Tag Archive for: app monetization

Google AdMob: Understanding Mobile App Monetization

Developing a mobile app is difficult and often costly, so you must find a way to receive a just reward for all that hard work. One of the most efficient ways to do that is with Google AdMob, an advertising network that serves ads specifically for mobile apps. And while it is a popular Google service, it isn’t only for Android but also iOS devices.

But you may think that AdMob, or in-app advertising in the general sense, isn’t a great way to monetize your app. You may have heard horror stories of appreneurs and developers spending thousands of dollars on AdMob ads and receiving few downloads. Or they may have received hundreds of thousands of downloads, but revenue results were worse than expected.

The hard truth is that Google AdMob mobile app monetization is very tricky. If you implement the wrong strategy, you’re bound to end up with a shortfall in your ad budget — which you don’t want! That’s partly why so many digital marketing and advertising agencies have mushroomed over the past decade.

If you’re skittish about implementing AdMob, you should consider hiring an agency. Alternatively, you can partner with a reputable and multi-award-winning studio, such as NS804, to help you with your ad strategy. Getting that ad strategy right is crucial, as it will drastically impact the long-term fortunes of your app.

Whether you partner with NS804, an agency, or go at it alone, it’s best to understand what mobile app monetization entails. That’s why we’ve prepared this in-depth article that covers the benefits, drawbacks, and pitfalls of AdMob. We also reveal a few strategies to help you with the platform and alleviate some of your concerns and fears.

What Do I Need To Know About Google AdMob?

Google AdMob is hardly new at this point. On April 18, 2006, a business school student, Omar Hamoui, founded the ad network in California. In November 2009, Google began the acquisition process of the ad network that concluded on May 27, 2010. On May 16, 2013, Google announced during their I/O 2023 conference that they would revamp AdMob by integrating technologies from AdSense to assist developers in boosting their app businesses.

But has AdMob truly lived up to the promise of helping app developers with their revenue streams? Yes, the massive market share of the Google Mobile Ads software development kit (SDK) speaks for itself.

Near the end of 2023, developers integrated the Google Mobile Ads SDK in most mobile games. Approximately 75% of word games for Android and 32% of all iOS mobile games had an AdMob implementation. It also attained a respectable 55% for the fan-favorite casual genre on Android

While this doesn’t mean that every developer enjoyed huge revenues from AdMob, it does show confidence in the platform. Furthermore, in almost every metric, AdMob outperforms its main competitors like Appodeal, Meta Audience Network, and Unity Ads. But it’s not necessarily wrong to partner with multiple ad networks, as this may prove beneficial as part of your overall ad strategy. 

How Does Google AdMob Work?

Google AdMob lets developers display targeted ads within their apps for users to interact with. While the platform initially supported Adobe Flash Lite, Palm WebOS, and Windows Phone, those legacy platforms are no longer supported. Android and iOS still enjoy plenty of support and will likely remain at the forefront of mobile app monetization for the foreseeable future.

To enjoy the benefits of AdMob, developers start by integrating the Google Mobile Ads SDK into their mobile apps after following several guidelines. The platform is free to use, but Google does expect advertisers, appreneurs, and developers to follow its guidelines closely.

The SDK allows banner, interstitial, rewarded, and native ads to appear within an app. Then, developers create ad units within the AdMob dashboard and set their optimal ad formats, placement, and targeting.

The AdMob platform is also where advertisers go to bid for ad space. They will pick the kind of ads that will engage users the most based on their demographics, interests, and consumption of app content. Developers earn revenue through AdMob primarily based on user interactions with the displayed ads, such as clicks, impressions, or ad views. 

But how does Google AdMob work out the revenue for appreneurs and developers? The platform weighs up advertiser demand, ad format, and user engagement. Also, the app category, user location, and device used impact revenue substantially.

The good news is that you’ll have access to a plethora of this information since AdMob offers you powerful analytics and reporting tools. These tools will help you stay current on your app’s ad performance, revenue, and user engagement. Having immediate access to this data will help you refine your ad strategy to increase your app’s revenue.

Why Is AdMob The Best Choice For Android Mobile Apps?

It offers seamless integration with the entire Android ecosystem, which is massive. Considering that Android runs on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, Chromebooks, and Windows PCs, you’ll want to use a platform that lets you monetize across these devices, with some restrictions on PCs.

