Developer Reports

We know how hard it is to start a business. Especially as an independent developer with no funding. When we decided to run a company in 2011, we were thankful for every piece of advise we could find. We were also motivating ourselves with other developers’ success-stories. And we immediately began blogging about all the stuff that did work for us. And the stuff that didn’t.

These experiences are written down here, to give back something and help other developers make their decisions. Welcome aboard!

Monthly Report March 2013

Time for another mothly report. I’ll jump off right away with my iAd revenue. iAd Revenue Last month, I was very happy to announce my very first iAd revenue. Like expected, this revenue has grown a bit in march as you can see below: my iAd-revenue in march is $1485,40 with an eCPM of $3.05 You can see that the revenue curve is increasing towards the end of the month. I consider the reasons for this to be the following two facts: Constant download rate As you can see, the game has a minimum of 5,000 DAILY downloads. I assume that the main reason for this is the fact that I have used “mario” as a keyword. Most people looking for a platformer on the appstore will sooner or later search for “mario”. And since most people find their games via the search-function, they will find “Bloo Kid FREE” when looking for mario. I have learned to “worship” the power of keywords. There are services today that offer you “keyword-optimization” for money. This alone should be indication enough to show you the importance of keywords. The game is also completely free (with ads) and offers no in-app purchase stuff at all. I believe that this kind of “monetization” attracts a particular audience. Not everybody loves freemium, and freemium is not “the best monetization option” by default, even though most of the other app-developers want you to believe this (and believe it themselves). It highly depends on the genre, and one can easily ruin a great game with the freemium model. You cannot impose this model onto every genre that exists.... read more

Monthly Report February 2013

February is over, and my first iAd revenue report is here! Shortly after my last monthly report, corona released an update that fixed the iAd multitouch problems. So I immediately uploaded an updated version of Bloo Kid to the appstore that featured iAds. The Fullscreen ads in Bloo Kid are now alternating iAds and RevMob ads. This way, I tried to get the best of both worlds. First of all: I did not make as much revenue as I have expected / hoped for. But it’s still a nice addition to my overall revenue. My first iAd revenue I made $824 in “3/4 of february”. And I am very pleased to see an eCPM of $3.20 I am still happy so far with the result, yet I am a bit disappointed about the low fillrate, which is 34%. At the time of my update, it was not possible to “switch” ad providers in corona. As of the latest daily build, it now seems possible that I can switch to “inneractive” and show a full-screen inneractive banner if no iAd would be available. I will try this to maximize my fillrate and report the result in the next blogpost. Furthermore, it is not surprising that 2/3 of the iAd revenue comes from the USA, since it’s the country where most of the downloads come from. RevMob revenue going down In the meantime, the RevMob revenue dropped significantly as you can see below. The strange thing is that I got way more impressions, nearly the same ammount ofclicks, but way less installs and thus revenue. Take a look at the comparison below... read more

Monthly Report January 2013

Greetings, mortal 🙂 It is time for another report. The reaction to my last post, about the diagrams I show, was a bit sparse. In fact, only one person said his opinion about it. I nevertheless will add more pictues in my new posts. So I’ll start right away with it. General Benefit of X-MAS Below you can see the total downloads of all my apps for December 2012 and January 2013. You can clearly notice the peak around christmas time. The increase of activated devices had a direct impact on my downloads. After christmas however, downloads went back to normal. Notice the peak in downloads around christmas time The same goes for the sales, even though the peak was not that distinct here. The sales during the week were quite high though: Sales were also pretty good. Around christmas time, the “minimum-sales-a-day” were nearly as high as the maximum sales in the week before! So downloads went back to normal after christmas, but the sales peaks on the weekends are a bit higher than before. It is my understanding that some people tend to wait a few days until they finally decide to unlock my apps. Of course, there are also people that buy stuff on the day that they download. RevMob revenue Like I told you, I have been using RevMob for the last two months now, and I am more pleased with it than with any other ad-network I tried. I made $4,5k in my first, and $4,8k in my second month, with roughly 50k – 80k impressions a day! For february, it looks like the revenue... read more

