Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's the end of the year as we know it!

Hey folks,

This is a quick little post to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, a very Merry Christmas, and an even more wonderful 2014 ahead!

Reflections

2013 was one hell of a rollercoaster ride for many of us. Policy changes were the main ones, then there were all those suspensions and warnings.

On the bigger picture we saw successes being hit by small indie development companies which has raised our hopes further that this all can work. And I say it really does work!

Not to forget the mushrooming of the ad networks. We have a bazillion options now. Just beware of what they are promising, you know what to do if it is too good to be true ;)

Onwards to 2014

Much is gonna happen in 2014 I say. But as of now, I am looking forward to the increased sub categories for games on Google Play.

This is an important change, and one that I welcome wholeheartedly! There will simply be more chances to get higher on the top new lists of the sub categories (hope they maintain the top new list).

Besides that, well, let's say the competition is getting fiercer. Gamers will only be expecting higher quality console level games. We will need to add much polish to our games and apps.

Ad spend is expected to increase, and hope we get our share of that market. I will try to keep you all posted on my findings of the mobile ad networks. (AppFlood will start manual approval of all ads on their network... if that's done, it will be a major plus point for them).

Blog, damnit!

Yes, a few people have buzzed me up and asked if I have returned to the moon. I guess I just went into an unknown zone which I can't quite explain. I must get back to blogging to keep my sanity :)

And, as of now, I'm using AppLovin and Chartboost as my only source of ad networks, in case you're wondering of course.

Well, that's it then. Have a great time, and do keep in touch!

Merry Cheers!
-Bill

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

AppFlood and Their Misleading Ads

Unhappy encounter

I recently encountered an BIG issue with AppFlood, and have decided to leave them till the issue is sorted out.

With Google's new developer policy out, I, like many other fellow developers was busy updating the apps to be more compliant. I was truly moving towards just having AppLovin and AppFlood (walls and panel ads) in.

And then it popped up. An ad of Candy Crush (even mentions "king.com" in the ad). I really was suspicious of this ad as I have not seen any big name ad shown on my AppFlood trials. This ad even used the icon of candy crush.

I clicked it, and it went to a web page (redirection as many ads do), and it started an auto-download of a Moborobo client. No sign of candy crush at all.

Now, this is clearly in violation of Google's policy, under "Impersonation and Deceptive Behaviour". Remember, anything and everything about your app is your responsibility as a developer. You show misleading ads in you app, you will be penalised.

More disappointment


Unfortunately, the more disappointing thing is when this was brought up to my contact in AppFlood, I was told this is usual practise when an ad does not cover certain location. Due to some technical issue between advertiser and AppFlood, someone somewhere thought I was located in a different country, and thus the ad was served to me.

Yet clicking the ad did something other than expected.

I don't believe the reasons given made sense at all. How can my location be wrongly determined?

Missed Revenues?


This is either a disregard by AppFlood or an opportunity taken by the advertiser on a loop hole on the system.

In the scenario above, I will never get the download counted as candy crush did not get downloaded. Instead someone somewhere made money by downloading a totally different app.

This might be a reason for getting so many clicks but a very low download (and revenue) count.

Goodbye AppFlood


So till AppFlood comes clean on this practise, I have removed them from my apps. What a shame as I was really looking forward to using their walls and panels ad format. And I then had to scramble to look at alternative walls type ad providers.

It is up to you to decide on what your course of action will be on this.

If I ever get an update from AppFlood on this, I will keep you folks updated.

Roger and out!
Bill

Monday, April 29, 2013

Which mobile advertising network should I use?


When it comes to monetising apps on the Android platform, mobile ads is one of the better options (IAP is probably the other alternative which is doing real good now).

A little while back, someone asked me what networks I use. Now, this is a list of networks I use. Not in all my apps though. And my ad network usage changes from time to time. So the following are just my choices, you MUST try out what works for you, as mileage really differs from developer to developer, and from app to app.


Preffered mobile advertising networks


The following are my preffered networks, and those that I would be implementing in my apps going forward (performance pending of course).

AppFlood

UPDATE: I've dropped AppFlood till the issue here is sorted out.

AppFlood is really an awesome network. 100% of revenue goes to developers. The best payout system (net-anything, seriously!). Innovative ad formats, and a huge selection of ads make up only some of their good points. Their transparency on ads is awesome, and I've been told that the features are being improved (did you notice they are gradually moving away from the points system, it shows dollars balance now on the dashboard!).

While they do have push ads, I'd recommend you give this one a try for in-app ads. Many developers have reported great returns, and it has outperformed AppBrain for basically all the developers that I have communicated with.

AppLovin


A number of developers (myself included) have reported dropping banner ad revenues from AppLovin. While the banners eCPM has indeed dropped from about a year ago, it still outperforms other CPC banner networks. Their full screen ads are still rock solid for most developers (haven't gotten complains from any developers yet on this).

AppLovin's ads are very well thought out. They have improved much on their fullscreen ads presentation, and these type of updates to ads look and feel is necessary to ensure their units perform. I do wish they would come out with a wall / panel type ad format like what AppFlood has. They used to communicate much with me and my feedback was looked into, but been a while that they been "ignoring" me, and that I hope, won't bring about to their downfall. Don't forget your fellow developers!

So, if you are looking at the other option to rotate your in-app ads with, try rotating between AppFlood and AppLovin.

