Android Income Report #8 (November 2011)

Euro CashOverview

In my October report, I described how this one simple app turned into an overnight success. Fake iPhone 4S brought in over $700 in October alone, helping to bring my total earnings for that month over the nominal target of $1000.

In November, these already fantastic results improved in every way. Total Active Installs went from ~140,000 at the end of October to over 400,000 by mid-November. By the end of November, I’d reached about 1.2 million total installs. This boost in downloads seemed to be mostly self-propagating. By reaching the top Trending charts for the Android Market, it was noticed by a lot of people, which in turn helped keep it in the top charts.

It still amazes me that an app which I created as a casual idea in my free time would reach this level of popularity. There’s no way I would have predicted this number of people could be interested in downloading a Fake iPhone. But I tried it – and apparently a lot of people do want this kind of app.

Anyway, this torrent of new users brought a proportional increase in revenue. In fact, during November I brought in an average of over $200 per day! This was an incredibly exciting month for me – and busy too, as I released a number of updates.

Advertising Networks

Throughout the month I added a lot of new advertising networks. Since I was getting a heap of ad impressions, I thought it was an ideal time to try out a few other networks I’d heard of, and see how they compare in terms of eCPM and overall revenue.

Here’s a chart showing the overall distribution of revenue between all the networks I used this month:

Android Income Report Chart

Income Distribution for November 2011

A few of these networks are worth mentioning in detail, which I’ve done below.

Tapjoy

Tapjoy Logo

Impressions: 300K | CTR: 18% | eCPM: $6.33 | Revenue: $1,893.27

Fake iPhone 4S Screenshot

Tapjoy Offers in Fake iPhone 4S

My biggest success here was with Tapjoy. I decided to add a little “gamification” to Fake iPhone 4S, and see if this would help improve revenues. I’m very pleased with the results (see The Numbers section below for details).

All I did was add an extra “screen” (to the far right, when users scroll through the app), which shows how many “Karma points” the user has earned. Of course, it starts at zero, and the way to earn points is by completing Tapjoy offers. Most of these offers are free, so there’s very little friction involved.

For this particular app though, there were no extra features or levels to unlock. Normally Tapjoy points would be used in a game, or to unlock new features in an app. In this case, I integrated this points system purely as a method of supporting the developer (me!), with no other reward for the user per se.

I did add a little “incentive” to earn points though – by giving the user a title. As an individual earns more points, they progress through the roles such as “Red Dwarf”, “White Dwarf”, and “Karma Wizard”. It’s a pretty simple concept, but gives a little bit of a reward for completing offers. Which is always a good thing :)

LeadBolt

LeadBolt Logo

Impressions: 6.3M | CTR: 2.36% | eCPM: $0.13 | Revenue: $835.48

LeadBolt brought in good results – not stellar, but stable & reliable. The eCPM was certainly not impressive. The main aspect which brought made LeadBolt so effective was the high fill rate. Other advertising networks often struggled with inventory, whereas LeadBolt was one of my “safe” networks, which would regularly return decent adverts.

Ironically LeadBolt don’t actually show me the fill rate on their reporting interface. But since my app switches between the different ad networks randomly, I can make a guess of the fill rate based on the number of impressions compared with other networks.

If LeadBolt had the eCPM of Inneractive or Madvertise, it would be fantastic. But it seems that their banner adverts (which I was primarily using here) are more of a guaranteed fill, rather than a high-flying revenue driver.

Inner-Active

Inneractive Logo

Impressions: 1.3M | CTR: 6.95% | eCPM: $1.20 | Revenue: $1,649.88

One thing I must say – Inneractive has great developer support (similar to LeadBolt). I’ve had a personal account manager from the start, and she has been very helpful when I had any queries or difficulties. In fact, I’ve even had reps from Inneractive drop by on this blog, offering help to developers looking to get started. They’re definitely a company that values communication, and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting in touch with a real person here.

