Second Month on the Android Market

Statistics bar graphThis post is a little late, but I’ll summarise the monthly stats here in order to present the full picture. My second month (9th May – 8th June) has been pretty straightforward, with Tap That! Number seeing regular growth in much the same pattern as the first month. I’ve now diversified a bit, releasing two new apps which has helped bump up the advertising revenue. Work and study commitments prevented me from spending a lot of time in actual development, but I did manage to push a major update to Tap That! Number – a new “memory mode” with hidden tiles. Read on for the full details from this month’s development, and a look at how the Flurry tracking service compares to Google Analytics.

Android Market Downloads

At the start of this month, I had one app published on the Android Market, and my total active installs had just passed 400. Over the course of the month, I released three feature updates & one bug fix for Tap That! Number. I also published an Android client for this blog (powered by the feed.nu service), and a Simple Quotes app (to be used in an upcoming tutorial). For this report I’ll focus on Tap That! Number, because I can’t add any tracking codes to the blog client. Simple Quotes is still very much experimental, and was released partly to gauge the popularity of other sections in the Market. The cumulative stats for all three apps are included in my final summary.

So, for Tap That! Number – as you can see from the screenshot below, there was a definite increase in active installs after every update. However, between updates the number of users actually dropped slightly over time.

Android Developer Console

I’m a bit disappointed by the dropping numbers when there’s no update. It’s only a very slight decrease, but I would have expected an upwards trend, at least from random searches in the Market. According to Google Analytics, over 70% of games are played by returning users. This seems to indicate people are coming back and playing some time after the initial install. Next month I might have to focus more on generating some publicity outside of the Android Market, to see if I can reverse this trend.

Google Analytics for Android Screenshot
Google Analytics stats for Tap That! Number

By the end of the month, Tap That! Number had reached 906 active installs, and 2,500 games played per week – about double the figures from last month.

Flurry Analytics

Last month I promised to take a look at Flurry, which is a mobile analytics service similar to Google Analytics.  However, Flurry offers a more detailed look at the Android-specific aspects – handset version, screen resolution, app deployment version, and more.

The screenshot below shows my Flurry dashboard for Tap That! Number.

Flurry Analytics

In the code for my Android app, I’ve placed the Flurry tracking code in exactly the same place as Google Analytics. So theoretically, both tracking solutions should report the same basic numbers. As you can see from the graph, the overall shape of the graph is very similar. However, Google Analytics counts nearly 700 more visits than Flurry’s equivalent “Sessions”. That’s a difference of close to 20%.

There’s also a big difference between the “Average Time on Site” (15 minutes) for Google Analytics, and “Median Session Length” (1.6 minutes) for Flurry. Now, I’ll admit that “average” and “median” are two fairly different concepts. But these two figures give entirely different impressions of user engagement – 15 minutes sounds great, whereas 1.6 minutes indicates something needs a lot of work – visitors are not staying around for very long. On the whole, Flurry seems to offer a more conservative overview, whereas Google Analytics will show significantly higher figures on the Dashboard.

Once you drill down to the specific clicks however, both services tell much the same story. Google Analytics reports 12,809 games finished, while Flurry reports 11,752. That’s less than 10% difference, which is much more acceptable.

Flurry Event Screenshot
Flurry stats showing key events from each game

But Flurry has another trick up it’s sleeve – something that Google Analytics hasn’t yet implemented in any coherent manner. Take a look at the Flurry technical report for Tap That! Number:

Flurry Analytics Screenshot

There’s a wealth of information available about the actual devices – firmware version, device model, and even whether Wi-Fi is enabled or not. These kind of details can be really useful for a developer. For example, I’ve discovered that about 3% of my monthly users are running Android 1.6. That’s 100 games played per month on the oldest supported Android version. In contrast, over 90% of users are running Android 2.1 or later.

Some of this information is also available from the Android Developer Console. But the best thing about Flurry is that you can drill down and view information from specific Android versions. So if you click on “Android 1.6”, you’ll be able to see graphs and information relating to users with that version of Android. This lets you see the number of errors generated, median session length, and more. Combining metrics like this makes any analytics tool much more powerful, and this is where Flurry’s additional Android-specific data really shines.

I’ll leave the final verdict until I’ve used both tools for a bit longer. But my first impression – Flurry is worth checking out, especially if you want to understand the capabilities of your target devices.

AdMob Earnings

Finally, the financial side of things. AdMob stats. Last month my earnings totalled $3.88. This month: $8.56. That’s an increase of over 100%, or basically double what I earned last month. Still not an amazing figure in itself (how many meals could you buy for under $10?), but it’s another step in the right direction.

Predictably, the increased number of impressions means a greatly reduced eCPM and click-through rate. The eCPM of $0.62 is just over half of last month’s $1.13. This month’s figures seem to align better with the industry average.

The fill rate has also improved – Google enabled AdSense integration for my account, so now the AdMob inventory will fail over to the (much larger) AdSense network. An average fill rate of 94% is quite workable.

AdMob Screenshot - Impressions
AdMob report for all my Android apps

 

Summary

This month was pretty much “smooth sailing”, with growth in all the key areas, but no major changes to speak of. I learned a lot, both from app development and also the research involved for this website. Ironically, I think I’ve learned as much about WordPress since starting this blog as I have about Android! 🙂 If people are interested, I might look at writing another post about how this website is going itself.