Furthermore, most integrated development environments (IDEs) and game engines allow easy integration with Google AdMob. So, if you’re using Android Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio, or the Unity Real-Time Development Platform, you won’t run into trouble implementing your ads. That’s not often the case with some lower-profile ad networks, as there’s often quite a bit of tinkering and back-and-forth with technical support to get things running.  

Since AdMob enjoys so much support, even from the development community, there’s always a solution readily available. There’s almost a never-ending availability of code, documentation, and plug-in solutions for integrating AdMob with your favorite programming language, framework, and tools. So, you’ll never be in a situation where you’ll waste time dealing with tedious integration issues when you could be fine-tuning your ad strategy.

Is AdMob Any Good For iOS Mobile Apps?

Yes, Google AdMob is just as good for iOS as its Android implementation. It could even be one of the better choices since Apple discontinued its ad platform, iAd, in 2016. However, it’s common practice for many iOS app developers to opt for ad mediation services like AdMob, AppLovin, and ironSource.

Ad mediation lets appreneurs, developers, and publishers access several third-party ad networks through a single SDK. It’s a powerful tool because it simplifies the integration process. It also helps to improve the effective cost per mille (eCPM) and advertisement fill rates by picking the most optimal network per ad request.  

But what is eCPM, and why should you care? It’s a metric that helps you determine what you’ll potentially earn after 1,000 ad impressions. On the other hand, cost per mille (CPM) is a metric that helps advertisers determine how much they’ll spend per 1,000 ad impressions. It’s crucial to keep tabs on these metrics, as they reveal conversion rates, the level of user engagement, and if ad campaigns are successful.

Be aware that a growing number of iOS mobile app developers prefer to use alternative monetization methods. Due to the App Store having more premium apps than its counterparts, developers will often focus on paid apps, in-app purchases (IAP), and subscriptions.

One of the main reasons why iOS developers choose this route is because there’s a greater tendency for iOS users to spend on apps than Android users. Some iOS developers and publishers have tried mobile ads but later found that the other types of monetization earn them more. As an appreneur or developer, you should always try different monetization strategies to boost app profitability

What Google AdMob Ad Strategies Should I Implement?

There are several AdMob ad strategies you must apply to increase revenue, which are as follows:

  • Strategic ad placement: Test different ad placements and monitor user engagement. Continue to tweak your ad placement until user engagement is satisfactory.  
  • Ad formats: Implement several ad formats and ensure to serve the optimal format for each target group.
  • Targeting options: Use the platform’s targeting tools to serve ads relevant to each user. Constantly fine-tune this process to increase user engagement and subsequent revenues.
  • A/B testing: Always conduct A/B tests soon after you implement an ad strategy to determine if it is succeeding or if it needs further fine-tuning.
  • Analytics: Use AdMob’s analytics and reporting tools to gain insights into your app’s ad performance, revenue generation, and user engagement. Be sure to use this information to help you further hone your ad strategies and boost revenues. 

What Can Cause A Drop In AdMob Ad Revenue?

Several factors can lead to a drop in Google AdMob ad revenue. One of the most common factors is ad fatigue. Users don’t enjoy watching the same ads continuously within short periods and will subsequently engage with them less. Unfortunately, this leads to declining click-through rates (CTRs) and poor ad performance.

A decrease in user engagement within the app can also impact ad revenue. That’s mainly due to a lack of new features, outdated content, and poor app performance. Another cause for concern is market saturation, which often leads to increased competition for ad space. Furthermore, this drives down ad rates and decreases revenue in tandem.  

The wrong ad placement and format will also negatively impact ad revenues. Furthermore, unexpected events, seasonal trends, and changes in user demographics often cause ad revenue fluctuations. 

What Mobile App Monetization Strategies Can Benefit My App?