Having said that, let’s look at the numbers for this month. Fill rate & eCPM were quite good, bringing Inneractive to 3rd place in terms of overall revenue (behind Madvertise). The CTR was really quite high. Coupled with the reasonable fill rate, I chose Inneractive as another one of my “safe” networks, which I’d revert to automatically if another system was struggling to provide inventory.

Madvertise

Madvertise Logo

Impressions: 135K | CTR: 4.71% | eCPM: $17 | Revenue: $2,360

Madvertise is a bit of an interesting case. On the one hand, they offer absolutely stunning eCPMs – especially considering these are banner adverts. But on the other hand, the fill rate is pretty appalling.

As it turns out, Madvertise only fills inventory for a small set of Western European countries. Outside of this area, you’d be lucky to get any adverts at all. As most of my app downloads come from the USA, it would seem Madvertise isn’t a great fit for me.

What I ended up doing, was including Madvertise in my “random rotation” ad mediation code. But if Madvertise failed to provide an ad, I’d blacklist that network for the rest of the user’s session. So if a US-based user opened my app, it would request an Madvertise ad, fail to load, and switch over to use my other networks for any future requests. But for somebody in Europe, the Madvertise code would fill the space, and whitelist Madvertise for the rest of that session. Any future ad requests for that user, would be exclusively directed to Madvertise.

So as you can see, I made a very specific exception here for Madvertise. Without this kind of intelligent switching, I’m sure the fill rate in my reports would have been much lower. But as it turns out, Madvertise managed to bring in more revenue for this month than any of my other advertising networks – over $2000 US-dollars. That’s right – I earned more money from this single network in November, than from all my income sources combined in October! Crazy stuff.

Other Networks

Most of the other ad networks speak for themselves. It’s probably worth mentioning though, AdMob was not included in the Fake iPhone app. Hence revenues aren’t greatly improved this month.

Also worth noting, Airpush is only included in one of my apps, which is actually a demo of Airpush functionality itself. This app has very few users, so is not bringing in any real revenue. I’m not planning to introduce push notification ads into any of my other apps. I simply created this one to try out the SDK :)

The Numbers

Here are detailed figures for all the advertising networks I used in November.

Advertising Networks – Breakdown

AdMob

AdMob Impressions 108,974
AdMob CTR 0.88%
AdMob eCPM $0.34
AdMob Fill Rate 56.69%
AdMob Revenue $36.54

AdSense

AdSense Earnings $168.68

Tapjoy

Tapjoy Offerwall Views 299,252
Tapjoy Clicks 53,815
Tapjoy Conversions 9,180
Tapjoy CTR 18.0%
Tapjoy eCPM $6.33
Tapjoy Revenue $1,893.27

LeadBolt

LeadBolt Impressions 6,397,790
LeadBolt Clicks 151,052
LeadBolt CTR 2.36%
LeadBolt eCPM $0.13
LeadBolt Revenue $835.48
LeadBolt Referral Revenue $0.21

Inneractive

Inneractive Requests 1,682,011
Inneractive Impressions 1,380,207
Inneractive Fill Rate 82.057%
Inneractive Clicks 95,960
Inneractive CTR 6.953%
Inneractive eCPM $1.20
Inneractive Revenue $1,649.88

Madvertise

Madvertise Requests 414,249
Madvertise Impressions 135,731
Madvertise Fill Rate 33%
Madvertise Clicks 6,399
Madvertise CTR 4.71%
Madvertise eCPM 12.95€ (approx. $17 USD)
Madvertise Revenue 1,758.24€ (approx. $2,360 USD)

InMobi

InMobi Requests 57,324
InMobi Impressions 18,235
InMobi Fill Rate 31.81%
InMobi Clicks 1,216
InMobi CTR 6.67%
InMobi eCPM $1.535
InMobi Revenue $27.98

Millennial Media

Millennial Media Requests 199,267
Millennial Media Impressions 81,369
Millennial Media Fill Rate 40.83%
Millennial Media Clicks 554
Millennial Media CTR 0.68%
Millennial Media eCPM $0.49
Millennial Media Revenue $39.53