Next month is already gearing up to be an exciting one, partly due to being featured on Hacker News and Reddit. It will also be the first time I include advertising revenue from this website in my income report. But for now, without further ado, here is the final summary from my second month on the Android Market:

Monthly Development Summary:

  • Total apps: 3 (+200%)
  • Total installs (cumulative): 2251 (+142%)
  • Total installs (active): 1067 (+115%)
  • Total ad impressions: 13,715 (+298%%)
  • Total earnings: $8.56 (+120%)
  • That’s good going! I’ve recently launched an App and might do a report after one month. Still looking for the next big idea…

  • Nice!

  • Congrats David.  Very interesting trend between updates.  Would love to see how this compares with other apps.  Flurry also looks very handy.  While Google do publish some general stats on active device configurations, this app focussed view would be very helpful for directing development, especially if there’s a need in an app to focus on certain performance aspects, versions of OpenGL ES, art quality, etc.  I might have to give it a go 🙂

  • Hi David – I’m really liking your blog.  You write incredibly detailed posts and it’s cool to follow.  Someone just emailed me asking if it was a good idea to develop for Android.  I wasn’t so sure, but after reading a bit more from this post, I’m thinking it might be a really good idea. 

  • Wolfgang Knecht

    Hey David! I like your blog and your game! It’s very interesting since I’m on the same journey as you 🙂 keep it up!

  • KiNg

    Hey David,
    Been following this website from the beginning as I also started a similar project around the same time. The goal was somewhat smaller than yours, our target was to make enough to pay for a carton of beer every 2 weeks. Just wanted to share my stats and then see if you see a similar trend in yours as the months go on. I started with about 5 test apps just to see what showed potential, chose the most popular and did a little bit of work to polish it up. For this app, I also created a paid version, minus the ads and with about 3 times as much content.
     
    May
    AdMob Revenue: $6.67
    Sales Revenue: $3.97
    Total: $10.64

    June
    Admob Revenue: $11.88
    Sales Revenue: $14.96
    Total: $26.84

    July so far (First 8 days)
    Admob Revenue: $6.55
    Sales Revenue: $10.05
    Total so far: $16.60  (projected total for month = $64.33)

    Looking forward to your next monthly update so I can see if you are experiening the same growth figures as I am. Obvisouly I am not expecting my revenue to keep doubling each month forever, but at the moment my trends in downloads and ad impressions are still rising.  

  • Anonymous

    Hey David

    I’ve just found your blog and there is some great information here. I’m starting out on a similar process to yourself.  Its reassuring to know that if I stay focused and work hard I too could earn as much as $8.56. 

  • Hi, congrats to your blog! 😉 I also did something similar over the 1st month of my app, however I’m not using AdMob. But your blog is inspiring me to maybe add Google Analytics or Flurry! See my post here: http://ramdroid.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/app-quarantine-report-1/

  • Charlie Clodhopper

    Fantastic!
    $8.56 in your 2nd month, a huge percent increase!

    I can’t wait to finish my app and rake in that kind of loot myself.
    Of course, i make much more raiding my neighbors trashcans for bottles and getting the redemp money. I made $350 last month! Sweet, huh?

    Now I’m snooping around for a gig on eLance. I already have 3 offers for 1.25/hr!!
    Man, I’m cookin’ now!
    Wish me luck, guys!

    Among all of us here, I bet we can figger out how to make hundreds a month, every single month!
    It’s great to have a group of guys, working together, to achieve such goals!

    Well, keep up the good work, David!
    Next month you’ll likely crack that psychologially important $10 barrier!!
    Then, the sky’s the limit!!

    Ciao, fellas!

    Charlie “Chuckie” Clodhopper
     

    “He who sets his goals low will never be disappointed.”

    -Anon

  • Kimble

    This was actually a very interesting read. I have been writing apps and games for the Nokia Ovi Store for a while now and while it’s just a hobby for me I have still been worried about the amount of money ads have been making me. I was almost about to jump ship to Android thinking it was maybe a land of riches compared to Nokia but you’re making as much in a month for your game as I am in a day.

    I think I’ll stick with Nokia for now, it is sad though that in this great new wild west that you can’t really make a living out of apps unless you’re in the top ten or charging third parties ridiculous sums so they can have an app store presence (think media companies like News limited)

  • Info

    Great blog.
    The drops after the peak is not that strange. An update causes lot’s of exposure and gives the peak, now after the peak the exposure is less and the number of new users is lower than the once that remove. Because you had a quick peak in new users the number of users that remove is higher than the normal amount of new users. So the downwards trend is an after match of the peak. If you would wait it will level out and you will see an upwards trend.

    Hope that makes sense.

  • Martin van Z

    For some reason the blog states my name as info. Its martin 🙂

  • Jason

    That $8.56 would have been over $150 if you would have used Airpush.com thier ECPM is guaranteed over $10 and I get about $13.66 on average per 1000 impressions.

  • Fantastic and you have shared some useful points here, Really great post for me.

  • hi,i have learning for lot of information..hadoop training in chennai

  • Jenilia Mohan

    well explained about how to make profit using android analytic s. good thoughtful information you were shared with us . and its more useful for every business persons.
    keep on update.

  • UMA MAHESWARI

    • Great! Thanks for sharing the information.
    software training institute

  • UMA MAHESWARI

    It is Very nice info…………
    oracle training institute