Making Money with Android

Help with the math

I have a few game apps (casual games) on GooglePlay and have been trying to market them for several months. My apps are free, I’m trying to monetize them using in-game ads (starting experimenting with interstitials now). I tried some free promotion methods, requesting app reviews, posting on forums, publishing on Facebook, posting on alternative appstores, etc. , but the apps didn’t get much traction, so started promoting them with AdMob. So here’s the math:

  • per-user revenue is 1.5c to 2.6c, depending on the app (I’m extrapolating per-user revenue by dividing total revenue by number of total installs)
  • I need to spend 20c to 40c to get an app install

So all in all I’m losing 18c to 38c on every install. Once I stop promoting the installs go to single digits per day, and then completely disappear in a few weeks. I’ve lost 3K this way already, and trying to determine if there is a viable marketing strategy that I can craft to become profitable. I can purchase reviews, purchase installs from AppBrain/AppFlood which will presumably get more per-user revenue (better user targeting). But the numbers just don’t add up. Am I missing something?..

I have got my 2 apps in top new apps category twice, i didnt do any marketing / promo ,but from my guess, you need 5000-10000 dls to reach top new and around 3000/day to reach top trending . So you’ve got to target that number of installs.

I did no promotion/marketing/fb/g+, nothing, woke up one fine day and saw it in top list for a month! :slight_smile:

From my experience promoting an app that you monetize through ads doesn’t work. You need to get some in app purchases going and then figure out your retention to maximize LTV.

Hope that helps

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If your revenue per user is only $0,015-$0,026 you won’t ever come out ROI positive with your current advertising attempts.

So the first step you have to make is implementing a working business model for your app and drastically increase your revenue per organic install (hard to suggest any precise amount here, but $0,1 per organic install would be great).

After that, there’s basically 2 goals you might reach for:
1.) Improve your app’s revenue by getting engaged users through ads and come out ROI positive
2.) Improve your app’s category ranking and keyword ranking through buying traffic and come out ROI positive with the additional organic traffic you get in return

The first method only works for high quality niche apps with a target audience who is willing to spend money on your product (IAP for example). You’ll need a revenue of about $0.5+ from each user install you get through your advertisements to stay ROI positive and your app doesn’t look like it’s suited for this kind of business model.
It of course also works if you want to build a brand and have a huge budget to actually afford more than 10k installs per day but that’s reserved for the big publishers on Google Play.

The second method involves cheap traffic with limited user engagement (for example incentivized traffic) and is harder to calculate than the first option, as many more factors are involved and your ROI is coming from the additional organic installs you have to measure or estimate beforehand.

Also, it would be important to know if your current revenue is per install (Google Play Dashboard) or per engaged / returning user of your app.
The latter would be pretty bad, while the first one could be plausible for a casual game for example, where you already have a lot of daily organic installs with a high user fluctuation.

A conclusion might be that advertising is always a bet on long-tail ROI with many factors involved who require fine-tuning before you can actually reach your goals.

Regards,