Bullshit eCPMs and the Amazon Appstore

Firstly, the title of this post is for 2 separate items that I wanna share. Not that Amazon gives crappy eCPMs. Read on to find out.

The bull has arrived!

A word of advice or "friendly warning" to all developers that are wondering about ad networks and the money you can make.

Ad networks are really businesses. And businesses aim to make profit. Just like I do with my apps, and like what you'd do with your apps. They attract developers, especially new ones who are still lacking to the real life of mobile ads with wonderful wordings. "Earn 300% more than the other network", "Developers get on average $20 eCPM". These are all, total bull!

So, here is the advice: Stop believing in eCPMs!

Really, eCPM is calculated AFTER you get the revenue. Your app could be downloaded a thousand times, and the ad network could promise $20 eCPM. But if no one clicks your ads (for CPC type ads), your eCPM is $0. Wasn't it $20 eCPM that was promised? Now, if you do get clicks, the eCPM calculated would be different if 1 person clicked the ad, or if 100 people clicked it.

So, really, stop believing in eCPMs. Look at results, look at what you get in terms of dollars, as thats what's gonna end up in your bank account. I've used a bazzillion different ad networks, and have never achieved their advertised eCPMs, not even with Leadbolt, my favourite ad network.

Kudos though to AppLovin for not over exagerrating their eCPMs, and I am often close to the promised levels.

Your Ad Here

The Amazon Appstore Expands.

Amazon appstore is expanding. Users from UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain (did they pick the countries based on Euro quarter finals list?) will be able to access your apps for download.

I have so far had very limited success with Amazon's appstore. I think I won't even call it success. Anyone has any experiences with them? Good or bad?

What I am interested though is to try furthering my sold apps, and releasing them with no ads on the Amazon's Appstore. Not my usual modus operandi, but I've searched, and it seems developers make better money from Amazon than they do via Google's Play. Hey it is a business after all! Plus an additional stream of income won't hurt.

Will keep you in the know on how this goes.



  1. Hi bill ,

    Well now I am kind of regular visitor to your blog, and I am also thinking of starting a blog to share my advertising experiences like u, it does help :).

    u r right about the eCPM's that companies advertise , The actual scenario is totally different , and believe me, in starting u might get good results , but as the time goes, The graph will start flowing downwards.

    I tried the same thing with amazon appstore, as I m in india , here we developers can't sell our apps on the play store , so I tried appstore with my ad-free paid versions, Although It took me some time to make my apps compatible with kindle fire, But the only success I had was getting my apps approved by amazon. Its been like 3 months , and I have got like 80 paid downloads, $0.99 each, whereas on play store my monthly downloads number crosses 25K, but of course they are free versions. But there is no harm in trying amazon, of course there is less competition there :) , gud luck.

  2. Hi padmakar ojha,

    Thanks for the feedback and support.

    I think starting a blog will be a good idea, besides sharing your experiences, who knows, it might lead to online journalism? :D

    Plus, I'd like to think of us bloggers as "investigative journalists"... ok, picked that up somewhere, but its true to a certain extent isn't it?

    Thanks also for the details on Amazon. I hope with them expanding to more countries, the revenue gained would improve.


  3. What do you think of Tapjoy, I plan to make a game and sell game-items with Tapjoy points.

    Anyone tried Tapjoy ? I heard it makes really good money.

  4. Hi Moribito,

    I have not used tapjoy so far. Looks like a good alternative for in-app purchase implementation.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi Bill,

    I published my apps to Amazon Appstore since they opened it. But the downloads are very poor compared to Google Market because my country didn't in their support list. We can't download even free apps! I said goodbye Amazon after 2 months :)

  6. LOL susu! I said goodbye too after a short time with Amazon.

    But I am just wondering how good it would be with their expansion.

    Maybe if Google would allow more countries to sell apps, we could get more users buying apps? After all, if all developers united and removed their free apps from the market, people will have to buy the apps right?

    Just a thought.


  7. Hi Bill,

    "If all developers removed their free apps from the market, people will have to buy the apps" -> I don't think so :D I never buy an app if I can't try its lite/demo version.
    And if there aren't free apps there are Cracked Market Appstore or something.

    I just don't understand why Amazon & Google expand their accepted country list very slow? What are they affraid of?

