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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Leadbolt, Airpush, SendDroid and Google Play

Posted by with 36 comments

Hey folks, been away for a while. And now, here I am, back. Hope you missed me much. How has July been? Did Leadbolt live up to it's "promise" of improved revenues in July?


Leadbolt - The Ugly


There were some issues with Leadbolt's revenue dropping, posted in many places around the net. We tried asking, and did not get any solid answers from Leadbolt.

The one answer I highlighted previously was that 1 advertiser paused. From the looks of it, many advertisers seem to have run away from Leadbolt.

For the first time EVER I ended a month with Leadbolt not hitting a 4 figure income. FIRST TIME! On my first month with them I already made an awesome amount, and this just is the worst!

Leadbolt responded on the Basic4Android forums that revenues will pick up in July. Well, they forgot to mention that the revenue pick up was for Airpush! (more on airpush below).

How was YOUR July with Leadbolt?

Leadbolt - The Good


Well, a couple of things from my previous highlighting of Leadbolt did get fixed by them. For one, my referrals revenues took a crazy upshot! I made $330 in July from referral revenues (it was about $15 in May, and $90-ish in June). This is more like it. Finally I see my hardwork promoting them and working out their libraries pay off. I wonder if Leadbolt can revisit my previous months revenues and do the adjustments to my referral revenues?

Another thing they fixed was the icons that showed $100 eCPM. Their banners now say earn 10 times more. More than what, I don't know. They are only about 2 times more than admob for me as of now.

Airpush - The Other Good


Yes, after what I've previously said about Airpush being a piece of bullshit, they finally improved. I know some other developers that have showed good improvements from their Airpush revenues. Although nowhere near their bullshit advertised eCPMs, I am pretty happy with the results for July.

August seems to have had an awesome start with Airpush too. If this keeps at current rate, I am gonna make a lot more from Airpush this month than from Leadbolt. Oh boy!

SendDroid - a Challenge?


In my previous writing about Airpush, SendDroid was mentioned in the comments section by me that it is all talk and no result. Well, kudos to Chandler to comment on the article and trying to correct that perception.

I have initially decided to give them a live try out, and I thought I will share the results every now and then here on this blog. Chandler mentioned that they are working out some issues with their network right now, plus the Google Play's new policy on ads require SendDroid to change their SDK.

Oh, but there lies the risk. If SendDroid (and any of the other ad networks) don't properly comply with the ad policy, you know that it is us, developers, who will suffer. A blocked account from Google is almost pretty permanent.

So SendDroid, any guarantee that your ads will not be the reason for my apps being removed from the store? Same question goes out to Leadbolt and Airpush.

Google Play - getting ugly


Well, the new policy is out on ad stuff. There goes content unlockers. Not sure what's the status with notification ads.


Airpush, Leadbolt and SendDroid have all said that push ads are not banned, but really, the terms on Google Play's policy is very very vague. Nobody can really give a solid response to it.

The problem with such stuff is that Google can intepret this any way they want to, and that really sucks.

Also, do note that in-app purchases on Google Play markets can only use their payment methods. How in the 9 hells are developers from unsupported countries to make sales for IAP then? Time to look at iOS!

So...


How's your July been? Have you started removing icon ads and notification ads? What's your take on the new policies?

Hope things are improving for all though!

Cheers!
-Bill


36 comments:

  1. Leadbolt's true colors are coming through now, in the back of my mind I kept thinking those numbers were too good to be true and SendDroid is gonna end up getting a lot of us banned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The same can be said of Airpush too.

    Likewise with other ad networks.

    This is one paragraph that is not being highlighted enough:

    "Ads which are inconsistent with the app’s content rating also violate our Developer Terms."

    If adult ads or dating ads come through your app, and your app is rated as "Everyone", then you're in violation of the terms.

    So, now, the danger lies not in developer's hands, it is more how the ad networks handle these stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Google needs to open channels to the ad networks regarding content policy. This is not a huge engineering undertaking. Even a simple definitive develop office hours could resolve this, but of course Google and Apple and MS want their cakes and eat it to (be vague with written conditions and harsh and final about their actions).

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  4. How true! That makes it really horrible for us developers.

    And the lack of communication with Google makes it worse. (No experience in communicating with Apple or MS yet, but I guess Amazon is easier to talk to?)

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  5. I had some pretty nice results from leadbolt for July :) A little more than what I got for the month of June. And I know it's only the 3rd of August but so far it's a little low start for me. Hopefully it will pick up.

    But to be honest, this new google play policy does scare me. Waking up in the morning to find out that your account has been banned from google play is just a scary scary thought :/

    As I mentioned in my other comment, my leadbolt account manager sounded very confident that they are on top of it. I'm hoping that they are true to their words.