StartApp


Update: Google's latest policy has made Startapp not quite a favourable (safe?) option

StartApp is an icon and bookmark ad network. Now, this is a more "controversial" ad network amongst my preffered one. But really, they actually have a really good implementation of their ads. I like how it is a totally opt-in network. Airpush, for example, auto opts-in the user, and users have to manually opt-out. StartApp does not make any changes to the device, unless the user says "Yes". And their opt-in screen is very simple and clear. No long winding sentences that confuse users.

StartApp is a great monetisation option for developers. The returns are pretty impressive. The downside is that many people will complain of "Virus" as anti virus networks mark them as so. I believe this is an unfair label. Maybe a note on your app's description about the ad network might help, but I doubt it.

By the way, good job that Ariel, the big guy from StartApp, is directly communicating with fellow developers, and almost always fixes issues immediately!

Optional mobile advertising networks


These networks are existing in emy apps, and, while they work fine overall, I am looking at replacing them with the above 3 only in my future apps.

Airpush

Update: Google's latest policy update: No push makes this network worthless, drop it

Airpush is really a good network to make money from for developers. Airpush is an push, icon and in-app ad network. While it is a great monetisation network, beware that, like StartApp, they too get labelled a virus by the anti virus networks. I do wish there was better control on the type of ads that are being sent out. Some of the ads are really spam stuff. (In contrast, AppFlood's push ads only sends out ads of apps to be installed from Google Play. Nice!) Also, Airpush really needs to do something about their dashboard / reporting tools. It gives reporting issues almost every week.

If you're daring enough though, Airpush, in conclusion, is a great monetisation alternative.

Admob


The reason I mention Admob here is simple because I do have them in a number of my apps. This is a CPC network, where accidental clicks are a nice to have thing :)  But because of the ease of which revenue can be generated by accidental clicks, the revenue per click is low.

I would recommend having a CPC network, be it Admob, Mobfox, MillenialMedia or anything else if you want to keep your app really clean (people's mindset is generally fine with these networks). Or if you have a section of your app where random clicks is a way of using the app. Also works fine for apps which have a long usage window.

AppBrain

Update: Google's new policy - This full screen doesn't have close button, beware.

This used to be the best wall option, but there been very bad drops in revenues from AppBrain in recent months. Good thing other options are now available, like AppFlood.

AppBrain's analytic tools though are really useful, and they have these other stuff like competitor analysis and such, which can help in the magic of App Store Optimisation (or ASO).

And that's it


While there are other networks too, most of them are just not worth my effort writing up on anymore. Whatever you choose, do experiment. And keep updating your ad networks. What works today, might not work tomorrow. What works for me, might not work for you. And vice versa.

Do share your experiences with other networks!

Cheers!
-Bill


Thursday, April 4, 2013

AppFlood Review - The Better Ad Network for Android!


UPDATE: You may wanna beware of this issue with AppFlood before proceeding

Now that the no-post-in-March month is over (  just declared that now that I realised I did not make any new posts in March :D  ), let's get on in improving our bank balances from mobile app ads!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

AppBucks Push and Icon Ads - Alternative to Airpush, Leadbolt, SendDroid and StartApp


We developers are always on the lookout for better monetisation options for our mobile apps. With the recent slow down on the mobile advertising scene after the December spending spree, people are starting to question the ad networks.

The thing is, there IS a slow down across all networks. It is weird in that in 2012, my revenues kept growing in January and February. Well, it looks like advertisers are also getting savvier and better using their funds on ads.

Let me introduce you to AppBucks (referral link).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do you know the importance of the first 30 days on Google Play?


When releasing a new app, it is understood that it will rank far down the food chain. After all, your app is new and unproven just yet.

What Google has done on the Play store is that they have given new app an opportunity to live, a chance to get to a more respectable place in the world of the unknown, the Google Play ranking algorithm.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

StartApp Ads - Initial Review and Basic4Android Library


Hey ya all... I've just posted the Basic4Android library for StartApp (this is a referral link). You can get the B4A library here.

StartApp is an icon ad network, and they pay on a per-installation basis.

StartApp Registration - Get $25


Register for StartApp with my referral link (click it, I know you want to!), and once your download hits 100 new installs, you'll get a bonus of $25 into your account, and yes, I'll get some bonus too.

StartApp First Days Review


Well, it looks pretty impressive. An app of mine, more popular in the US had about 157 downloads (users who opt-in for the icon ads) and made $2.51. While another app, with a more global distribution had 296 opt-ins and made $2.09 revenue.

It looks like the performance of these opt-in based icon ads could match up to the notification ad format.

Give it a go!

Cheers!
-Bill

Sunday, January 27, 2013

3 Steps to Increase Mobile Ad Revenue in 2013


Hey folks, it is 2013, and hope your mobile business is thriving!

2012 was, I'd say, finally, the year of mobile advertising. And it is supposed to get better this year. I don't think the momentum will slow down in 2013, so get your apps and games in high gear!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heyzap Ads - Review and Basic4Android Library

*****
Update September 2014:
The review below is back from 2012/13, when Heyzap just started with their ads. Please note that all the cons points have been sorted out, and as of September / October 2014, I HIGHLY recommend them. 

Please check out my case study publishing a game with Heyzap here.

Basic4Android Heyzap library is available here updated as of end of September 2014.
*****

Hi folks, let me introduce a new CPA ad network for use in your Android apps. Heyzap Ads provide CPA type interstitial ads for Android apps, similar in functionality as AppLovin's interstitial ads.

They've performed quite well for me, and in comparison with AppLovin, I'd they they both have their pros and cons.