loaded from a remote url. Can be very handy to market your own applications within your own applications.

What’s next?

Next part will be about the basic usage of the Windows Phone Unified Ad Control. If you can’t wait? You can find the source and an example project with the Windows Phone Unified Ad control on codeplex. If you want to start right away you can add the NuGet Package called WPUnifiedAd. Also the homepage contains a basic guide that will help as well.

Part 3 will be about using the Remote Ad Provider Configuration. Future parts will come on how to make use of the GenericAdProviderForXaml