Airpush

Airpush New Installs 459
Airpush Requests 1,075
Airpush Total Pushes 1,049
Airpush eCPM $7.07
Airpush Revenue $7.41

Totals

Total App Downloads: 1,374,362 (+1,055,158)

Total Ad Impressions: 8,422,607 (+5,758,191)
Total Ad Revenue: $6,855.13 (+5,555.72)
Revenue Per 1,000 Impressions: $0.81 (+0.31)

Android Market Sales: $4.04 (2 sales) (+2.03)

Total AdSense Revenue: $168.68 (+95.17)
Other Website Advertising: $90.85 (+12.85)

Total Income for November: $7,118.70 (+5,637.78)

Conclusion

As you can see, November was a very exciting time with a huge increase in pretty much every metric I’ve been counting. It was my best month yet, by a factor of more than 400%. This demonstrates more than ever, that it is possible to make money with Android.

The only real downside of these results, is that all my revenue is pretty much dependent on one app. The ongoing challenge will be to diversify – which is easier said than done. It’s going to be hard to replicate the viral popularity of a popular keyword with some of my other more obscure apps. But I’ve already seen a rise in daily installs for most of my listings.

Income Chart

Monthly Revenue - April 2011 to November 2011

Speaking of ongoing challenges – yes, this report is very late. Like, 6 months late. I apologise to everyone who’s been watching & waiting for new reports. I’m something of a perfectionist, so I always struggle to publish an article without spending a lot of time refining it. And in recent months, I just haven’t had that time.

Although this report is far from perfect (by my standards anyway), at least it’s published now. Which is a lot better than no report at all :) I hope these details I’ve written up can help other developers interested in pursuing a similar path. As always, feel free to share your questions / comments in the Disqus thread below. Or, drop by the forums for a more detailed discussion with fellow devs.

Until next time!
-David

  • http://androidhobbydev.com/ Arpreb

    Well done mate, that is an outstanding effort.

  • http://martin.cubeactive.com/ Martin

    I Expected a big increase in your income, but this is insane! Great job!

  • http://www.ebiznes-i-praca.pl/ Robert

    Wow, that’s incredible growth! I’m just starting so I have someone to follow now 😉

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Thanks for dropping by – and all the best with your Android adventures in the near future. I reckon if you stick with it, results like this (and even better) are achievable for anyone.

  • XdebugX

    Thats Awesome! Did you use any house ads for your other apps in the fake Iphone app? If so did you see a significant increase in downloads for those?

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      I didn’t use any house ads, although I put a link to my developer page on Google Play on the final screen of the app. Since then I have got an increase in downloads of my other apps. I’m not sure if this is from the in-app link though, or just people who were browsing Google Play and saw “More Apps by This Developer”. Either way, I do recall seeing a noticeable increase in my app downloads across the board, after the success of this one app.

  • Steve

    WOW what a jump in just 8 months :O Congratulations!

  • mapiko

    Well. just great!!!! :)

    Wonder how much did u earn in April 2012.. can u tell us :)

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      April was closer to the $2k mark (can’t say for sure, some of the ad networks are still adjusting figures). So revenue’s dropped significantly. But it’s still pretty neat if you look at it on a 12-month scale :)

  • Nik Chankov

    Having this income (I hope you keep increasing it) you can think of other apps :) I am dreaming for such opportunity, but I am stuck with stupid client’s requests – about us page, contact us page.
    Well done!

  • http://www.mobiadage.com/ Bill [Mobiadage]

    Well done indeed! really awesome! I was wondering what happened to you, how come there were no more updates from you. 😀

    Cheers!

  • DrewNusser

    Holy cow!  You just annihilated your goal.  I’m just hoping for a fraction of your success.

  • Xgift

    how are you using Madvertise and Tapjoy in your app? are these like banners that apears in the apper or lower portion of the phone screen? or these are something else?

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Tapjoy is a whole separate screen, which opens up and presents a list of applications which you download to earn “Karma Points”. Madvertise on the other hand is an interstitial (full-screen advert). I’m not using banners in this app anymore, the revenue was too low.

