Mobile Apps - Release Strategy

Hey folks, and welcome to a brand new week. And the end of April.

As the month comes to an end, I think it is a good time to reflect on stuff, on your apps, on your monetising strategy, and looking forward, whats the plan going into May?

Although I mentioned that April was a slower month that previous ones, the last couple of days has seen a very good boost for my revenues from Leadbolt, AppBrain and AppLovin. Admob too to a certain extent. Now Airpush? Lets not get into that shall we?

A while back, one of the regular visitors here, Bojan, asked about games release timing. Let's talk something about this. Hope we can get feedback and ideas from others too.

A long long time ago...

Less than a year ago, actually, the Just-In List was a totally different game to release apps and games. You'll make updates every 8th day, and release it to the market, and you'll show up in the Just-In list. And that got you pretty good downloads.

With that out of the picture, when do you release your games?

And the now.. timings.

Let me share a couple of instances when my games were in the trending lists. I have had 3 games in the trending lists so far, and all happened last year. My soccer game, my in-famous tennis game (which just broke the 100k downloads last week!), and my hardly downloaded anymore game, Pumpkin escape.

Now, why the soccer game got into trending is beyond me. I have no idea why it did that. Maybe just my luck.

For the tennis game, I accidently released it a couple of days before a big tennis tournament was on that weekend. I was totally not aware of the tourney, but it gave me a good boost for a while. Too bad I only had Admob in the app back then, otherwise I would have seen an even better revenue increase.

The pumpkin escape game was released close to halloween. Need me to elaborate on this further? You get the idea.

Basically point number 1, release your games in conjunction with a big event. Have a look at my download boost when the super bowl was around.

Don't be an enemy of the States!

The Grand ole US of A. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING comes close to making money for your ads besides the US. The population is huge, the spending on mobile advertising is really huge too! Here is my latest 7 days chart from Leadbolt. Do you get the picture?

Now, if you're serious about making money from mobile ads, you really need to target the US. Your revenues will be given a huge boost. Don't make a Zimbabwe's underground train schedule app, make something for the NY train system instead.

Note - Africa could be a good revenue source someday, just not yet.

New releases of devices.

This is important too. Why do you think many of us made a good fortune back in December? Well, the logic goes that in December, many people buy new devices. This in turn gives a good boost to our download rates with a whole bunch of new potential customers.

So, look out for new major release of phone or tablets. Or a new version of the phone OS. These are good moments to make sure your app is out there.

Advertiser top-up.

This is very interesting. And I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else. And I could be wrong here. But making sure your app is out by Wednesdays will be a very good idea. Why? I have noticed that many of the ad agencies seem to have a good boost on Thursdays going through the weekend.

This is just my gut feeling here, but maybe the ads inventory is renewed on Wednesdays / Thursdays. Have a look at your own revenue patterns over the weeks, especially with Leadbolt.

The weekend effect.

I have read it somewhere that most app downloads happen on Sunday nights. Ok, you know what to do on Friday night then. No more partying, get them apps out!

The boil.

It all boils down to one thing though. After all this time, there really isn't a good time to release a game or app. Just release it when you feel like releasing it. Really, it does not matter when you release it. There is no big advantage of being out there at any moment. The advantage is that you ARE out there.

  • Holidays and sporting events will come around again.
  • USA will be around for a long time.
  • New devices are released through out the year.
  • Wednesdays come every week.
  • Weekends are here every 3 months or so (ha! just testing, did you read what I just wrote?) Ok, ok... Weekends are here every week too (correct me if I am wrong).

When the above events occur, you better make sure that your app is searchable. That you can get to your audience. Being an entrepreneur, you really lose when you're not out there. The missed opportunities it is called.

Get coding folks!



  1. Thanks Bill.

    About the weekend effect, let me tell you it's true! I have almost the double of installs on sunday nights (Why? I don't know, but I like it :p).

    Let's keep our minds on seasons, to target to the US. That's important

  2. Thanks for the feedback Eugenio.

    I am guessing Americans have too much free time on Sunday nights :D

    And yes, I like it too!


  3. Hi Bill

    I always enjoy reading your blog.

    I am currently not relying on ads for income but if I would dwell further into it, I would consider very much, apart from the US and Europe, also Asia, especially South Corea where Android really has a big market. To do this, I would consider translating my apps into Corean and other languages used in Asia. The same goes for the Google Play-description but with a proper translation and not the automatic online translation.

    Now, I don't know if for instance Leadbolt has created business-contacts with Asian ad-networks otherwise one should consider signing up with an Asian ad-network (and of course, Bill, we would need you to write such a wrapper-library for B4A).

    Just some thoughts!

    Good luck to all of you!

  4. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for feedback!

    I agree with your point on looking at Asia.

    Here is the breakdown for Arcade & Action games category from Google Play (as of 30th April 2012):

    Top 10 countries for
    Arcade & Action

    United States - 32.32 %
    South Korea - 5.68 %
    Japan - 4.30 %
    Germany - 4.23 %
    United Kingdom - 3.90 %
    Taiwan - 3.07 %
    France - 3.02 %
    Russia - 2.87 %
    Spain - 2.31 %
    Malaysia - 2.26 %

    It really shows that the number of Asian countries is big in the list. (Mind the gap between US and S. Korea).

    Here are my thoughts so far though. Asian countries don't spend as much as the American's do on ads. That is the real deal breaker.

    Yes, I'd target them too, but until it really picks up in Asia, we won't be seeing the numbers that we do with the US.

    In fact I don't even see Europe's numbers coming close to the American's.

    Just my 2 cents (American currency!).

    And no worries about the libraries, I'll churn them out as fast as I can :D



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