Making a Killing with Wallpapers after Google Policy Changes - is it even possible?

Hi All,

I got into wallpaper development this year, and until recently was making a nice $50-70 per day with 11 wallpapers via LeadBolt.
That revenue fell like a rock after the latest ad policy updates.

Now, I know I’m not the only one dreaming about that Pagani Zonda (admit it, you already want to race me in the Murcielago you plan to own (I’ll smoke you! Don’t even try it :cool:)), but it’s hard to keep dreaming about it when my current wallpaper ad revenue cannot even cover the cost of a decent mojito (heck, I’d be lucky if it covers the cost of a herbal tea at Starbucks!).

So I ask you monetizing gurus: How are you monetizing your wallpapers in these hard times?

Thanks oh wise-ones. For good help I promise to buy fluffy dice for your Lambo :wink:

I’m not monetizing wallpapers at the moment. But here are a few possibilities that seem promising to me:

1.) In-App-Payments (sell extra wallpapers or features; use push notifications to prompt people to upgrade)
2.) Email capture (give away extra features if the user provides an email address; can be used for lead generation & affiliate marketing)
3.) Paid Apps (sell your wallpapers)

It’s certainly got a lot harder now. I think people need to be more creative with monetization, and get out of the “display ad” mindset. There’s only so much you can do with a banner/interstitial combo. On the web we have text link ads, sponsored blog posts, newsletter subscriptions, paywalls, content lockers and more… these are all different monetization methods. The Android advertising industry needs to mature a lot in this regard. The goal is to make something useful, which engages the user and turns that engagement into money for the developer. I don’t believe display ads are the only way (or even sometimes the best way) to achieve this.

One other way I see to monetize wallpaper apps is by releasing new wallpapers (say every week).

And then create 3 plans Free, Silver and Gold. Free plan won’t get HD wallpapers. Silver will get updates for 6 months and Gold will get updates for 1 year. At the end of expiry of a plan, ask the user to renew membership with some discount based on him/her posting on facebook, sending invitations to friends via email or redeem tapjoy/getjar coins.
The free plan will have to purchase extra packs/coins for unlocking new wallpapers.

The above is for professional wallpaper companies/developers. If you are a “Galaxy S3 wallpapers” app guy then options are very less and david has covered everything for such developers.

@david, that’s the thing, after stumbling onto easy revenue, I, no doubt along with many others, am resistant to change. I found something “pure”: insert an ad = get paid.
I liked how:

  • selling email lists, or selling to them
  • looking for sponsors,
  • creating membership plans,
  • making apps to flip them
  • forcing action to download / activate, (like a survey)
    All that is (was?) unnecessary, and it still is unnecessary for regular apps, why then not wallpapers?

I’m likely one of many that don’t want to change their entire revenue model, but instead want to find an ad network that’s gonna act like a rescue vessel to all us that have capsized. Ie provide us all with a new SDK to use. So now I’m really just looking for a good network to switch to that works under these new conditions for LWP designers.

This shouldn’t take away from your recommendations @david, and yours too @javaexp, because what you both propose is extremely good food-for-thought for anyone that wants to be in this game long-term. I however have different motives. I have a bunch of wallpapers that are fairly simple that I want to monetize with minimum effort, and no change to model (just change to the SDK).

StartApp? Mobario? Widdit? one of the other 100?

I’m thinking about 1 thing: how would you earn on e-mails list? Where to sell it? Sending e-mail by yourself with ad about your app (of course with professional company, whose e-mails won’t go to SPAM) is too expensive I think.

as you know developers from most countries in the world can not sell in GP

I believe most of our fellow indie developers here are thinking along the same line as what has been in your mind. Since I am also struggling to bring my ad revenues back to the level before Google Policy Changes,

being among early adopters of a couple of newer ad networks giving me some advantages to survive during these hard times. Having first hand & direct access to their key personnels and in some circumstances involved directly or indirectly in their

biz.model future directions indeed broaden my horizon to establish long term biz. relationship with those ad networks instead of merely based on a conventional one-off developer-ad network relationship.

So do you suggest the 2 networks that are currently in your signature @wnash: TapContext and MobileCore?
Or are those just the only 2 that happen to have a solid affiliate program, and there are in fact other you suggest?

I’m afraid that I cannot suggest you either ad networks since the nature of my apps is totally different from your apps. Lets explore yourself and do ‘some soul searching’ for your maximum benefits.

Being an indie developer and starting from scratch with very little knowledge on Android programming, to be featured as one of TapContexts’ featured developers is indeed a big

achievement for me as a small tiny developer.

What I’m trying to convey here is my strategy to establish more than developer-ad network relationship starts to bear fruit. You can explore thisthread to see how I started developing a good ‘karma’ with them.

@potr: AppBucks is releasing a new SDK with a function to initialize their SDK in your Live Wallpaper. Take a look at this exciting feature !

My personal view on AppBucks:

The fact that they never fail to pay me for the last 4 months & they are among the early ad networks I adopted to supplement my app earnings, make me believe that AppBucks is a trusted ad network & worth integrating with.

@WNASH thank you!
I have contacted an AppBucks rep, so let’s see what he has to say.
The feedback from @Zbych and @ca123 over here where they were discussing the beta SDK
makes the earnings seem minuscule…

AppBucks is relatively a newcomer in a mobile ad biz. but with a solid backup from its parent company - Adknowledge. With only 0.02% apps using their SDK, they are going all out to lure new developers to joint their network.

Grab this opportunity to start developing a good KARMA with them !..& don’t forget to buy fluffy dice for my Lambo :o

@WNASH - thanks for the shout out!

We have a couple of ad units that wallpaper developers may be interested in, but it really all depends on the work flow of your particular app. Most often live wallpapers have some sort of configuration app that the user engages with one time and then experiences low subsequent engagement. During that time, it may be of interest to use an interstitial either before or after the user is inside this configuration app. Our interstitial ad unit is very simple to use - only 1 line of code required. You might also want to use a non-intrusive 320x50 banner either at the top or bottom of your configuration action. This is also easy to implement with 2 lines of code. Finally, we have an optional out of app ad unit that we call Sliders that may be of interest, as well. It’s a bit more aggressive, but takes great pains to remain compliant with Google’s new content policies. The fact is that we try to give you the tools to make as much money as possible. We leave it to you to integrate in the best way that makes sense for your app, but often times we can provide best practices. We can pay weekly or monthly and are backed by a company with a global presence.

I encourage you to visit us at AppBucks - Android app monetization, sign up, and get connected with a personal account manager. If you need any help at all feel free to reply here or hit me up on skype at apshoemaker.

Thanks again! - Happy early Thanksgiving for those that celebrate :slight_smile:

Keep using push on other marketplaces… if you want PM me and if your cool (not a fake ad networks trying to pose as a real person) I will give it to you.

@WNASH have you ever thought of Airpush? I’m using them now and really like them.

Actually, I had used them before and indeed AirPush had given me a fairly good revenue. However, what makes me shy away from continuing to use them is that their SDK is being flagged as a virus by a couple of anti virus programs.