      You can check out the app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bb.iphone&hl=en if you want to see how it works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692115959 Cassidy Paul Allen Ferrel

    Whats the best way to go about setting up first android app games? I am thinking of puzzles and I only built one deployed app.

  • kiwicoco

    WOW!!!!!!! This is AMAZING Dave!! Congratulations, you’re CRUSHING IT!! Now I’m wondering what your current numbers are. Have they gone up, down, or stayed relatively the same?

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      They’ve gone down :-/ The past couple of months have been nowhere near November’s stats. But it’s still looking like $2k per month is a sustainable figure. Which is a lot higher than I was really expecting by this stage. November/December was the height of holiday ad campaigns, and it definitely showed in the ad revenue.

      • kiwicoco

        Well thanks for sharing!! And $2K/mo passive income isn’t something to sneeze at! 😛 So congrats! And now you have a great client base to which you can promote future apps once you’re freed up from work and study :)

  • Lug

    Hey,

    I came like ten times hoping for updates on your revenues just like lots of people I’m sure. I’m happy for you and the money you’re making, that’s great.

    Still, you have to make more updates. It’s very bad to create an inspiring blog that so many people like and follow and update so rarely!!!

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s great to hear that my story’s been an inspiration – that’s an even greater benefit than making the money itself :)

      Yeah, sorry about the slow updates. I’ve got two excuses – my stats are in a mess, with so many different advertising networks it takes a bit to pull them together & reconcile figures. Also, study & work commitments are pretty draining atm, not leaving a lot of time for Android (which is my “spare time” activity). Will work on further updates though, as I get the chance. Thanks for your feedback!

      • DrewNusser

        Doesn’t look like it’s gonna be a “spare time” activity for long.  Keep it up and you’ll be retiring soon!

      • Tom O.

        Your fake iPhone app has 10x more downloads than your last blog post from May. Please tell me it’s no longer your spare time activity!

        Congratulations on your success and allow me to be yet another hoping for another update.

  • M Shoaib

    Amazing job man mind blown keep doing what u do best wow

  • Rstranberg

    Hi David,

    Congratulations on your revenue!  That’s very encouraging.  Not only do you share your revenue statistics and what networks you use, etc. but you also share mini tutorials on different subjects.   I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing your ad rotation code possibly in the forums and make it a “sticky” in the “android development” forum.  It’s looking like there is getting to be some good information in there and somewhat of a small-to-medium user-base.  Also, I was wondering where you got your graphics done.  I saw there’s a good thread in there about where and how people get their graphics needs taken care of.  I was going to ask you about it and then I saw that thread.   That might make a nice sticky at some point too.  I haven’t downloaded the iphone appp yet, but am going to to see how the ad placements look.  Thanks for the helpful information, and congratulations again! 

     

  • Vickram

    Congrats David for your exponential income growth.

    I am more happy to hear that it sustains at 2k/mo till April. Its much better to have a steady income rather than instant success and gone within a month.

    Really glad that you shared the numbers and your thoughts on different ad-networks. Real intelligent idea to switch ad-networks. Increase your spare time for Android since its revenue shows its the right way to go.

    I was wondering whats happening since the past few months had no posts at all. Its really good that you were busy with Android App releases. Great progress. Keep up your smart work.

    Cheers,
    Vickram.

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Thanks Vickram! Glad you enjoyed the report. The ad mediation definitely helped a lot. I’ll be recommending it for anyone building Android apps from now on. At the very least, it will bring your fill rate much higher than just using a single network.

  • AnyWare

    Hey David,
    congratulations on your exponential growth. I have been reading your income reports for some time now and I have released an (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anywhere.tsoro ).My installs are pretty low at the moment. 
    Do you have any hints or tips on how I can improve installs and market visibility of my app?
    Regards,
    AnyWare

  • Stalllucy

    What is the Tapjoys payment plan ? Do they pay after a month like Leadbolt when you have over $100  ?

  • M Shoaib

    Hello david can u recommend me a good incentive based offer wall company who pays good?
     like tapjoy?

