Please Help Me Figure Out My AdMob Discrepancy

Okay fellow developers: so I have two apps which aim to deliver slow motion video playback to users. The first version I created more than a year ago. I decided to remake it and that’s how I have a second one with the same purpose. Both utilize a banner, an interstitial ad on start up, and an interstitial ad when the back button is pressed. The problem is that the eCPM for the second version is almost always nearly HALF of the eCPM found in my first app. I thought maybe some of you guys would be able to help me fix this problem and help me earn more on the second, better developed app. So here are the two apps and their respective statistics. Please feel free to give me constructive criticism to help improve the eCPM on the second version of my app.

- Slow Motion Video
Please note that when you look at this app a dialog now appears prompting users to upgrade to the second version. However, if you click upgrade and then restart the app the dialog won’t appear and the normal ads will appear. The stats below are from before this dialog was implemented.

  • Daily Banner Impressions: ~12000
  • Average Banner eCPM: $0.54, CTR 0.95%
  • Daily Interstitial Impressions on app start up: ~8000
  • Average eCpm for these start up ads: $4.92, CTR ~4.75%
  • Daily Interstitial Impressions on back button pressed: ~4000
  • Averate eCpm for these ads on back button pressed: $1.50, CTR 1.83%

- Slow Motion Video 2.0

  • Daily Banner Impressions: ~20000
  • Average Banner eCPM: $0.24, CTR 0.44%
  • Daily Interstitial Impressions on app start up: ~12000
  • Average eCpm for these start up ads: $2.90, CTR ~2.71%
  • Daily Interstitial Impressions on back button pressed: ~5000
  • Averate eCpm for these ads on back button pressed: $0.70, CTR 0.76%

I am just so confused as to how these eCPMS can vary so greatly. If anyone has any advice for me I would greatly appreciate any comments you might have.

Are you users coming from the same geos between each app?

Yes the geographic location of the users is very similar in both apps.

The CTR rate is much lower in the new app. Not sure how that helps you improve things but I think explains the lower ecpm.

and so are the values infact…the 2.0 app has roughly half the CTR in all its ads (for whatever reason who knows) and, thus, its eCPM is roughly half too…

eCPM depends on CTR, the less the clicks, the lower it will be overall since it is just an extimate of how much you will gain with that current CTR…so, basically if a single click is worth 0.01$, 1000 impression with a 1% CTR will have a eCPM of 0.1$ (10 clicks) while the same 1000 impression with a CTR of 2% will have a eCPM of 0.2$ (since they equal to 20 clicks).

To remain on your apps:

Version1: Average Banner eCPM: $0.54, CTR 0.95%
Version2.0: Average Banner eCPM: $0.24, CTR 0.44% <— less than half the CTR → less than half the eCPM

Yeah I understand the ecpm is very dependent on the CTR. I was hoping you guys could help explain to me how the click through rates could be so different since my users are from very similar countries and I’m using the same ad network.

Like the start up interstitial ads: how is it that the click through rate in my second app is so much lower than the click through rate of the same type of ads in the first version of my app?

From my experience I can say that more impressions you get the lower eCPM/CTR you will get, because CTR rates doesn’t always grow proportionally to impression growth. I have apps which generates few thousands impressions a day an there is much higher eCPM than on apps with hundred thousand impressions a day. It’s simple mathematics.

For example you generate 1k impressions and got 10 clicks so that results in 1% CTR and now you generate 10k impressions and got 70 clicks (remember that clicks doesn’t grow proportionally, because you never know if your new users are willing to click on ads) which results in 0,7% CTR so your eCPM also will go down.

Talking about click through rate differences I can say that it’s mostly mystery science. Maybe new app is used by users who are more less willing to click on ads, maybe they get ads which aren’t interesting for them, maybe ad isn’t placed on best spot, who knows. There are so many possible variations…

Your version 2(low ecpm) has high(or some) % of users who actually came from version 1 through upgrade button. These users are ones interested in your app and less likely to click the ads. First time users are more likely to click the ads. So % of absolutely new users (not the one came from upgrade from version 1) is less in version 2 so that explains lower CTR and hence low ecpm.

I am experiencing the same problem as you are with 3 of my games. Even though the games are very similar, using the same positions and timers for the ads, the CTR and eCPM are quite different.

If you release version 3 of your game you will probably get different results compared to the first 2.

I don’t really understand either what is going on but my guess is that it has to do with luck.

I’ll throw another idea:

Have you seen very similar apps on Google Play ranked different in the top charts? I’ve seen some (including my own) that perform very different. I’ve always wondered why that happens and I came up with a “strange” idea: what if all the apps (when released) get assigned a value, an indicator? That indicator tells the google algorithm how much to improve the visibility of an app on Google Play, resulting in more or less downloads for an app. That indicator may be randomly assigned to each app but might also be based on some factors like developer status, country, number of previous downloads on other apps, etc.

Let’s say the indicator ranges from 1 to 100. So an app that gets an indicator of 10 when released will perform worse than another one with an indicator of 80.

Perhaps what I am saying is total bull but if I were google I would implement something like that because it would allow me to change the course of different apps just by modifying that indicator when needed.

I believe the same thing can happen with ad networks and the CTR and eCPM values are dependent to an indicator that gets assigned from the beginning.

Sounds SF?

Is your 1st App uses old Admob SDK ?
and the 2nd uses the newer?

No both are using the new AdMob.

I’ve done some digging since my original post, and it seems that my click through rate in the second version of my app can be explained.

In my first app I force the user to click a button in order to choose a video from his or her gallery. However, in my second app, the gallery videos are directly listed out on the main screen. I realized that the flow of my first app was probably slowed down since the user would have to click this button first. On the contrary, users of my second app were probably firing up the app and then choosing a video before the ad could be displayed. So they’d get using the app and were probably less interested in the ads at that point.

My solution to the problem was simple. I just added a 3 second splash screen to show the app loading. This way the ad has time to load and the user will be more likely to click on it since they won’t already have their focus on using my app for its intended purpose. Since implementing this solution I’ve seen my click through rates increase to levels found in my first app.

I hope this helps fellow developers looking to maybe boost revenue generated from start up interstitials. Clearly using a splash screen is crucially important in some instances.