Mobile app monetization strategies are essential to succeed in the app space. But it’s the most optimal strategy that will help you unlock higher earning streams from your app. Here are several mobile app monetization strategies you should consider:

  1. In-App Ads: Displaying targeted ads to your users is one of the easiest ways to earn revenue from your app. But you must carefully monitor all metrics in your analytics and respond accordingly when Google AdMob revenue drops off.
  1. Freemium Apps: If you release a free version of your app with restricted features, you can later persuade users to unlock those features by purchasing the premium version. Offering extra functionality or content is an effective way to drive revenue, provided your target audience is willing to pay.
  1. IAPs: If you plan to release a mobile game, consider selling additional content, upgrades, and virtual goods. Users unlock these by making small microtransactions, which eventually end up in large amounts, especially if you build a large audience.
  1. Subscriptions: More app developers are implementing subscriptions, as it’s an effective way of generating consistent revenue. Users will pay a monthly or annual fee to access additional content and features.
  1. Sponsorships: Partner with brands to sponsor specific content or features within your app. You will generate additional revenue, whereas your sponsors will build brand awareness. 
  1. Data selling: A monetization strategy becoming increasingly common is selling data to advertising networks. However, the process of selling data must be ethical, lawful, and transparent to avoid angering your users and drawing the attention of privacy advocacy groups. 

How Is AdMob Improving In 2024?

On March 12, 2024, during the online Google for Games 2024 Developer Summit, an announcement about AdMob generated some buzz. A new real-time bidding feature and an upgraded mediation toolkit for Google AdMob will launch soon.

Furthermore, publishers can craft more dynamic ads to appear in-game environments. These ads will blend seamlessly into these environments and become more immersive to boost user engagement. Currently, developers are experimenting with these via the AdMob closed beta.

Due to user privacy concerns, Google will focus more on geo-based solutions in specific countries. The goal is to help advertisers invest further in these efforts and to gain additional insights into the performance of Android and iOS campaign spend. Be sure to take advantage of these new features to serve more exciting ads to your users and be more mindful of their privacy.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering implementing ads in your upcoming app, then Google AdMob is one of the better choices — if not the best. While there are no guarantees that you’ll strike it rich, a sound mobile ad strategy will keep you on track. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you integrate AdMob ads and derive high revenues from your apps.

How To Create A Mobile App That Makes Money In Today’s Market

If we’re completely honest with ourselves, a key reason to create a mobile app is to make money. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, as developing an app is costly. Whether we like it or not, we need to recoup those development costs unless we have money left to burn. But most of us are not in that position and need our apps to turn a profit.

While all this may sound sensible, it’s not what often happens. Many first-time appreneurs decide to create a mobile app and release it on a whim, hoping it will become a huge hit. And then see the poor reception and low download numbers of their app quash their entrepreneurial dreams.

And even experienced appreneurs often have to come to terms with disappointing results. That’s because releasing several money-making apps doesn’t mean their next app will perform similarly. The truth is that it’s hard out there for app developers. Moreover, many users suffer app fatigue nowadays, whereby they’re not too keen to install yet another app.

So what should app developers do now? Should they stop making apps and move on with their lives? Or should they look at things from another angle? Well, it’s best not to be defeatist and start looking at apps differently and pragmatically.

It’s not easy finding success in the app stores, as these are tightly controlled walled gardens. Furthermore, these app stores have a plethora of apps that seem to cover every niche. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new opportunities waiting for savvy developers to discover. Below, we go into greater detail on how to create a mobile app that will find success today.

Understanding App Monetization

A common mistake of first-time appreneurs is releasing an app without the correct monetization model. They usually either overvalue their app and release it as a paid app, or they undervalue it and release it as a free app with no clear monetization strategy further down the road. Thus, leaving money on the table that more savvy developers will grab!

Now, let’s quickly cover the paid app model briefly. Most developers shouldn’t consider this avenue unless their app is undoubtedly premium or a high-quality game aimed at true enthusiasts of the game’s genre or franchise.

Two good examples include Adventures of Mana by Square Enix and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City by Rockstar Games. These titles already have a solid fanbase and were developed by reputable companies. Therefore, users already trust these companies and want to play their games without the hassle of watching ads, so they opt to pay the asking price without any qualms.

However, most developers are not in that privileged position and must adopt different app monetization strategies such as:

  • In-app purchases: It’s a model where you provide the basic functionality free of charge, but users unlock extra features via in-app purchases.
  • In-app advertisements: Probably one of the most common ways to monetize an app using platforms such as AdMob. At regular intervals and on certain parts of the screens, ads will appear that the user may decide to tap. And you, as the developer, will earn money depending on the click-through rate (CTR) when ads appear.
  • Subscriptions: Users pay a recurring fee to enjoy the full functionality of the app or some functionality based on a tiered pricing structure.
  • Sponsorships: If your app serves a niche market, you can partner with a brand that will likely appeal to your audience.