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  6. Yes, it is a very scary thought. I'd highly recommend looking at working out alternatives, like the iOS or looking at Amazon market. Just as a back up :)

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  7. Any word form Leadbolt about notifications ?

    Anyway, my apps downloaded 10 times more in samsung apps then google play. Therefore, new policy wont effect me much unless samsung apps have a policy about notifications :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Moribito,
    I tried to publish my apps to Samsung store and I need to say it's a hard thing to do (compared to Google Play). Could you please share your experience with SS store?
    And Bill, I hope you don't mind :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Samsung Apps much better than Google play, but you will never have over 250,000 download like Google Play.

    For first 3 months of my apps, each of my app downloaded 10 times more in Samsung Apps compared Google Play. Most of my revenue comes from Samsung apps. In fact, most of my apps dont have any ads in Google Play. (It is a strategic move, I wait to gain high install number in Google Play to implement ads).

    The best part is %60 of my revenue comes from United Kingdom.

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  10. Morbito, care to share how to upload apps at samsungapps? I looked for a developer section but i didnt have any luck :(

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  11. Hi Moribito,

    Thanks for sharing the info. Never tried samsung app store, probably will try now :P

    Leadbolt too are saying their notification ads are in compliance with the new policy from Google. But they are coming out with a new SDK soon, to fully comply with any additional policy.

    Hi susu,

    I don't mind at all :D In fact I was thinking of asking him the exact same thing!

    Hi AVillardo,

    Looks like you will need to sign up as a seller account here:
    http://www.samsungapps.com/about/becomeSeller.as

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi all,

    I tried to publish my apps to Samsung store last month. There're many steps with many unclear requirements. I failed 2 times and I gave up :(

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just had a look at their app submission process. Susu is right, many steps and a little complicated requirements.

    I guess it will be easier once you've submitted a couple of apps.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just submitted one of my apps. I'll update if it get's approved. I feel like it should because not too long ago I was contacted by samsung's "S Suggest" team asking me if it's ok with me for them to feature my app on "S Suggest"

    I've never heard of "S Suggest" before but apparently it's this preinstalled app in samsung phones that suggests users about "hot" apps.

    so we'll see

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  15. Great! Good luck!!!

    And looking forward to your review on it :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. I dont understand what confused you about submitting to Samsung Apps. Its pretty simple, just follow step by step instructions.

    However it takes up to 2 weeks to be approved.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey guys,

    Just wanted to expand on Moribito's comment.
    Would you say that it is better to publish your apps ad free and then introduce advertising once it reaches a high download rate? Or post your apps with ads right away?

    I'll share my experience, as I have tried both, but so far I haven't been able to draw any concrete conclusions. My first (and so far the best) experience with advertising has been implementing ads into a ~100,000-downloads app. It was ad-free, permission-free up until it hit 100,000. As soon as I threw the ads in, the ratings and install rate started dropping. Not everyone installed the update with the ads right away. In fact, there is a good number of users still sitting on the first version of the app.

    So I thought, long-term it would be good to include the ads from the start. This way, I would end up with fewer angry users and hopefully fewer bad ratings. I have been using this approach for all my new apps, but the growth in the install rate is significantly slower. So far none of my newer apps reached the same download rate or revenue numbers as my first app.

    What are your thoughts on this, guys? Climb to a high download rate and then throw ads in and cope with angry users, or start with the ads from the get-go?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have had some pretty positive results from Airpush. I am earning roughly 10x more revenue in the past 3 months with them compared to when I was with Admob. I too was concerned with googles new policies but I spoke with an airpush act manager and he confirmed they are releasing their new SDK and it is in full compliance with the new policy, cant wait my august rev

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey Bill,

    I have to say that I'm becoming a fan of your reviews or rather writings.

    To be honest with you, I can understand how it would be a huge concern for developers to correctly place ad units that won't get them banned from Google Play. With that in mind, we are actually going to be positively compliant with all of Google's policies. If we get your app banned, then its just as much of as loss for us as it is for you.

    You can rest assured that we will be 100% compliant. That is a guarantee.

    Now as for you trying out SendDroid, or anybody else here for that matter, I'd encourage you to try it with the release of the new SDK. It should be out by Wednesday and I will be sure to update you when it is.

    Thanks Bill...and keep posting...I do enjoy reading your reviews and comments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi SendDroid,
    It will be better if you can provide wrapper library for B4A. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey Susu,

    As it happens, we have been working on that...hopefully with the new SDK, we'll have Basic4Android plugin ready as well.

    If not, it should be done by this week.

    Cheers - Chandler

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Vas,

    I'd choose getting the ads in from the start as a better option. Why not monetize from the start itself?

