Why Android May Soon Be The Dominant Platform for Mobile Advertising

This is a guest post written by Michael Essany, senior editor of Mobile Marketing Watch.

Android PhoneRarely stated but universally accepted, mobile apps have played a pivotal role in creating the market duopoly that iOS and Android now enjoy.

Without their enthusiastic and prolific developer communities, it’s unlikely that iOS and Android would collectively account for a staggering 93% of worldwide smartphones today.

Curiously, the exceedingly important factor of developer platform preference is almost never taken into consideration when the future of mobile advertising is discussed. Instead, the headlines continue to reflect the present edge iOS retains over Android on mobile advertising revenue.

Alas, we are simply expected to believe that what is true today will somehow still be true tomorrow. But if you look closely at what developers have communicated to us with their actions, particularly during the last twelve months, a cogent argument can be made for why Android may soon emerge as the dominant platform for mobile advertising.

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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.

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Android Income Report #7 (October)

Statistics bar graphWhen I started this blog, I set myself a goal: to make $1000 from Android development in a single month. This seemed a lofty goal – especially starting from scratch – but I thought it would be achievable within a couple of years. Thus it was quite a surprise in July when I got nearly halfway there – $690 in a single month. This was just 4 months after my first income report of less than $4!

Even more surprising – and exciting – is the news that this month, I passed the $1000 mark. Yes, after 7 months of Android development I’ve actually reached the goal set back in March. This was mainly due to the phenomenal success of my latest app – “Fake iPhone 4S“.

Read on for more details, including the full story of how one weekend’s work turned into my most successful app yet.

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Over 700,000 Android Devices Activated Per Day

Chart of Android Activations by David Webb

Andy Rubin just posted the latest Android goodness on Google+. Apparently there are now over 700,000 Android devices activated per day around the world. And that’s not counting upgrades.

The full message, posted in two parts on Andy’s Google+ profile:

There are now over 700,000 Android devices activated every day

…and for those wondering, we count each device only once (ie, we don’t count re-sold devices), and “activations” means you go into a store, buy a device, put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service.

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Android Income Report #4

At long last, here is my income report for the month of July. This is a very different story to previous reports, mainly thanks to my Google+ Invites app which made a few hundred dollars in one day. I also released a major update for Tap That! Number, and published a new app (CPU Usage Live Wallpaper) with both free and paid versions. It was a pretty hectic month! Read on for more details, and an overview of the month’s earnings.

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How to make $250 a day (and get banned from the Android Market)

Logo for the Google+ Invites App

A few weeks ago I did something which, in retrospect, was probably rather stupid. But it was surprisingly successful while it lasted. As I wrote earlier, I’ve been using Google+ since the day after it was launched. I myself received an invite from a stranger who was offering invites publicly. For this reason, I’ve been keen to share invites with anyone else who’s looking for one. I put up a post on this blog offering free invites, and got a huge response from the Android community. In fact, there were so many responses that it overwhelmed my email after a few days. There’s no way I could have kept up with the demand.

Rather than stop accepting requests altogether, I wanted to make it easier to handle the load. (NB: At this stage there was no limit to the number of Google+ invites you could send.) My first thought, trying to work out a faster way to do things, was “hey, is there an Android app for this?” A quick search turned up a negative. No Android apps offering Google+ invites. So, why not make one? It seemed a pretty good idea, so I spent that afternoon writing a simple app that accepted an email address, and a description of the request. The data was sent to a PHP script on my server, so I could go through and invite the email addresses stored in a database.

Actually, it’s not that simple to write an Android app that POSTs data asynchronously to a server, checks the response, and handles errors gracefully. I re-used some classes from another unreleased project, but it was still a bigger job than I expected. But the actual coding is an issue for another day. The most interesting part came when I released the app on the Android Market.

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Android Income Report #3

ChartHere’s an interesting stat for you – this month, I made more money writing about Android than I did from Android apps themselves! How does that work? Well, this blog has seen a pretty steady increase in traffic since I wrote the first article at the beginning of April. A couple of weeks ago, that same article made it to the front page of Hacker News, which was a catalyst for this website – over 20,000 new visitors in one day. Thanks in part to the dramatic increase in traffic, my Google AdSense earnings were high enough this month to justify including them in this report. In fact, they exceeded my AdMob earnings by a significant margin.

Also, you’ll probably notice I’m no longer using the title “xx month on the Android Market”. That’s simply because from now on, I’ll be expanding beyond Google’s distribution channel, and trying out alternative app stores such as Amazon, GetJar and SlideME. The Android Market is still my first and primary focus though.

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Hacker News: The Aftermath

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to submit one of my articles to Hacker News. I didn’t really expect anything to come of it, due to my previous experience with sites like Digg and Reddit. Well, I was wrong. The article hit the front page of HN within minutes, and stayed there for over 10 hours. By the end of the day (Australian time), this website had handled over 7,000 visitors – which is about 6,500 more than a normal day.

Today, the same article has been featured on Reddit, Twitter and The Next Web, resulting in another 20,000 visits so far. All that exposure has resulting in some very interesting comments from Android and iOS developers alike. I’ve previously been writing for a fairly small audience, it’s a bit of a different experience to get critical review from all over the web. So what have I learned? Two things – that WordPress scales well with caching, and that there’s always someone with a different point of view.

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The Heist overtakes Angry Birds as #1

Screenshot of The Heist game for iPhoneYet another success story from Apple’s App Store. The Heist is a new game for the iPhone from the creators of Camera+. I wrote about these guys previously – they certainly know how to make good apps. Until recently, Angry Birds was the uncontested best seller on the App Store. However, for the past 3 days it has been ousted by The Heist, which now occupies the #1 position for daily downloads. In just half a day, the app was downloaded 25,233 times. How much revenue is that?

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