When Should You Create A Mobile App With In-App Purchases?

If you’re developing an app or game that works well by offering functionality or additional stages gradually, then in-app purchases make sense.

For example, your drawing app could offer the most basic drawing tools from the get-go. These should satisfy most of your users as they get a feel for your app. But users that want to do more advanced things with your app will want to unlock its additional features.

You can also combine in-app purchases with advertisements, as long as this doesn’t frustrate users or inhibit the usage of your app. You don’t want a banner ad to cover part of your drawing app’s user interface (UI). Or have an ad pop up when the user wants to save an image. These are surefire ways to lose users at a record pace!

But avoid in-app purchases if you’re making a food delivery or any on-demand app. That counts double if this app represents your brand or one that belongs to your customer. And if there are any ads in this app, these should be related to the brand’s product offerings. After all, it wouldn’t make sense if your restaurant’s food delivery app displays advertisements from a rival.

Furthermore, the amount of in-app purchases will differ on Android and iOS, with the latter likely having more. And that’s because iOS users are more affluent and can afford to spend more on in-app purchases and even premium apps. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the Android market, as there are significantly more users, and you can tap into more app marketplaces.

In-App Advertisements Vs. Sponsorships

In-app advertisements are a viable option for most startups, as they’re a quick and easy way to monetize an app. But its ad revenue largely depends on the number of downloads it receives and the regions it’s made available. Western countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America have higher cost per thousand (CPM) rates than developing countries.

Furthermore, CPM rates differ depending on the types of ads shown and whether they’re on Android or iOS. Traditionally, iOS CPMs have been higher, but lately, it’s not uncommon for Android CPMs to surpass iOS.

But in-app advertisements may not be worthwhile if downloads are too low. An app with a few thousand downloads won’t likely recoup its development costs. So, it’s best to look at another monetization model, such as sponsorships.

However, sponsorships work best if the app serves a dedicated audience in a niche market. For example, you may have developed an app that helps fishermen locate good fishing spots in North American lakes and rivers. And these fishermen love using your app because of its easy-to-use UI and no-nonsense approach to delivering accurate information.

Given that you’ve amassed a small but dedicated group of users, a fishing shop or brand could make for a good partner. They can pay a fee to promote their brand or offerings within your app. And if you manage to establish a long-term partnership, it could generate revenue that far surpasses your development costs.

Create A Mobile App With Subscriptions In Mind

Subscriptions have risen in popularity recently, as users have become accustomed to paying a recurring fee for their favorite apps. Adobe popularized subscriptions when they shifted to the software-as-a-service model over a decade ago.

But will subscriptions work for your app? Well, that depends on what you have planned for your app long-term.

You may launch a mostly fully-featured app for free to grow your user base quickly. And once you reach a certain threshold of users, you can switch to a subscription model that offers additional features. However, these features must be so good that it incentivizes users to move from the free tier to a paid tier.

In Conclusion

It’s an exciting time when you get to plan and create a mobile app. But at the back of your mind, you’re wondering if it will make you money. And while there are no guarantees if your app will succeed in a highly competitive market, you can increase your chances with the right strategies.

Taking a hard look at your app monetization strategies early on and adopting the ones that best suit your app will make a huge difference. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop apps that succeed in today’s market!

How to Monetize An App

There are many routes you can take in mobile app monetization. In this post, we are going to discuss several mobile app monetization strategies and their potential impact on app engagement and growth.

  1.   Paid and free app versions model

One reputable app monetization strategy is to offer both the paid and free versions of your mobile application. With this monetization model, app developers will either limit some of the app’s features in the free application to encourage and compel the free app users to upgrade to the paid version of the app; or even monetize the free app with in-app advertising.

The benefits of this particular monetization strategy are two-fold. On one hand, it provides users with a free option to experience and experiment with the app’s basic functionality at no cost. On the other, it gives the app developer the user base much required for potential monetization via in-app advertising or app upgrades.

  1.   Free app with an in-app purchase model

Another app monetization strategy is in-app purchases. The app and all its basic features are free. However, if the user wants to upgrade in the app faster, for instance, gaining more lives in a gaming application, or enjoying certain premium features in a dating app, they can subscribe to the pay-to-play model.

