Tag Archive for: 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.

Have a Mobile App Idea? 7 Steps to Take First

Apps represent a big business to most sectors and industries – from healthcare and manufacturing to retail and hospitality. Most apps are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.

In May 2022, there were approximately 5.6 million apps across Google Play and App store. In addition, consumer spending on mobile apps grew by 19% in 2022 to $170 billion, highlighting the impact and potential of mobile apps in global consumer spending.

Although mobile apps represent a huge potential to enterprises seeking new digital solutions, today, going from app concept to actual implementation is a multi-stage process that requires careful planning.

This post will discuss some of the first steps to take if you have a mobile app idea:

Before we delve deeper, it’s important to note that the app development process is different for each app. This process changes from one app to another. However, although different app verticals present discrete concerns and unique issues, some factors cut across all apps.

This article investigates the critical first-step factors every mobile app developer must consider.

1. Market competition

The first step to conceptualizing and building your mobile app is to do due market research. Not only do you need to understand the app market in general, but you need to understand your niche or target market – also called the app vertical.

For instance, you’ll realize that launching a gaming app is quite a different process than creating a tour and travel app. In addition, developing a hospitality app is different from developing a manufacturing app.

The difference comes because the audiences, preferences, and priorities of the target market are discrete. While healthcare consumers want suggestions on the best healthcare insurance policies, travel and tour users want suggestions to the best destinations – sunny beaches, wildebeest migration, historic sites, and jaw-dropping altitudes.

So, it’s important to examine two factors:

  • Competition. Studying and understanding your competitors helps you know if there’s any room in the market. It helps you know how you can stand out from the competition. Competitive research will highlight what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be done, and where your app can have a meaningful impact.
  • Target market. Which target audience will your app serve? This is the most basic, yet the most foundational factor you need to consider when building your app. Defining your app’s persona is quite integral to your app’s success.

Ensure you have an end-to-end understanding of your market and target audience before proceeding to develop and launch the app.

2. Funding options

Of special concern is understanding your funding options. Try to map out your finances and know which sources of funds will drive your app. It’s important to remember that while financial situations and funding sources differ greatly, you need funds for your app to exist.

While there are various funding options, you must determine which option to select. Will you give part of your equity to investors? Or can you bootstrap the app idea long enough to lift it above the ground? You may also consider whether contests are too risky for your unique app idea.

Some several funding options to consider include:

  • Personal network. It’s advisable to reach out to family and friends to put together money for your initial investment.
  • Private investors. Scrutinize private investors with a vested interest in your app, or look for local enterprises willing to optimize your hyper-local delivery app.
  • Funding contests. If your app’s idea is strong enough, participate in funding contests to win capital and evaluate your app’s feasibility.
  • Venture capital. If your app is in the developmental stages, consider venture capital to give it a lift off the ground.
  • Bank loans. Although banks provide loans, they have stringent funding requirements. You can optimize bank loans if you’re sure your app has a huge success potential.
  • Crowdfunding. If all options fail, turn to the internet to find users or potential people interested in investing small investments in your product.

Knowing how and where to source your funding is a critical first step for your app.

3. Set budget

After weighing potential funding options, it’s time to set your budget. When setting your budget, ask whether you can bootstrap the development process long enough on a tight budget or whether to spend investor money on hiring an app development team.

It’s also important to ask yourself whether you’ll conduct a multipronged marketing campaign or a word-of-mouth campaign. Knowing your budget will help you set realistic goals regarding app development and app implementation.


4. Monetization options

All apps must have an end goal behind them. For most, boosting sales and creating revenue streams is the main reason most people develop apps.

There are a variety of options to monetize your app. However, understanding the nuances behind every method is the only way to pick the right monetization option.

E-commerce apps have it easy here because selling merchandise is the most obvious monetization option. However, you must know whether you’ll need to run in-app ads or whether you’ll charge for every download.

Will you rely on in-app purchases or will you charge a subscription fee? Exploring all these monetization options is the best way to select an option that best compliments your app’s strategy.

5. App development options

As you consider your monetization strategy, consider the alternatives to app development. Will you hire a professional app developer or outsource a development team for your project?

There are many app development options and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, there’s a budget for every option. For instance, a fully custom development can be expensive and time-consuming while a simple, no-code application can be inexpensive, but it will limit your app’s features and customization capabilities.

