My first hand observatons about mobile app ads

2013/01/24 at 11:46 Leave a comment

Despite the posts below, my game(s) are still sitting unfinished. In the meantime I have published some apps to the Windows Phone store. A free stopwatch, and a paid utility (with ad supported “free trial”) for testing websites and servers called Network Tools.

The initial thought was that people who found value in the app and didn’t like ads would pop the $1.49 and have them removed, those who didn’t would see ads and I’d make a decent income on both. I do this as a hobby so, if the income here buys me a few dinners a month, I’m happy.

I average a combined total of 450 downloads (paid and free) of Network Tools per month. I average about $2/month from ads on the app. What this tells me is that people download my app, open my app, setup their sites, turn on background tasks and rarely open it again.

The server that runs these tests costs me more than that per month to operate; luckily I operate it for this app for my own use, so the fact that my ads don’t sustain it is OK, but in many instances the developer of these apps is trying to make a living off them, so loosing money operating servers for apps is not an option.

The take away is that ad supported apps, are just like websites! You need users to come back often in order to make any money with ads. So if you are making a single use or infrequently used app, think seriously about it going the ad supported route.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Prototyping and the value of play testing

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