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Tapjoy is the one I would recommend. They’re the only major player I know of, and I’ve had good results with them. Plus the SDK is quite easy to integrate.

  • http://twitter.com/indieAndroider Indie Androider

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and I can say that it was really inspiring! That’s why I’ve started my own blog – where I want to keep track of my progress as and indie android developer.
    You can visit it here: http://goo.gl/y0XDe 
    Also looking forward to see new updates here!

  • Thinkpozzitive

    Congrats dude. I think this is quite the achievement. I’ve engaged into app/game creation myself just for the fun of it and making something and getting it out there. And I do think I speak for most when I say your evolution is inspiring :)
    Feel free to check my first endeavor (a 2D “Rubick Cube”-ish like game) and let me know what you think: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.game.numbermix
    Thank you!

  • Durruti

    Is this blog still working?

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Yes, the blog’s still working! :) I’ve just continued to be very busy, haven’t been able to spend as much time on this site as I’d like. Still trying to stay in touch with the forum regularly though – and I’ll put up some more blog posts when I get the chance.

      • Durruti

        Nice to know that.

  • Frankx

    Very nice blog but no new posts since may. I think you really “made money with android” 😛 Well done guy! 😉

  • Durruti
    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Thanks for sharing! Well worth the read… just goes to show there is more than one way for indie devs to get traction in the market.

  • Wally

    Do you still get $7,000 a month?

  • Yan

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the great posts about your wonderful succes story,

    Can you tell us about your actual ads revenues? Now as you get millions of users :-)

    Is it you full time job now? and did you maintain that stability of revenue (up to $7000 per month for example) ?

    Let us dream again with your crazy statistics haha

    Me i am making $200 a month with 20000 active (after 7 months of launch) users from admob only. I am waiting for the day where more users will unstall it (now it is average 600 installs per a day (with 200 active ones).

    Thanks again for your very useful reports :-)

    • http://www.biblebookordergame.com/ Bible Book Order

      I was wondering the same thing, David. :)

    • http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/ David Webb

      Hi Yan,

      Thanks for letting me know you guys are still waiting for more stats! :) At this stage revenues are reasonably stable, but users have dropped off a bit… only around $2k per month at this stage. But I’m hoping it will pick up again in the later half of the year.

      I’m aiming to get some more blog posts up, although I still have other commitments for a few more months, which leaves the time very limited. Am trying to keep on top of the forums though, so if you have any specific questions that would be a good place to ask.

      All the best with your stats as well – I hope they increase by orders of magnitude in the near future! 😉

      • Yan

        Hi David,

        Thank you so much for your answer, I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks also for the very helpful and detailed list of the best ad networks, and your idea about rotation to optimize showing ads.

        We are lucky to be in a market growing very fast with millions of new users every day :)

        Wish you more and more succes with your brilliant apps and interesting blog posts 😉

        Yan
        Developer of Alarm Clock Millenium

  • http://twitter.com/mobile_thinker The Mobile Thinker

    Very nice earnings David!

    Do another one soon 😉

    I’ve got a similar income.

    View them on http://www.themobilethinker.com if you’d like.

    • Yan

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks for the link.
      Happy for your great succes too :) with android, working hard is always giving great results :)

      Wish you all the best for the coming days 😉

      Yan

  • david

    This is an amazing and interesting sharing for us. It really helped me I am glad that i visit here.

    Regards
    Android Application Developers

  • http://kasimirkim.weebly.com/1/post/2013/05/with-android-development-basic-java-knowledge-is-a-great-plus-to-consider.html Tasha Potter

    Heard for the first time that an fake phone has gained such an popularity, credit goes to you and you only. I think some of your tricks worked well for you which made you earn such an big income.

  • Peter

    Latest Update for Android is

    madvertise (1 app): AI: 226K / Fill rate: 23% / CTR: 0.33% / eCPM: 0.84€ / total: 190€
    Admob (1 app): AI: 985K / Fll rate: 97.96% / CTR: 0.24% / eCPM: 0.12$ / total: 119€
    Market sales (3 apps): total: 3350€-
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