I decided to try two different ad providers for the android version of Stock Shock and compare their results. (http://bit.ly/1Iqlysf). I chose these two because they seem to be two of them more popular interstitial ad providers out there for android, and interstitials seemed like they would have less of an effect on the design on the game, in theory, something like a commercial on TV. (An interstitial ad is one that takes up the full screen periodically, as opposed to a banner ad that takes up a smaller portion of the screen, often during gameplay).
Vungle exclusively provides interstitial video ads, and was extremely easy to set up in Unity (just had to register a vungle account, import their package into Unity, paste in my account identifier and call Vungle.playAd(). One downside here is that I couldn’t find a way to determine whether an ad had actually played. However there is a callback when the ad ends, (or the ad fails to play). So as a hack, I call a function one second after the ad starts and see if the Ad ended function has been called. If the ad started one second ago, and hasn’t ended yet, it probably is actually playing an ad. The reason for doing this is that if the ad HASN’T played…
I play an AdMob interstitial instead. AdMob ads were harder to set up, requiring me to manage the nuts and bolts of pre-loading an ad when the game started up, then showing the ad, and destroying it when it had been seen. However, AdMob provides a good deal more callbacks, so it is much easier to tell when an ad has failed. In hindsight, it may have been a better idea technologically to have AdMob be the default ad, and Vungle be the fallback, but I knew someone who had previously had success with Vungle so I decided to go with anecdotal evidence (:P lizard brain).
Revenue from both providers has so far been similar, but the sample size is still relatively small. For the next project (which I’m already starting to sketch out a bit!) I’ll probably have admob be the default, fall back to Vungle, and integrate AdColony as well (I’ll know more about how when I dig into it).