“Monthly” report November / December 2012

It’s another “bimonthly” report this time, summarizing both November and December. This time, I have two great things for you to report. But first of all: Some words about my reports I have been doing these reports now for quite a while, and I will of course continue writing them. But one minor thing is gonna change: I consider that the “numbers and diagrams images” are not the most important and interesting part of my reports. The “experiments” I perform and their results are much more interesting. So I will focus more on that part of my reports, instead of presenting you my monthly download numbers as graphical images. If there are any surprising things to happen with my numbers, I will of course inform you and show some images, but for most of the time, “telling” you how my numbers are compared to the previous month should be sufficient. Please tell me if you think otherwise (in the comments of this post) This being said, I can tell you that my sales are stable, and that downloads for Bloo Kid have risen beyond anything I could ever imagine. During the x-mas season, the game saw 10k – 13k downloads a day. I also did one very important thing prior to the x-mas season: Implementing RevMob Most of you might have heard of this already. RevMob is an ad-network that pays developers on a “per install” base. Your app shows a banner that says something like “download a free game”. Once a user clicks the ad, he is taken to the appstore / playstore and is presented with a... read more

Monthly Report September / October 2012

First of all, sorry for the delay. I was too busy to write a report for September. So this time, I will combine September and October into one post. Bloo Kid’s delayed success I already told you in my August report how the downloads for Bloo Kid “skyrocketed” afte I made the full version available for free. The trend goes on, and this is the result: After launching the free version, the total downloads increased by more than ten times in only 3 months. Not bad for a game that is more than one year old. I did not do any “marketing” at all for the game. It just picked up steam out of the blue. Strange app-store economy… Bloo Kid’s delayed financial success My plan was to get more downloads with the free version and thus generate more revenue with the ads than with the sales. Looking at the inneractive ad revenue for the last two months, this goal seems achieved. Bloo Kid September ad revenue Bloo Kid October ad revenue With increasing downloads, the ad revenue increased by more than 3 times in October. Bloo Kid is now the sure-fire success I always wanted it to be. It just took about one year and three months… A nice “side effect” is that now even more people are buying the full version of the game to get rid of the ads. The ads are placed very decent in the game and normaly dont bother you while playing. So this is a pleasant signal for me that people are willing to pay their money for my work. I got... read more

Monthly Report August 2012

Steadiness When I started my “business” and wrote a business-plan to get the funding, I did an income calculation that assumed that each app would have a “lifecycle” of a few months that reached its peak after a few weeks and then goes down to near zero. This way, I had to pump out apps every one or two months to maintain a steady income. My plan on “increasing” my income was that I would learn from each app and be able to create more appealing apps over time, so I could charge more for them and thus get more revenue from them, until they go down to zero again like I assumed in my business plan. Luckily, I was totally wrong about that assumption. My apps seem to be very sustainable, selling roughly the same amount every week. As you can see below, my total income for the last months is quite steady. For the last months, the total daily income seldom dropped below $200, so you can easily calculate my minimum monthly income Since the sales are that steady for the last MONTHS, I can now totally focus on my next real “game”, without being afraid that my income drops to zero over night. I will update my existing apps every now and then to keep them running, but most of the time I will concentrate on my upcoming game (of which I will show you some “footage” in the coming days…) Inneractive ad income Like I told you in my July report, I decided to release the FREE version of Bloo Kid with all levels. So... read more

Monthly Report July 2012

So here comes another report. First of all I need to say that I was on vacation this month for twelve days, where the only thing that was related to my work was checking my downloads every now and then. I was nevertheless able to start some “experiments” before I left off, and I will report you of the results now. I was very pleased to see July beeing one of my strongest months ever, reaching the heights of my march income. And that with me only working 2/3 of the month. I am still stunned by the sustainability of my apps. Record sales On one particular day, I had some record sales: On the 8th of July, I made $477 on one single day. Unfortunately, I could not find out what exactly happened that day. I think it was just coincidence. Making Bloo Kid totally free. One thing I managed to do before my vacation was making Bloo Kid for iOS available for free. The free version now contains all the content from the full one, but it still displays ads. I also added a fullscreen ad-banner that is displayed after every three levels a player finishes. I first used InMobi to display ads in Bloo Kid LITE. Now I switched to Inner-Active, an “app monetization exchange” service. Meaning you don’t get ads from only one ad network, but inner-active picks the best fitting ad from a variety of ad networks instead, including InMobi. Below is a comparison of one month with inmobi and one with inneractive (Read closely, it gets a bit complicated 🙂) What might seem... read more