  8. Hi susu,

    Good point. But remember, you're a technical person, and probably know your way how to find a paid app for free :P I don't ever encourage that though :D

    What I'm saying is, I recently bought an Ipad, and downloaded some free games. And I realised the free games are horribly limited in most cases, that you really have to purchase the full version for it to be any good.

    Similarly, if more developers could sell apps, we could all make lite versions that are very limiting, and maybe we could have better sales.

    As for google's slowness. I am not sure really, but I guess they are happy for the free ad-supported apps, as ads is their main business.


  9. 1. What if all developers remove their free apps?

    A: Nothing, there is none protection from piracy on Android because you can just download and install apk and there you have a paid app for free. You can find even now paid apk's all over the web. This situation would just skyrocket some forums with piracy content.

    2. What if Google spread their billing system on the rest of the world?

    A: Nothing, they supported all developed countries like USA/west-EU/Australia/Japan and piracy is something like from 50% in US to 90% in EU/Australia (in Japan piracy is around 1% but they are different culture). I living in east-EU country and yes there is some peoples who would pay for app but most of them (something like 99%) just download it from some torrent or similar service.

    On the end, on Android only a dozen apps reach something like 5K or more paid downloads, the rest is stuck on something like from 0 to 1000 downloads.

    Ads and probably IAP with some sort of offer wall like tapjoy is the only right way to go on android. If you ever port your games on iPhone then I would suggest to put some price tag.

    This is my 2 cents. :)

  10. @Bojan

    Magnificent Observation.

    Android developer should only aim for ADs to make money. Moreover, %90 of apps in Google Play are very very low quality, none would pay.

  11. Hi Bojan,

    Great points there.

    Though in the case of piracy, remember that PC games too had major piracy problem, yet it thrived pretty well as a business.

    So does the music industry, all my favourite rock bands are pretty well to do, likewise are the record labels. And don't forget the movie scene too.

    In the end though, as of now, I agree with you, Ads and IAP is the better route to take for Android.

    Hi Moribito,

    LOL @ "%90 of apps in Google Play are very very low quality, none would pay".... How true!


  12. Yes, PC games have a huge problem with piracy but cracking a PC game is not very easy to do it often require to go in some folders and to copy some things and it does not guaranty that game would work. There is also a gap of time while piracy teams trying to crack a game and you lose some options like multiplayer and so on. On other hand on android you get a whole game instantly.
    Music industry is so much different in my opinion that it can not be compared in any way. Singers have special contracts for everything, they selling a space on stage during a concerts, they filming a ads for firms to promote a products, they selling a songs on many different services like iTunes and others. Singing in clubs and so on. They have a lot options to generate income and piracy hurts them but not so much like game developers. Also they gain a more popularity if their songs are spread on larger audience, even if user download a song from some torrent he becomes potential fan and buyer.
    Film industry is also take some hits but in my opinion its not so bad because you can download some new movie in bad cam quality and watch it at home but where is a pleasure in that? Or you can wait a six months or more to download in some watchable format. Many peoples just choose to go in cinema and to watch it on big screen. Also they earn from selling a movies to tv stations and so on.
    On the end, quasi-free model is not so bad I read that Temple run triple their income when they put down price tag to free but introduce IAP with offers for users that do not want to spend some money. And there is also a plenty Asian mmo's that operate very well with this model. I wrote a lot things I hope that you will not ban me for ever. :D

  13. Hi guys,

    Now I'm happy with free-app-with-ads, not only because Google doesn't support my country but also I'm the only one person of the team, I don't have customer service or something like that. My apps are quite good looking, quite useful for my users compared to others bad free apps. My revenue from ads in 1 month equal 2000 sales (0.99$). So who said I can't live with Android?
    That's my story and I'm very happy with it.

  14. Hi Bojan,

    LOL! No banning, this is what blogs and forums are for :D

    You're spot on for the stuff about other industries. Android, being so open and all has it's bad and good points.

    I too make a significant amount of money from ads, and I doubt I would be able to make anywhere close with a price tag attached to my apps.

    Hi susu,

    Ahh, I like the part about not having customer service. :D If someone is not happy with my FREE apps, please move on.

    If on the other hand someone pays us for our apps, we are obligated to work out any issues. Probably thats what caused Mika Mobile to leave Android eh?



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