Monthly Report April + May 2013

I was very busy during the last two months so I did not find time to write about my april experiences. I decided to catch up on this by combining april and may into one blog post. I hope you don’t mind. As a result, I have lots of things to tell you this time.

I will start by providing some information on a question that is commonly asked in the comments. The question is “what kind of service / software do I use to track my downloads / revenues”. Apart from using the dashboards commonly provided by ad-networks like RevMob, I use Distimo Monitor to track my numbers. It is a free service, but you have to enter your login data for all the accounts you want to track. They also use your data (anonymously) for market research. They also run a blog with interesting information, based on that market research they do with the collected data.

Status Quo

Some of my readers not only want to know about my recent progress but also about the “steadiness” of my venture. So here is the revenue curve for the last two months, featureing all apps across all platforms.


summarizing all apps and stores, I still manage to make five-digit revenues monthly

To maintain that momentum, I release updates of my apps. About one update every 1-2 months per app. I do not update EVERY app I ever created, only the “big” ones. This would cost too much time and I would not be able to release anything new.

I also try to release a new kids app every 2-3 months (like my latest app “Animal Learning Puzzle“) while still working on Bloo Kid 2, which will be my largest app so far once it is finished.

Ad Legacy

I recently determined the actual breakdown of my revenue to see how my monthly revenue really splits up among all my apps. There was no surprise that my main revenue still comes from the united states and that my puzzle apps for kids are still the main money makers. Bloo Kid FREE on iOS is also an important component to my overall revenue.

But what was really astonishing was the fact that some of my old apps still make a fair amount of revenue, even though they never get updated. And by “not updated” I mean that neither I do updates nor the users seem to update to the newest version.

I used the inmobi advertising service for the last time over a year ago. So NONE of my actual apps feature these ads. Yet the income from that service is still noticable. See below:


inmobi ad income from my “abandoned” apps and versions is still remarkable

I assume that there are a lot of 3rd party android stores / app website that never noticed that there was a new version available and therefore still offer an old version of my apps, or that there are many users that do not update for a reason.

Samsung Apps

Like already mentioned in my february report, I started selling apps on the Samsung App Store. The results are nothing to speak off. See for yourself.


with a bit of luck, I get two sales a day

In fact, I have only one app online in the Samsung Store yet. The other ones were rejected multiple times for sometimes trivial reasons. The Samsung quality assurance team is quite demanding, which basically is a good thing. The problem for me is that most of their complaints refer to bugs in the Corona SDK of which I have no control. So I need to wait for corona fixes to add more of my old apps there.

I cannot tell why my app (Animal Puzzle For Toddlers) is not nearly as successful there as it is in other stores, but I will investigate it and hopefully tell you in the future.
I am very sure you CAN make some decent money in the Samsung App Store, I just did not find out HOW yet.

And now for the really interesting things that happened in the last two months…

RevMob revenue going up and down and up again

The last two months were quite different regarding my RevMob revenue in Bloo Kid FREE (iOS). See the two months below:


in april I made $4,649 with RevMob


in may the revenue was less than half of it: $2,225

What happened? As many of you might know, apple prohibits the use of the “Unique Device ID” (UDID) for advertising purposes since 1st of May 2013. Many of the ad-providers, including RevMob, used that ID to track clicks and installs. There is an alternative way of tracking this data, using the MAC-address of a device and eventually the IDFA: an identifier introduced by Apple that may be used by advertising networks to track data. RevMob updated their SDK, but due to the lack of communication between RevMob and Corona, Corona apps were not able to generate RevMob revenue in most cases until the end of may. That is the main reason why my revenue dropped so dramatically. Now, at the beginning of June, it seems like it is back to its old performance again. We’ll see in my next report :)

App of the Day

I was contacted by people from appturbo that run the “App of the Day” and “App of the Evening” service. It is basically an app that you can install and that tells you about another app which is free for the current day. The app is installed on millions of devices in many countries. They asked me if I would like to participate and turn “Bloo Kid” (iOS) free for a day, and I agreed. See below how my downloads for the game exploded:


the free promotion got me 130k downloads in less than a week

Of course, during the promotion period, the game made no revenue. And even when the game switched back to “paid”, the sales were back to normal again (except the day directly after the promotion, where sales were 60 instead of 30 a day…). So from a financial aspect, the promotion did not work well. It would be way better to promote an app that features inapp-purchase. But regarding the “advertising” aspect, the promotion was a blast. In respect of Bloo Kid 2 which will hopefully be out this summer, it is a great thing to have 130k more people knowing part one.

With the help of “App of the Day” / appturbo, Bloo Kid managed to get some stunning rankings in the german appstore. See for yourself:


Bloo Kid ranked 4 in games/arcade and 8 in free/overall

The people at appturbo were also very friendly and helpful, and made the promotion really enjoyable in every aspect.

Last but not least comes what I consider the most valuable information from this months’ blogpost:

Affiliate Links

I knew about the possibilities of affiliate marketing in iOS apps for some months now, but I did not find the time to get into it since it requires a bit of time to “set up” the networks and start earning revenue. But once it is all in place, its another fine passive income stream.

The idea of affiliate marketing in the appstore is:
YOU send someone to the appstore. Be it to your product portfolio, to one of your products, or just the highlights page of the appstore. It does not matter. If that person then buys ANYthing in the app store (music, apps, ebooks, whatever) you will get a percentual commission based on the purchase made. The average commision is 3%-5%. So if someone buys stuff worth $100, you will get $3-$5 for making that purchase happen. That’s the basic idea.

