Which Advertising Network is Better for Promoting the Applications: the Comparison Between Unity Ads, Chartboost and AdColony

Unity Ads, Chartboost and AdColony

Our team has been improving the functionality of AdMobiSpy ads  monitoring service since 2014. We collect data on campaigns launched in 183 countries. Our database contains more than 6 million ads and is updated daily for 27 thousand creatives. AdMobiSpy tracks 23 ad networks. There are Unity Ads, Chartboost and AdColony among them, which are the top traffic sources. We decided to compare platforms and answer the question, which advertising network is better to promote games and mobile applications.

Key Features and Unique Possibilities

Unity Ads

Unity is one of the largest platforms for developers. The brand unites a number of products that can be purchased by subscription:

  1. Rich & Extensible Editor – graphic editor.
  2. Art & Design tools – a set of tools for 2D and 3D graphics.
  3. Graphics Rendering – render.
  4. Engine Performance – engine for increasing productivity.
  5. Platforms is a multiplatform.
  6. Virtual and Augmented Reality is a tool for developing VR and AR products.
  7. Unity Asset Store – a catalog of useful content.
  8. Multiplayer is a tool for creating network games.
  9. Team Collaboration is the team work manager.
  10. Unity Connect is an internal social network.
  11. Live Ops Analytics is a tool for analytics.
  12. Performance Reporting is an application error logger.
  13. Monetization is a system of monetization.
  14. Advertising is an advertising network.

Unity Ads

Until recently, monetization and advertising systems were in the same account. After updating Unity tools, much has changed. We will not say that it has become more convenient and understandable. It is just a matter of habit.

In the context of the article, we will only consider the advertising platform Unity Ads. The leading developers cooperate with the grid. Coverage is 1 billion users from all corners of the world.


AdColony is one of the most influential platforms in the market of monetization and promotion of mobile applications. The total audience is 1.4 billion! Platform services are used by publishers from AdAge 100 and Fortune 500.

Each client is assigned by a personal manager. On the one hand – it's a virtue, and on the other – a disadvantage, as you will not launch a campaign on your own.

AdColony is famous for its unique software solutions:

  1. SDK – serves to increase the usability of the AdColony tools.
  2. Aurora – allow  to involve the user in interaction with the announcement.
  3. Instant-Play – quickly reproduces videos in HD format regardless of the quality of the connection and the type of device.
  4. Core – automatically optimizes advertising campaigns using artificial intelligence.



The features of Chartboost are more modest. There are no paramount developments, but a newcomer can use the platform.

The advertising network specializes only in monetization and promotion. Thanks to the coverage of 800 million users Chartboost is well ranked in the ratings of the most popular platforms.

Depending on the placement, there are 4 types of campaigns:

  1. Network advertising – creatives are showed inside the Chartboost ad network.
  2. Network publishing – ads are displayed in the advertiser's own games (for example, the developer has several applications and he launches cross-advertising).
  3. A direct transaction is the receipt of traffic from a specific developer.
  4. Cross-advertising – a mutually beneficial exchange of promo with partners.


Registration Process

The registration process in Unity ads is pretty long . You will have to: fill out an extensive questionnaire, take a robot test, confirm the email (if using a VPN, the message may be spammed or lost), set up an account, add Unity services.

Registration in Chartboost takes place in just a minute. Even email confirmation is not necessary, you will be sent only a greeting letter.

AdColony takes an intermediate position. Personally, our registration took 5 minutes.

Advertising formats

Give or take formats are similar. We will analyze each advertisement grid:

Unity Ads:

  • horizontal and vertical video;
  • interactive creatives Playables;
  • AR and VR announcements.


  • animated banners;
  • rewarded video;
  • full-screen video advertising (interstitial);
  • interstitial video.


  • pre-, mid- and post- roll;
  • interstitials;
  • value exchange ads – format of motivated advertising;
  • individual integration;
  • in-feed videos – native ads that are played in automatic mode.

Which Ads are Unscrewed in Unity Ads, аnd Which Ones in Chartboost and AdColony

This information can be found in few clicks in the AdMobiSpy ad base.

Please login or register. Click the Mobile Networks tab:

ads monitoring service

Set the ad networks you are interested in in the filters:

ads  monitoring service

You can search by:

  • the name of the game or application;
  • keywords;
  • links;
  • redirects.