    Of course, not having ads in MIGHT get you a bigger download for a while, but then again, it might not. There is really no guarantee in that.

    Hi Chandler,

    I'm also a Basic4Android developer (moved to Unity3D now). Although I've previously made a wrapper library to use SendDroid, I think I will wait for your official library instead before I give it a go.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Bill,

    I started to use Airpush's new SDK 5.0 with SmartWalls, and guess what?

    No one new installs and no one push notification!

    More than 48 hours without earn one cent!

    Is there somebody with the same problem?


    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey Bill,

    I was wondering if you could help me out; I wanted to show inMobi ads when Leadbolt is out of ads. How would I go about that for my android app?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi all,

    Sorry for late replies. Was travelling with the worst roaming mobile surfing coverage possible. Time to change network!

    Hi Silvio,

    Can't really help with the problem as I have removed airpush and leadbolt from my apps for now. Hope you got it sorted out.

    Hi Shane,

    Leadbolt has an event that is raised when an ad fails to load. In that event call up the inmobi ad to load instead.

    Hope that is of help. I am not an eclipse developer, so cant give you the right code. Unless you are developing in basic4android of course :)

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Are you guys mostly developing free apps that use adverts ? I'm thinking this isn't a problem if you're making paid apps... ?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Stu,

    Yes, the issues are mainly for ad-supported apps.

    Paid apps is a "luxury" that many developers do not have access to. The same with in-app purchases as Google Merchant is not available in many countries, and that is the only payment gateway allowed by Google.

    ReplyDelete
  28. as a consumer i will not download or purchase anything that has senddroid attached to it. if any of you developers were close i would beat you to a pulp for putting that on my phone. i hope all of you get banned.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Do you guys think it's possible to get your application suspended after you have updated it with the latest policy compliant SDK? A lot of users don't update right away (if ever), so technically the old non-compliant SDK still roams on a lot of devices.

    Has anyone had any apps suspended since the new policy came in effect?

    Couple of our applications got suspended, and one of the reasons was "Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior". Having looked at the policy, the definition for that category seems to relate to something like ads representing system messages, but it seems that it could really mean anything. Both apps were updated, so we are a little puzzled by what Google meant when listing Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior as a reason for suspension.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Vas,

    I'm really sorry to hear this. The problem really is with the unclear message from google.

    Which SDKs did you update? What ad networks were in the app? Also, what was the functionality of the apps?

    Hope we can work out a possible reason for this.

    Just to highlight, I recently tried the airpush sdk, never releaed anything on google play with it of course. There was notification ad with the title "New Message".. this could be a reason.

    Also, I'd advice you pause all your ad networks for a while till you figure this out, especially any push or icon ads.

    If you notice the opt-in dialog from airpush, it states that if you dont accept the terms and conditions, you must uninstall the app. Clicking close or OK does not seem to make a difference it seems.

    Do share with us more details please, will be of help for other devs.

    Thanks and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey Bill,

    The two apps were initially loaded with the pre-policy Leadbolt SDK. We replaced one with post-policy Airpush and updated the other one with post-policy Leadbolt.

    I can't say that we've monitored the ads that both agencies sent post-policy update, but I suppose we should will have to be a bit more aware from now on. Especially, since getting to the root of the problem is not the easiest thing with Google's support team.

    Those apps had around 60,000 total downloads - making them a considerable number to lose just like that. All our apps our currently unpublished while we try to make sense of this.

    On a side note, does anyone know of any viable alternatives to Google Play?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Vas,

    Hope you work out what really caused this suspension. And yes, that is a big loss as you will most likely not be able to republish the games once they are suspended.

    I can confirm though that Airpush is sending out ads with the title "New Message". I cant confirm on Leadbolt as I haven't received any push ads from them since January.

    As for unpublishing all your apps, it would be better to remove all ads, fix the manifest permissions and any extra push / ad related manifest entries, and re-publish your apps.

    You don't wanna lose out on your app rankings dropping because of the app being unpublished. Plus if you have admob or something common in it, you can still generate some revenues from the apps.

    Alternative markets, try slideme and getjar. Though the downloads are no where near Google Play. Still, some revenue is better than 0 revenue :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey Bill,

    Thanks for the reply. We still haven't gotten to the bottom of it, but we might just do as you say. There is no point in losing ratings over this.

    Here's a thread relevant to this issue that might interest fellow devs - http://makingmoneywithandroid.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=610

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  34. won't touch senddroid. No beef with Leadbolt. But Airpush is where I'm seeing the best results, CPMs, etc. I think SmartWall from Airpush's new SDK 5.0 is gonna be hard to top.

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  35. Changes are always better. However, it opens up even bigger market opportunity for admob, appnext, chartboost, tapjoy

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