Now the problem is that there are numberous affiliate networks around. One for the US, one for Mexico, one for Europe, Australia, New Zealand etc. etc. You would have to analyze the IP-address of the user and then pick the right “affiliate ID” for the corresponding country and network to give that person the correct link to the appstore. This is nothing you want to do. This is where a service named “Geo-Riot” comes into play. GeoRiot can pick the right affiliate network (based on your configuration) and saves you a lot of time. Therefore, they get a piece of the cake and take 15% off of your revenue. It’s a fair deal in my opinion.

Since setting up your affiliate networks would need another full blogpost, I’ll present you the tutorial that helped me out a lot:
app-store-affiliate-a-no-brainer-for-all-app-developers-tutorial

Follow the steps in the tutorial to sign up for the different networks. You can ask me questions in the comments section if you got problems getting it all up and running. The support from GeoRiot is also phenomenal. They offered fast and very helpful support via email.

To motivate you in setting up the networks, here are my fist numbers after one month


I made $286 last month, just by sending people to the AppStore

I used two types of “affiliate links”:

  • a link to “More Games” that brings people to my appstore “developer” page, showcasing all my available apps
  • a direct link to one of my apps as used in my “house-ads” banner system that I integrated into my apps

So in the best case, I earn money because people buy more of my apps, AND I even get commisions for that. This way, I earn twice on one purchase.

So thats it for now. Feel free to write any questions in the comments below!

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14 Comments

  1. can you update your e-book with recent experience.cause it was last updated on november!i want to know about German keyword localization specially and i am not from German.how can i do that?

    thats my first comment

    Thanks,
    Tasnim

    Reply
    • Hi Tasnim,

      I am working on an update to the ebook but it will take some more time. I will try to gather more information on the keyword stuff. I am currently working on japanese keywords to see the impact of that, and will fill my ebook with that information.

      Reply
      • Waiting for your update with japanese keywords

        Reply
  2. Great post and thanks for the mention of GeoRiot and kind words!

    Just a quick note that the commission is 4% or 5% over 72 hours.

    While the Review for Dev post is great we’ve got a very detailed guide available for getting set up with each of the affiliate networks (with screen casts to walk you through).

    Reply
    • Hey Jesse,

      thanks for the additional info and the link to the setup!

      Reply
  3. Thank You for the great write up.
    Question?
    no iADs stats this month?

    Reply
    • Ah sorry, I forgot to show an explicit image for iAds. The iAd revenue is “integrated” into the “overall income” curve.
      But here you go, iAd revenue for May 2013:

      iAd revenue for may 2013

      From all my experiences so far, iAd offers the best eCPM until now ($3.91 for May)

      Reply
  4. Hey Eiswuxe,

    Thanks for the post, always a fun read about the numbers you’re seeing. Can you confirm that Revmob has returned to “normal” currently? I went live with an update last week, using corona with revmob’s latest sdk, and I’m still seeing no ios installs, android is working fine though.

    Anyway, awesome post, thanks for putting it together.

    Reply
    • It seems to me like RevMob has indeed returned to normal now.

      I have updated Bloo Kid FREE to RevMob 5.2.0 and corona 1095 on the 7th of may, and saw a drop of intalls. This was then mainly because RevMob was not able to count installs from the IDFA that corona now provides. I did not have ZERO installs, because not everybody updated to the new version.

      Now, at the beginning of June, installs are back to normal again, without me having submitted a new version, so I assume the problem is now fixed from RevMob side.

      Reply
  5. Inspirational stuff!

    Perhaps in future when launching a promotion such as appturbo, it might be a good idea to set up a simple system to serve ads only to users who downloaded the app when free. Acquiring 130000 users would have led to a nice little spike in revenue. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could have made about 2k just from revmob…

    Glad to hear you are using georiot, I am a big fan as well – definitely a shame to leave that money in the table. Make sure that you are set up Dgm Australia and also set up tradedoubler for brazil, Bc I see from your dashboard you aren’t being credited currently from commissions for those countries.

    Can’t wait for more updates. :)

    David

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      thank you very much for that information about GeoRiot. I have already signed up for DGM in Australia and New Zealand (status is currently pending) but I missed the one with Brazil.

      You are also absolutely right about the thing with the ads in the “promoted” version of Bloo Kid. The promotion was sort of a “last-minute” thing, so I did not have time to prepare something like this.

      Reply
  6. Nice to see a new income report!
    Those figures are unbelievable.
    I think the affiliate program is a nice little extra income without any additional work (excluding the initial setup).

    Also, I think the FreeAppADay-Marketing is great for apps with IAP and Ads, otherwise it’s just good for promoting a sequel or other games.

    It’s good to see that your apps still make money after quiet some time!

    Any news about your progress on BloodKid 2 and the Monkey Framework?

    -Chris

    Reply
    • Thanks!

      You’re absolutely right. App of the Day is great for IAP and ad-supported games!

      I am currently working on the main menu and level selection screens for bloo kid 2 before starting with the final level-design content. I don’t like making big todo-lists and track progress in % every day to see whats the current state of the game. I want to start up the game and see the progress there. That’s why I always want to have a version where all the content that it currently has is “as final as it gets”. I am no friend of placeholder graphics or half-done features. You can lose track of the whole project that way very easily :D

      I am still pleased with monkey so far. I have tested versions of bloo kid on Android, iOS and WindowsPhone with no problems so far (Will test blackberry soon). So all major mobile platforms I aimed for can be supported.

      Reply
      • Looking forward for more updates on BlooKid2 / Monkey. ;) So no Xbox port of Blookid?

        I like to make a working prototype first, make basic graphics to work with (not placeholders, but also not finished pieces) until I’ve reached a certain point where it makes sense to do the final graphics. Sometimes I change my mind after looking at the same graphics over and over again and I don’t want to waste too much time remaking my graphics, since that’s taking most of my time.

        Thanks again for the great article. Always inspiring to see that there is still hope in this market ;)

        Reply

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