Airpush vs Banner+Interstitial - 30 day analysis

I have now completed my 30 day of data gathering from Airpush!

YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE DATA FOR APP 1 HAS CHANGED. As I evaluated the data I forgot to take into account the drop in ECPMs across the industry, and so the original app1 (with banners and interstitials) cannot be effectively compared to app2 (with Airpush) as they are from very different dates (almost 1 year apart). I have a relatively new app to replace app1 which still uses Banner Ads (Admob 80%, AppBrain 20%) and AppBrain’s Interstitial AppWall (called upon app1’s exit).

To re-cap:
I released my first app with Airpush just over 30 days ago and wanted to see if there was/how much benefit over using traditional banners and interstitials.

Before scrolling down to the data please read the following:
This data is effective as a rough comparison between said ad types only, since each app has different user types, user retention, geographical traffic and so forth.
I compare two apps from the “Music and Audio” category on the Play Store (no to other markets), one using Banner Ads (Admob 80%, 20% AppBrain, 45 sec refresh) and AppBrain’s Interstitial AppWall (called upon app1’s exit), the other using Airpush’s Push Ads, Icon ads and SmartWall (2-3 Push Ads per day, 5 Icons per month, SmartWall upon app exit). Both apps have similar download figures in their first 30 days on the Play Store, with similar user retention rates (about 50%) and are downloaded in similar countries (U.S, U.K, E.U, Asia being main ones).

I am not linking to apps as competition is enough as it is (I’m sure you all know what I mean!). I compare the EPU (Earnings Per User) between the two apps as [Daily earnings / Daily downloads]. Obviously I am earning revenue from my active users on each app too, but it is much harder to calculate that given the data Ad Networks provide. If I calculated it using the total active installs for a given day, I would be including many users that did not contribute to the revenue earning for that day, which would produce a graph where the data would decrease.

Here is the Graph:

Here is the Data:

[i]As you can clearly see here, the EPU for app2 is between 3x-8x higher than app1. I have been quite aggressive with the ad’s unit’s frequencies, so even a less aggressive approach (maybe 1 push a day, 3 icons per month, SmartWall upon Exit) would still produce good results!
The EPU actually rises with Airpush too, meaning that the user base for app1 is being monetised effectively, whereas app2’s user base is not being monetised effectively. I don’t monitor user engagement for the apps, so it is possible that there is more engagement with app2 than app1, although I don’t believe it is responsible for the amount of difference you can see here.

I am very pleased with the results I’ve had from Airpush and am pleased with a solid $3.36 ECPM.
I have used Admob and AppBrain for a long time. Banner Ads ECPM’s used to be competitive, but I’m seeing an average ECPM of $0.4 with Admob this year, and just $0.1 with AppBrain’s banners. AppBrain’s Interstitial’s aren’t measureable unfortunately, although they seem to be doing OK.

Please let me know if you have any queries or if you think there is a mistake in the data.[/i]

But how did the Airpush affect number of users? What use is high EPU if you lose users when they treat your app as virus?

App1 Total Installs after 30 days: 23,190
App1 User Base after 30 days: 13,280
App1 Retention Rate: 57%

App2 Total Installs after 30 days: 12,337
App2 User Base after 30 days: 5,100
App2 Retention Rate: 41%

App1 is more useful to the user than App2, which may be responsible for some of the difference in User Retention. Obviously you do lose some users depending on the type of ad units, which is probably part of the reason here too.

In terms of users treating the app as a virus, I have had only 4 users leaving a 1 star review saying something about a virus (3 of them saying Dr Web told them!). There are two other 1 star reviews, but no comments.
Here are the current ratings:

Only some anti-virus apps target Airpush. The same can be said for Sendroid and Start-App. With that said, there are more than 30 anti-virus apps.

Since users can easily opt-out, these virus comments are the only real downside to out of app ads.

If you have a great app you will get plenty of good ratings, which will help outweigh these spammy reviews.

Very informative report. Thanks for Sharing - interesting to see drastic jump for EPU for Airpush and your app still having a very positive app rating. Perhaps will try out Airpush again.

airpush has good ROI but the risk of getting low rating and bad comments is also there. we gotta tell users that these are ads not virus.

Obviously if you set your push and icon to max frequency you will get crappy ratings. So when I used airpush i set my frequency for push and icon low to let my app gain traction and users, then increased frequency. You could also just use their smartwall if you are afraid of the aggressive ad units.

As for the Dr Web flagging the SDK as a virus I edited my app description to let my users know that there is NO Virus/Malware in this app and that Dr. Web flags practically every SDK as virus. I want to say this helped.

Any updates?

This is obviously a very old thread. Our Bundle 1 and Standard SDK versions available on the dashboard now are the latest and Google Compliant. We no longer offer push or icon ads for Gplay.
Our latest Standard SDK does not get flagged by 99% of the anti virus apps out there.

Airpush Nick