In some cases, users can still access premium features and functionality without paying a dime. If they’re patient enough to wait for certain features to be unlocked or interact with the app long enough, they can use the app for free. In other cases, such free options may not be available, and the app developers would only make particular things for free, and others would be only attainable through in-app purchases.

  1.   Email lists

Using an email monetization strategy tie-in with your mobile app is a fantastic way to gain engagement from your users, which leads to more money and sales. Why? Well, because people hardly change their email addresses. That makes an email marketing strategy an effective model to ensure people see your content and engage with it. Regular emails also keep you at the forefront of a customer’s mind, making them more likely to purchase from your business.

The average life of a Facebook post is a few hours; a tweet’s lifespan is only over an hour, and an email has an average lifespan of ten days. And the best way to gather all email addresses is to add an email subscription form to your app.

  1.   Free app with a subscription model

Some programmers and developers decide to design free apps with a subscription model. With this strategy, the app is free to download with limited access to certain services and products. This model requires users to opt into a subscription plan to enjoy the full benefits. This app monetization strategy is common among service-oriented apps or content-centric apps such as news apps (Washington Post, New York Times, Gannett, Weather Channel, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Athletic). The free app with a subscription model makes your app easily discoverable in the app stores when users search for related content. This model is a great monetization strategy to build an initial user base and cultivate this into paid app subscriptions.

  1.   Partnership model

If an app is popular among a certain population, businesses may approach the developer for strategic partnership. This partnership comes through sponsorship opportunities to put brands, products, and services in the eyes of app users.

So, when you’re planning for the next app to build, think about the target user base the app may appeal to and the type of brands or companies that might be interested in your app’s user base. If the user base is large enough, monetization through partnership, brand sponsorship, and acquisition could be a great option.

  1.   Paid app model

In some cases, developers will make their apps available only in the paid version. Usually, these apps offer unique value that’s hard to find anywhere. This strategy is most common among productivity apps.

If you take this route, the mobile app you create must offer exceptional value and unique functionality that meets certain user needs. Otherwise, you may find a hard time building the user base to generate revenue for your new app.

  1.   Transactional apps

If you own an invoicing or a financial app, one easy way to monetize it is to charge a service or transaction fee. As digital marketplaces expand and continue to grow, this strategy has also grown in its application. There are several ways the transactional model can be useful than just in the financial apps where customers are charged for making a transaction.

This model has potential advantages in any e-commerce app (product and service marketplaces alike). Common apps that use this model include wholesale and retail marketplaces, hotel booking apps, travel apps, and e-learning marketplaces. So, if you opt for the service fee strategy, ensure to charge a reasonable percentage of the entire transaction. Alternatively, you can set a flat rate that favors most consumers. Either way, you stand to monetize your app most effectively.

  1.   Creating strong code

Perhaps the most important but often overlooked app monetization strategy is creating a strong code. If you develop your unique code from scratch and it proves to be successful, businesses and brands may approach you and offer to reskin your app for their purposes.

By licensing your app to other developers, you can make money without disturbing or disrupting your users’ experiences. For instance, the popular mobile game Temple Run was re-skinned to Temple Run Oz as a film. Other games that have been re-skinned to films include: Die Hard Arcade, Bionic Commando, Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, and Black Belt US.

Another thing to consider with code-sharing is your own app’s endgame. After your brand or business has gotten enough value from the app and is preparing to delve into the next stage, you can sell it as a whole to a new buyer who is willing to use your existing framework to create their app. Luckily, there are many ways of doing this, like using Apptopia which is a popular site for buying and selling mobile apps.

In addition, white labeling your app is analogous to selling it as a whole – without selling off your IP. The only problem here is that there will inevitably be multiple versions of your code in the marketplace. Regardless, you will be sure to make money by saving other developers from having to develop the code from scratch. All it takes is for your app to be initially constructed out of a strong, desirable source code.

NS804 – Honing Your App Monetization Strategy

Creating an awesome mobile app for your brand is not the endgame. Although customers can interact with the app and learn more about your business, there’s something else you can do to make your app work for you: monetize it. Before you monetize, you need to find a monetization strategy that works best for you. To access superior mobile app development solutions, feel free to visit NS804 for inquiries.