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).
Push and Icon Ads
AppBucks is a push and icon ads network that is really fresh out of the oven. Just like Airpush, Leadbolt and Senddroid, they serve the standard hell going ad formats.
Here is the WARNING from me right at the start! I have only used them for a day! I don't know if they will pay on time, I don't know if they have good coverage, I don't even know if they are sipping pina colada in the Bahamas right now!
I'm sharing about AppBucks because, well, I've made the wrapper library for Basic4Android (read below) and because someone from AppBucks sent in an honest request to get developers to try them out.
Well, the honesty is going to go a long way. One good way for testing whether ad network folks are being honest, is by asking them a realistic eCPM of their ads. Back then, AppLovin was the first network that gave and delivered (almost) what they said they would. (Although they been dropping in banner ecpms lately.)
So I asked AppBucks about their eCPMs, and was told push ads get $3 - $4 range on average and icon ads get $7 - $10 per 1000 icon drops. Another WARNING, your mileage will most likely differ!
$3 - $4 for push ads is possible, as airpush does have it's good days where I get about $2. Will AppBucks be able to live up to it? We'll see.
Icon ads vs Startapp
The icon ads ecpm might appear to be be lower than what Startapp gives, but notice that you get paid per icon drop. What this means is that, after a set interval of time, a new icon is sent out to the device. In the bigger picture, you could get better returns from this ad type compared to Startapp.
The icons delivered also are interesting. They are links to particular apps on the market, showing those app's own icon image as the ad icon. So it really looks like a shortcut to an app, when in actual fact it launches Google Play and goes straight to the app's page to download. Nice!
They have 2 payment options, Net 30 and Net 7. Net 30 is kind of the standard, as what Airpush is doing. I am not sure what the requirement is for Net 7, you've got to send an email to someone to get it, and as I am just testing them out, I'm not too worried about this just yet.
Performance so far
I've had my one app out with this ads in (it has an opt-in dialog too) for less than 24 hours, and I've gotten some numbers. These are first days numbers. Will they stand the test of time? I've seen many networks that start off great, and slowly go low and low. Like doing a limbo rock! Only time will tell how AppBucks perform.
Here are my numbers so far:
Icon: $4.67 eCPM
Push: $1.89 eCPM
Remember, the numbers above are very new and from very small number of installs. They might go higher or lower, I will get a review out if I am still using them long enough.
The cons so far
What I don't really fancy about them is the interval before the first ad is pushed out. Push ads are sent out after 8 hours and icon ads after 1 day. This way we miss out monetising on the users who have downloaded the apps and uninstalled within a short time period.
Basic4Android developers, get your library from here.
The instructions from AppBucks is clear enough when you download their SDK, integration should be easy. Set the boolean parameter on initialise to true to be in test mode, you will get test icons and push ads sent out within minutes, and every 1 or 2 minutes after that.
Add both the line of codes as initialise sets the library up, the opt-out displays the dialog for user to opt-out. This is in line with Google Play's policy on ads.
Also remember the manifest changes required. Please note the B4A wrapper library only works in an activity, might not be suitable for no activity apps. I'll see if I can work out a wrapper that does not depend on an activity.
This year we will see a healthier competition in the ad front, particularly in icon and push ads. I hope this competition makes it better for us developers to better monetise and become multimillionaires!
Do sign up with them and give them a try. They are new, and are open to suggestions and feedback. They are interested in what developers have to say, so lets tell them (request for net 15 payment!), and see if they will be more responsive to us developers than the other ad networks.