Auction Dynamics

The MAX In-App Bidding Exchange is a first-price, fair and transparent, unified first-price auction in which the highest bidder wins. All SDK in-app bidders and DSPs have equal access to each ad impression opportunity and receive full notification coverage with enhanced macros.

The MAX In-App Bidding Exchange collects bids for individual impression opportunities from SDK-based demand partners and DSPs by using the OpenRTB 2.5 protocol. To integrate with MAX, a bidder must comply with the OpenRTB 2.5 API.

For the latest version of the MAX in-app bidding spec for SDK-based in-app bidders, see the AppLovin oRTB Specification page.

MAX Ad Serving Flow

Device: Publisher App makes Ad Request to MAX SDK; Token abc goes to Demand Source 1 Adapter and then to Demand Source 1 SDK; Token def goes to Demand Source 2 Adapter and then to Demand Source 2 SDK; Ad Request with both tokens goes to MAX Ad Server. MAX Server: Waterfall goes to Max Ad Server which communicates with AppLovin Exchange. Third Party Server: Demand Source Bidders send bid responses to MAX Ad Server and get bid requests with tokens in return. AppLovin Exchange communicates with DSPs one through three.
  1. The user launches the app.
  2. MAX initializes all eligible SDKs.
  3. The publisher requests an ad.
  4. For SDK bidders, MAX collects bid tokens from initialized SDKs.
  5. MAX SDK makes an ad request to MAX ad server.
  6. MAX auction server requests bids from eligible SDK bidder endpoints and DSPs in AppLovin Exchange. Identity tokens are passed in the bid request to SDK bidders.
  7. Real-time bids returned by DSPs and SDK bidders within the maximum timeout threshold (tmax) are merged with the non-bidding demand sources in the publisher waterfall.
  8. MAX auction server resolves the auction based on the highest CPM value.
  9. MAX sends loss notifications to bidders that lose the auction due to error or invalid bid (e.g. below the floor, missing bid value, zero as bid price).
  10. If the winner is a DSP, MAX notifies the DSP and AppLovin SDK is asked to load and show the ad. If the winner is an SDK bidder, MAX notifies the winning demand partner’s SDK to load and show the ad.
  11. If the load succeeds, MAX sends a win notification to the bidder. If the load does not succeed, MAX sends a loss notification to the bidder.
  12. MAX calls the winner’s billing URL after the ad renders.