Built-in filtering by:

  • partner networks where you can find an offer;
  • Impressions countries
  • the period of unscrewing;
  • operating system;
  • type of devices.

ads  monitoring service

Finally, you will receive lists of creatives that match the given parameters:

ads  monitoring service

If you click on the ad, you can see the statistics:

  • GEO;
  • device.

ads  monitoring service

In the detailed card look for:

  • lists of landing pages to which the creative leads;
  • redirect lists (let you see what counters analytics are built into the application and in which partner networks to look for off-line);
  • ads on the current link (you can track whether the webmaster uses Misslida);
  • dynamics of impressions in the specified time interval.

ads  monitoring service

Payment Models and Minimum Balance

Unity Ads

Unity Ads works only on two models of payment CPI and CPV. At the same time, the balance for starting advertising is not really modest. The minimum deposit is $1000. The recommended total budget of the campaign is $2000, the daily budget is $500. The maximum transfer to the account is $10 000. Payments are accepted only through PayPal.


The payment models in Chartboost depend on the format of the ads. Video advertising can be run on CPI, CPC, CPCV. Unscrambling of gif-banners is carried out by CPM or CPC.

The minimum budget:

  • for CPCV and CPI – $100;
  • for CPC and CPM – $250.

You can pay by bank transfer, by check or through PayPal.


Works on CPM, CPI, CPCV (video watch until the end). The size of the replenishment is discussed with the account manager. The final price tag is influenced by the chosen format of creatives and the technologies used. The account is topped up with a transfer or a card.

Targeting Settings

Unity Ads

There are not enough targeting options in Unity Ads. With the exception of geography, settings are reduced to the characteristics of the device and the Internet. The ads are unscrewed by:

  • OS version;
  • the size of the screen;
  • density of pixels;
  • the method of connecting to the network.

By the way, for different countries will be indicated the average price of the installation or viewing.


There are more opportunities in Chartboost. When setting up a campaign, you can consider:

  • GEO;
  • The genre of the game in which advertising will be posted;
  • gender of the targeted audience;
  • the level of activity of users;
  • OS version;
  • type and model of devices.


AdColony pleases with diversity. Creatives target by:

  • GEO;
  • platform;
  • device;
  • the type of connection from the network;
  • localization (including the GEO-tag);
  • social demographic characteristics;
  • preferences of users in the content.

Unfortunately, self-tuning is not available. AdColony – "Managing service". Only account managers can do start up. The customer sends a description of the target audience, as well as a list of wishes. Then the support comes into play.

Collection of Statistics

Unity Ads

There is no built-in statistics in Unity Ads. All data is pulled through the API.


In the personal account there is information on:

  • impressions;
  • the number of clicks;
  • CTR
  • number of installations;
  • write-off of funds from the account;
  • the number of videos viewed through.


Has a system of statistics integrated into the personal account that collects data on:

  • number of installations;
  • conversions;
  • views;
  • eCPI – the effective cost of the installation;
  • eCPM – the effective cost of the show;
  • clicks;
  • CTR.

You can also add an external tracker, for example, HasOffers or Kochava.

How to Find Out Which Advertising Network Competitors are Advancing

In the promotion of games and mobile applications, you must constantly monitor the activity of competitors. The easiest way to identify promising sources of traffic is understanding how the products are promoted by other developers.

In the service AdMobiSpy implemented search for developers.

1. Go to the Analytics section:

ads  monitoring service

2. Name the ad network

spy tool

3. To search for developers, enter the company’s name of the competitor. If necessary, enter the ad serving period. Click the "Search" button and you will receive a list of products that are promoted in a particular advertising network:

ads monitoring service

ads  monitoring service

Pros and Cons of Unity Ads

Advantages of Unity Ads:

  • gives approximate CPI or CPV for each GEO;
  • integrates with unrelated applications;
  • money is written off for full viewing;
  • many additional tools based on Unity;
  • AR and VR announcements;
  • tech support responds very quickly.

Disadvantages of Unity Ads:

  • long-term registration;
  • the updated advertising account is not immediately understandable;
  • API statistics only;
  • few targeting options;
  • minimum replenishment to run $1000;
  • payment only through PayPal.

Pros and Cons of Chartboost

Advantages of Chartboost:

  • quick registration;
  • simple setup;
  • creation of CA templates;
  • you can connect a tracker;
  • built-in statistics;
  • the ability to target the activity of the CA and the genre of applications.

Disadvantages of Chartboost:

  • there are no additional tools;
  • moderation up to 48 hours.

Advantages and disadvantages of AdColony

Advantages of AdColony:

  • large audience;
  • unique developments;
  • display high-quality advertising on any device;
  • extensive targeting options
  • possibility of connecting external trackers.

Disadvantages of AdColony:

  • few payment options;
  • only English interface;
  • you can not set up an advertising campaign;
  • all questions are solved only by the manager.


The choice of an advertising network is based on your financial capabilities and technology requirements. The most simple and affordable option is Chartboost. If you need tools to create games and applications, pay attention to Unity Ads. If you want to accurately target advertising and show creatives in high quality, then use the development of AdColony.

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