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  1. #1
    Junior Member knarfin's Avatar
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    Income Report - High CTR, Low $

    Hey all - this forum was incredibly helpful when figuring out how to monetize my app, so I thought I'd share my experience as well.

    My app (Song Key Finder) was released 3 weeks ago. My goal is to get it to a point where I can make back my hours in income, though I'm piddling along at the moment.

    The app works by recording a sound sample with the device's mic and returning the key that sample was in. The audio analysis occurs after it's recorded, so there's essentially dead time for the user. I used this time to play a video ad (rather than go with an app pre-roll) because it's less invasive and had potential for multiple impressions per app use. I also have a banner ad at the bottom.

    Distribution after 30 days
    SlideME: 990 dls (free)
    Lots of initial dls (seem to be a lot higher for games, almost zero for paid apps). Not sure if updates are pushed to these users or not. Also, users may not be in countries where networks like AdColony are serving ads.

    Google Play: 320 dls (free), 3 dls (paid)
    Analytics are good, and potential for Play Store cross-promotion is good. Getting 40-50% active install rate.

    Analytics
    Playtomic
    I used Playtomic for analytics because it was free, but it had a few minor issues with location reporting, and it took me a while to dial in how the analytics work. It has been a useful troubleshooting tool, though, to track ad network behavior and fill rates. I'm getting a 1.5-min average app session length.

    Video Ads
    I'm getting about 0.5 video ad impressions per app open. So, less impressions that a pre-roll, but I hope the increased engagement will add to the lifetime value of a user.

    AdColony
    I love this network ($5-10 CPM, pay-by-impression, and fantastic support), but the videos are getting played only 5-10% of the time. I'm not sure if this is a fill rate issue or if my SlideME downloads are in territories their advertisers aren't buying. It could also be a bug on my end, which I'm dreading, but I'll keep feeling it out.

    Vungle
    Vungle is my fallback, and it's played videos almost every time AdColony can't. The first couple days saw a $5-10 CPM, but it has since dropped to $0, pulling the average down to less than $1. It's CPI, so my only guess is that my users aren't that interested in installing games, or possibly they'd rather get their key finder results than leave the app and install another one.

    Banner Ads
    Revmob
    I use Revmob interstitials as a video ad fallback, but they're rarely called. I use the adlink ad type in a row with "Rate" and "Upgrade" buttons just above the banner ads. Currently this button gets a 5-10% CTR (per app open, essentially a 90-sec refresh). Before I added Mobclix, this button occupied the entire banner ad slot and got 25% CTR. Despite this high CTR, I only have one Revmob install so far, with about 30% of the CPI as Vungle installs and a current CPM of $0.67 (though that's counting adlink clicks as a single impression with a 100% CTR, so actual CPM is much lower, more around $0.03-0.06). This is a far cry from what I've heard from other developers, so it may be that my audience just doesn't care about installing free games.

    Mobclix
    I use a banner ad at the bottom of the app. I started with a 15-sec refresh, but after seeing low CPMs (~$0.07), I changed to 30-sec, which doubled my CTR, which is now at an unbelievable 9%. Impressions are still very low (3000/mo at 30-sec refresh), so my CPM is unchanged. Although changing the refresh effectively halved my income, I'm only dealing with pennies here, so I hope the CTR will encourage advertisers to buy space if my impressions rise (I think that's how it works??).

    Conclusion
    This has been incredibly hard. 1/3 DAUs click a banner and 1/2 see a video ad. Still, in 30 days, with 1300 current installs:

    Adcolony: $0.70 ($7 CPM video)
    Mobclix: $0.15 ($0.07 CPM banner)
    Vungle: $0.75 (<$1 CPM video)
    Revmob: $0.15 ($0.05 CPM button/interstitial)
    Free version total: $1.75 (45% active, 3% "+1'd" it)
    Paid version total: $10.50 (0.9% adoption vs. free)

    So either most people hate the app and click on an ad to leave it (which reduces a user's lifetime value significantly), or my users don't want to install the games being advertised on the CPI networks (Revmob, Vungle). I'm pretty sure the low Mobclix CPM is due to my low monthly impressions. I'll keep you all updated next month!


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  3. #2
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    RE: Income Report - High CTR, Low $

    High CTR might mean that you are always showing the same ad.

  4. #3
    Junior Member knarfin's Avatar
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    RE: Income Report - High CTR, Low $

    How does that work? I probably am. Most of the Mobclix clicks come from a single network, and the Revmob ad unit is a static button. I would think that would lower CTR though? Unless I'm getting very few repeat users and most views are from new downloads.

