We have a free mobile app installed by a very sought after audience. Now we want to display curated ads to our user base, but we're not happy with the pay rate offered by generic ad networks (think about getting paid $0.82 for displaying a Google Ad to Warren Buffet).
At the moment we're considering creating our own solution to serve ads and provide a back-end for advertisers with all bells and whistles like reporting/analytics and so on. However I suspect we might be re-inventing a wheel and there's a service, that already provides the required functionality and much more (payments, inventory, etc).
Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
1. Would be great if you can tell us more about your audience.
2. Do you have data sets available about your users. Age, gender, income, etc because if you don't have that then don't expect to get paid top dollars.
3. I don't think you need to build anything at all. Instead of using an Ad network you can use an Ad server. You can also set floor rates at what you want to sell your traffic at. However your fill rate will be low. Best thing to do is not set any floor rate. By using ad sever I would suggest that you go hunt your own advertisers to your niche so build a sales time to get top dollars. If no direct inventory is available then sell off to exchanges. If that fails then have a backup mediation to ad networks.
You just want to use DFP, MoPub, or AdZerk, I suspect. There are others - they will probably answer this question as part of their marketing activities. But DFP has basically all of the market share.