LeadBolt Review – Mobile Ad Innovation


Overview: Who are LeadBolt?

LeadBolt is a mobile advertising network that provides efficient methods for both advertisers and developers to promote their app and generate revenue for it. It was founded in 2010 in Sydney, Australia, by CEO Dale Carr. The company has expanded since then and now additionally operates from Los Angeles and California, with a team of twenty-five talented individuals.

LeadBolt aims to deliver successful app monetisation through a unified SDK that allows for traditional and advanced ad formats to be utilised. This focused approach means advertisers and developers can easily connect to their target mobile audience in non-intrusive ways.

CEO of LeadBolt, Dale Carr, says:

Dale Carr

“Our superior technology is the backbone of LeadBolt. We invest most of our resources developing solutions that will ensure our Publishers and affiliates make better returns and our advertisers receive better leads.”

LeadBolt’s App Usage Cycle

The “App Usage Cycle”, a phrase coined by the company, is central to their business strategy with its three-stage approach: Entry, Engage and Exit. The three-staged understanding of the App Usage Cycle helps to identify the key sections in a user’s app usage:

Entry Point

This is the time when the user is the most excited about the new app, meaning they are far more receptive to ads. The result can be immediate monetisation upon installation of the app.

Entry Picture


Further successful monetisation can occur when the user is fully engaged during their time with the app, where visibility and motivation is high.

Engagement Picture

Exit Point

Ads can also be targeted at another critical stage of the cycle: when the user is exiting the app. Inactive users can also be targeted with re-engagement methodologies.

Exit Picture

By providing ads and services at each point in the cycle, LeadBolt can offer advertisers and developers powerful, diverse ways to engage their users in the critical stages of an app’s usage.


LeadBolt’s Awards

LeadBolt has won a number of awards in both the start-up and mobile categories – their most recent triumph was being voted the Best Mobile Ad Network of 2013.


  • Voted the Best Mobile Ad Network 2013
  • ActionCOACH My Business Award – for Best Start-up Business
  • Information and Technology Winner, 2013 Premier’s NSW Export Award
  • Red Herring Top 100 – Mobile category, 2012
  • EY NSW Entrepreneur of the Year, Dale Carr, founder and CEO, Leadbolt
  • “Best Publishing Platform” Winner – 2013 Mobile Media Summit / Mobile Mafia award

Some of LeadBolt’s Brands and Clients


LeadBolt is recognised and used by a variety of leading brands and clients such as Ebay, Virgin and Zynga – others include:

  • Zynga
  • Virgin
  • Ford
  • Shazam
  • Ebay
  • Pinger
  • Mazda
  • Gameloft
  • Glu
  • Rovio

Distribution & Monetisation – Marc Carr – LeadBolt

Co-founder of the company, Marc Carr, speaks about a variety of issues concerning the distribution and monetisation sections of the mobile advertising network.



What does LeadBolt offer for advertisers and developers?

LeadBolt offers advertisers and developers variety of options to engage with their respective audiences. The company’s advanced ad units are a key factor in helping advertisers and developers to target potential consumers throughout the important, and aforementioned, app usage cycle.



Firstly, LeadBolt offers a number of advertising solutions:

  • RTB: The Real Time Bidding CPC platform gives advertisers the ability to control the allocate spend, track results, and to target and bid.
  • CPE: The Cost Per Engagement agency solution that the company provides means Brands have unlimited access to highly engaged consumers, as well as offering video, sweepstakes and full sponsorship integration if requested.
  • CPI: The Cost Per Install solution gives app developers the access to the traffic they need to drive their user acquisition. The 100% non-incent installs means a higher LTV as a result.

LeadBolt also offers access to a global and local audience, with automatic optimisation, and reporting and analytics, which can all be utlised through their simple to setup and easy to manage platform.


Other advantages for advertisers

  • Exclusive ad units mean they can reach a large audience with an array of unique ads.
  • There is a variety of options for targeting the mobile audience, such as: category, day-parting, carrier, device, geographic and operating system targeting.
  • The ability for them to personally manage their campaign means they can use upload creative, set the budget for themselves, bid for ad spots and control optimisation in real time which maximises a high return on the campaign.
  • Utilising the company’s proprietary platform creates high performing campaigns meaning a high CTR and ROI is the result. The platform aims to engage and convert the advertiser’s users.



There are a host of free monetisation tools and analytics for developers to utilise:

  • In-App Analytics and Cross Promotion: Free in-app analytics are given to Leadbolt’s publishers, meaning a developer has access to a detailed analytics platform with data on installs, app usage, user retention, app crashes and the diagnosis to this as well. AppFireworks, part of the bundled LeadBolt SDK, also provides cross promotion tools where a developer’s other apps can be promoted for free.
  • Re-engagement Notifications: An engaged user is paramount to successful monetisation – LeadBolt uses Google Play compliant re-engagement notifications, that are branded specifically for the app in question, to ensure that inactive users are targeted and re-engaged.
  • Revenue & Performance Reporting: LeadBolt’s has an automated optimisation system and many proprietary ad serving algorithms that are designed to understand individual users. Ads are adapted in a real-time environment and yield high results. The data reporting tools focus on app revenue, individual ad placement performance and the comparison with previous revenue statistics.