6. Minimum viable product (MVP)

Test your app’s feasibility using a minimum viable product (MVP). A minimum viable product helps you gauge your app’s overall capabilities and feasibility without fully developing it.

Think of a minimum viable product as a prototype or a sketch of the end product. An MVP can help you test your app with a small audience and learn what features they’re responding to. In addition, using an MVP may help you know what you need to rethink.

An MVP gives you something to show to potential investors.

7. Protect your app

Last but not least, know how to protect your app long before launching it. Whenever you have a great and unique app idea, the first question that comes to mind is, ‘how will I protect it and keep people from stealing it?’

Frankly, it’s a great question and a reason to consider the following options:

  • Share selectively. It’s imperative not to overshare your app’s idea even if you’re searching for funding. Carefully vet the people you’re planning to work with long before you brief them about your idea. This selective sharing applies to everyone, from investors to programmers.
  • Use NDAs. It’s imperative to deploy non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) whether you’re hiring a programming team or looking for investors. Always use NDA to guard the confidentiality of your app.
  • Trademark your business. It’s advisable to register and trademark both your brand logo and your business name to ensure you legally own both in case of any compromises or intellectual property theft.
  • Copyright. Your trademark is directly related to how your business and brand name are registered; a trademark will protect the intellectual property rights of your business.

As you’re now armed with the right roadmap to follow while creating your app, you can forge your idea into a reality.


NS804 – Turning Your App’s Idea into a Reality

Always remember to contact NS804 for app development questions and solutions.

NS804 provides end-to-end app development solutions, whether you want an IOS app, an Android, or a hybrid app.

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!

Mobile App User Retention: How iOS And Android Users Differ

How To Optimize Mobile App User Retention

When it comes to mobile apps, one of the main priorities of developers and programmers alike is user retention. Mobile app user retention is incredibly important to building a long-lasting application that generates continual success for your agency. Therefore, finding ways to boost and optimize mobile app user retention is a constant endeavor. Mobile app users are extremely finicky. This is because of the hyper accessiblity and super saturation of the mobile app market. In other words, when a user is unsatisfied with a mobile app experience, they’re highly likely to move on from that specific application. Then, they’ll replace it with a comparable one. In fact, user experience is one of the most vital factors in determining whether mobile app users will continue to use your app or not.

Understanding and accepting that the mobile app market is so volatile in terms of user retention, will help you to identify tactics and strategies aimed at boosting and optimizing mobile app user retention.

Different Device; Different Features

In talking about the mobile app market, it’s important to distinguish between the various marketplaces. For instance, the two most common are by far, the Apple app store, and the Google Play store. This is important to separate because the devices and operating systems of these two categories differ wildly, offering the users an almost entirely different experience. One of the main differences between iOS and android programming is the flexibility. Android prides itself on providing a platform in which users have nearly endless possibilities and complete customizability.

This is an absolutely stellar feature for some, especially the more technically savvy, as they essentially get an open-sandbox type experience. The drawback here is that unfamiliar or amateur programmers or developers have a higher level of risk exposure. slightly less security built into the software innately, and a higher rate of applications in the store that are bug-ridden, clunky, or simply incomplete.

Apple, on the other hand, provides slightly less creative flexibility in their software and programming. However, they make up for this lack of unending possibility with bolstered security. Additionally, there is a much lower rate of bug-ridden applications found in the Apple App store.

Understand Your Demographics

Another important realization to make when working on mobile app user retention is that the demographics differ. Not only between devices, but also between niche-markets in the mobile app space. The reason this is so vital to understand is because different demographics of consumers often showcase varying consumer behavior habits. For example; there’s a general trend that iOS users are more likely to make in-app purchases and spend money on applications in general.

Equipped with this knowledge, your team can choose how to most appropriately monetize your application. With an iOS app, including a robust in-app marketplace where users can make purchases will yield a higher result than it would in an Android version. On the flip side of this, an Android app benefits from other monetization techniques, like selling ad-space.

A Quick Summary

Mobile app user retention is the name of the game, no matter what your application is. And in such a super saturated marketspace, user retention must be made a priority.

For more information on mobile app user retention, or development in general, keep browsing NS804; the proud app developer of the everyday appreneur.