  5. #4
    Junior Member knarfin's Avatar
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    A bit of an update, 2 weeks later:

    Part of the high CTR was due to a bug in some devices that placed the ad over a "Return to Menu" button. Not good at all. I removed the banners, since mobclix was only getting me $0.10 CPM anyway. I replaced that banner space with a larger Revmob adlink. I hope to see the Revmob CTR to increase 8-10x as my Mobclix clicks convert to Revmob clicks (which could result in a $6.90 eCPM for December). We'll see! Adcolony's fill rate has also improved over the last couple of weeks.

    Usage Analytics
    Only 1.25 views per download; hoping solving the banner bug and more time elapsing will increase this. Monetizing at $2 per 1000 app views. That works out to a quarter of a cent per download.

    November Income
    Adcolony: $1.44 ($6.84 CPM video views, 25% fill) - pays by video view
    Revmob: $1.27 ($0.65 CPI / $0.01 CPC / $0.69 CPM button ad link, 100% fill) - pays by install only; numbers are interpolated. CPM based on 90-sec impressions.
    Mobclix: $0.40 ($0.10 CPM banner ads, ~100% fill) - pays by impression mostly
    Vungle: $0.74 ($1.40 CPM video views, 100% fill) - pays by install
    Total Free: $3.85
    Total Paid: $14.00

    Total Installs
    SlideME: 1130
    Google Play: 630
    Amazon: 30
    Appia: 5
    Total: 1795
    Last edited by knarfin; 2012-11-29 at 10:48 AM.

  6. #5
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    I found a few pieces of info interesting in your reports:

    - one that SlideMe is giving you MORE downloads than Google Play - I've been ignoring SlideMe on the reports by folks that the markets generally remain minor compared to Google Play (though exceptions have been reported).

    - second that for 1300 downloads you are getting $10.50 vs. $1.75 from ads - while better than ads that is about a 1% conversion rate (assuming you are charging $1 average in-app purchase).
    Last edited by adforandroidapps; 2012-12-02 at 05:27 PM.

  7. #6
    Junior Member knarfin's Avatar
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    Couple of caveats to those results: the paid version was selling for 4.99, so there were only 3 downloads (10.50 after Google's cut). That worked out to 3% of free installs at the time, but these were Play store links in the free app, not actual IAP to unlock. I'd be really interested to see if implementing it that way increased paid sales.

    Also, SlideMe's downloads are HEAVILY weighted toward the first day and week of release. Paid apps seem to get almost 0 downloads on SlideMe. Also, video ad networks like AdColony don't serve as much to those users, since a lot are outside the US, and I believe networks like revmob won't work nearly as well, since they're linked to the Google Play store and most of the SlideMe users don't have Google Play preinstalled. IAP might work, or networks like Mobclix/Admob.
    Last edited by knarfin; 2012-12-03 at 12:37 AM.

  8. #7
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    SlideMe is a great alternative out there for free apps. After 6 months or so, not a single purchased app though. The key I think is comparing competition. On Google you might have 10 competitors, Amazon 7, but on SlideMe 1 or 0. Your app will do better on SlideMe for at least the first couple months. This brings me to another point, SlideMe users seem eager to download something that first month or two and then it dies off after that.

  9. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Well probably the statistics would make more sense once the downloads reach in 1000s.

    How was your experience with video ads ? I know that they reputedly have low fill rate (perhaps doing mediation over a couple of video networks would help).

    From what I tested, I found the video players take some time to appear - and whether the video ad is cached ahead of time may vary between the video ad networks ..

    What's the payment like for video ads - is it per impression ? And what's your understanding of the partial viewing/payment situation.

    Some of the video ads may allow immediate close (does one get paid for that impression ?) - while some are stuck for half the time (essentially forcing the user - does one get paid for half the viewing time ?).

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestChi View Post
    SlideMe is a great alternative out there for free apps. After 6 months or so, not a single purchased app though. The key I think is comparing competition. On Google you might have 10 competitors, Amazon 7, but on SlideMe 1 or 0. Your app will do better on SlideMe for at least the first couple months. This brings me to another point, SlideMe users seem eager to download something that first month or two and then it dies off after that.
    Perhaps related to how SlideMe presents apps - i.e. new apps being highlighted or something - which would explain that behavior.

    Google Play has a very obvious 1 month "concession" behavior - where your app gets taken up in the rankings (perhaps to see where it will "stick") and then by end of month the app falls in rankings.

    If the app is good (or fits some search criteria i.e. matches what people are looking for) it will eventually then start to climb back up in the rankings slightly.

  11. #10
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    SlideMe has a "new" section. Also when you update your app it's probably shown it a special section (I always get more downloads after updating). And it's not only bots downloading like some said - because better games always get more downloads than worse ones.

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