Other advantages for developers

  • LeadBolt provides developers with a single, unified SDK solution for monetisation, analytics, cross promotion, crash reporting and advanced developer tools.
  • Advanced ad units that can suit a host of different apps to allow for effective monetisation.
  • Use of the App Usage Cycle means a greater understanding and flexibility about the user process.

Monetisation Platform for Developers – Frank Brenes – LeadBolt – AppsWorld San Francisco 2013

Frank Brenes, Director of Business Development at LeadBolt, talks about what the company does, claims the medium is still in its infancy and says what’s currently hot.


Ad Examples

LeadBolt has a variety of ad formats that can be catered to a advertiser’s individual preferences; the ads help to generate a greater visibility for the app, meaning a growth in the overall user base.

Since Google made changes to their developer policies which banned apps from using notification ads, LeadBolt announced a variety of new and innovative formats that are bundled with their new Android SDK to continue to drive revenue and high eCPMs.

LeadBolt has new ad formats that offer an abundance of creativity far removed from the banners of yesteryear.

The ads aim to reach the user at the critical stage of the app usage cycle, meaning a higher level of engagement. The eight key ad formats are:

Floating Ads

By overlaying an existing app with floating-themed elements, floating ads are used for a seamless and immersive ad experience that the user can comfortably engage with.

Floating Ads Format Example


Audio Ads

An audio ad is a newer, more innovative format that aims to capture a user’s attention with audio and voice, unlike some of the other more traditional methods.

Audio Ads Format Example

Audio Ads

App Wall

An app wall gives users the ability and control to pick what they find attractive for themselves – special offers and free apps are the common incentives here.

App Wall Format Example

App Wall

Video Ads

Video ads have always been a powerful way for the advertiser to connect to the consumer – LeadBolt gives advertisers the ability to use entertaining video clips that engage with the user directly within their app.

Video Ads Format Example



Displayed during app usage in a range of themed templates, Interstitial ads are designed to merge with and enhance the style of the app.

Interstitials Format Example


Banner Ads

A Banner ad is used wherever there is available space within the app; they come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the individual app.

Banner Ads Format Example



Overlays within the app can display a range of targeted text and graphic ads, which means the user can choose the most appealing ad or app without unnecessary intrusion.

Overlays Format Example


In-App Alerts

LeadBolt’s In-App Alert will target the user during their app usage cycle. An option that requires a direct response is then shown in-app, meaning a higher level of engagement with the user; this maximises app installs for developers.

In-App Alerts Format Example

In-App Alerts


Recent LeadBolt Platform Updates

LeadBolt is continuously upgrading its platform and SDKs – some of the recent announcements have included:

Android SDK 6.1 Released

Android 6.1

LeadBolt announced the release of their Android 6.1 SDK – the new SDK  is loaded with extra features and optimisation tools. Specifically, the new features are:

  • Faster ad loading
  • Pre-caching ads
  • Fewer permissions
  • Bundled framework support

Floating ads were also announced to be available in a HTML ad format.

Improved Performance with LeadBolt’s Geo-Regional Targeting


LeadBolt announced the geo-regional targeting feature that enables campaigns to target specific regions within a country. This allows advertisers to reach the local audiences that can be found within them.

The increased targeting functionality is ideal for:

  • Localizing campaigns based on regional languages
  • Geo-targeted eligibility or content relevance
  • Ensuring advertising messages reach the right users in the right area

Updated PhoneGap Support for iOS


LeadBolt announced that they had updated their iOS support information for PhoneGap – adding LeadBolt to the iOS PhoneGap app is now far easier as a result. A list of instructions is available on their blog on how to do just that.

Official Launch of LeadBolt Windows 8 SDK

Windows 8 SDK LeadBolt

LeadBolt celebrated the launch of their new Windows 8 SDK, meaning there is another app platform for publishers to utilise with LeadBolt’s SDK-powered ads.

The following premium formats are available for the new Windows 8 SDK:

  • Interstitials
  • App Walls
  • Advanced Overlays
  • In-App Alerts
  • Banner Ads
  • Rich Media Ads
  • Audio Ads

The following HTML compatible ad formats are:

  • Banner Ads
  • App Walls

For more detailed information, head on over to LeadBolt’s blog.

Updated iOS SDK v3.01

Updated iOS SDK

LeadBolt announced the release of their updated iOS SDK v3.01 – the update addresses and remedies the issue that first began with Apple’s announcement on May 1st 2013: that “any app which accesses UDID will be rejected when submitted to the App Store”.

The updated publisher SDK for iOS also features the following:

  • Improved User Experience for Display Ads
  • A Unified SDK
  • Performance & Memory Enhancements

For more detailed information, head on over to LeadBolt’s blog.

Unity3D Compatibility Library for iOS now available

Unity 3D

LeadBolt announced the release of a Unity3D compatibility library for iOS, designed to work with the Unity platform. The new Unity compatibility library means iOS developers using the Unity3D game engine can integrate the LeadBolt SDK to take advantage of LeadBolt’s SDK-powered ad formats.

For more detailed information, head on over to LeadBolt’s blog.

You can find more info about LeadBolt over on their website, on the LeadBolt profile in our directory and keep up to date via the LeadBolt blog.