Monthly Report June 2012

It’s time for another monthly income report. Overview My income slightly increased this month, which is mainly because I finally managed to release Car Puzzle for Toddlers for iOS this month. I also managed to make screenshots with $ instead of EUR this time 🙂 Total income on iOS and Play Store for june. iOS is still a bit ahead. Given the fact that iOS revenue is slightly higher, it is interesting to see that my best-selling app, Animal Puzzle, is making more revenue in the play store than in the appstore. My only explanation for this would be that there are more people activating Android devices these days than iOS devices. And since I always assumed that most of my sales are generated by people that use the “search” to find apps, this could also fit into this pattern. Animal Puzzle generates about $700 more income in the play store than in the appstore So the only reason why I make more revenue in the Appstore than in the Play Store at the moment is because there are more of my apps available for sale. Dino World, Music School for Toddlers and Baby Sleep aid are all free on Android. My Android Apps are available in more stores than only the play store, like the amazon appstore or the Barnes & Noble NOOK store. So in total, my Android revenue each month is higher than the iOS one. I just got no fancy charts for those stores atm. As you might know by now I always tell developers to cover as many (mobile) platforms as possible. There is... read more

Monthly Report May 2012

Overview May has been as successful as February and April in terms of AppStore and Play Store sales, meaning that I made about $7.500. I am still trying to reproduce that March income. I also sold 14 copies of my ebook in two weeks, resulting in another $420. A big thank you to everyone who bought it! Please drop me a line and tell me your honest opinion about the book, so I can improve it in the future. I don’t have the numbers yet for Amazon Appstore and NOOK color sales. If they were as high as the month before, I think I will end up with about $8.200 – $8.500 for the last month. There are no big surprises here. Appstore and Play Store are still quite equal: Google Play Store total: $3.667, AppStore total: $3.848. So half of my income now comes from the Google Play Store! Supporting older iOS devices Last month I assumed that my AppStore sale drops might come from not supporting older iOS devices anymore. So I grabbed a bugfix build of corona and blind flying updated my apps and submitted them. Unfortunately, they were rejected because they are were again scaled wrong on the iPad 3. So I had to grab a new iPad myself to test it. After re-downloading the fixed corona build, it all worked. I must have gotten the wrong download before. I submitted the updates yesterday, so I hope that I can finally say something about supporting older iOS devices in my next post. Price change of IAP I told you in my very first report that... read more

Monthly Report April 2012

So here comes another monthly report, this time for April 2012. I did not manage to maintain that crazy income of march since my appstore sales have dropped. Not dramatically, but noticable. Like I mentioned in my former report, there might be a reason to this. So my total sales income in April was about the same as in February. AppStore sales drop (slightly) So why did the appstore sales drop? I used the Corona SDK for building my apps. As the new iPad with the retina display was released, there was a bug in older Corona apps that made the apps scale wrong on the new device. There was a bugfix from corona, and so there was a bugfix to my apps. Unfortunately, I had to drop support of older devices, since the new version of corona required XCode 4.3 and thus was able to build for iOS 4.3 and higher only. Since apple wants people to buy new hardware, they dropped iOS support for their older devices, like the iPod touch 2nd gen and below or the iPhone 3G. So my apps were no longer available to older devices. This might have caused the drop, even though I did not think so many people with older devices get my apps. Now, there is a corona version available that fixes the retina display error AND lets you build for older devices again. So I today uploaded bugfixes for my apps to make them available for older devices again. Once the updates are online, I can verify if the sales go back to what they used to be, and... read more