E-book update

It’s been a while since the latest e-book update. Many things have happened in the meantime, and I found time to integrate the most interesting stuff into the new update.

With the new version, you will learn how my “facebook advertising campaign” worked out and if it makes sense to spend money on facebook ads.
You will also see a long-term insight into my vungle ad revenue.
Last but not least the update covers my first “experience” in the world of “microconsoles” by showing you how my gamestick-experiment turned out.

So grab your copy of the e-book now or get an updated version via the recover function here if you already bought it in the past.

As always, comments are welcome. Have fun!

Posted in General

Developer Report April 2014

I finally managed to come out of hiding! The last weeks have been quite turbulent and less productive, so I was not able to write any blogposts. I did not even have much things to write about.

You may have noticed that the “Headline” of the blogpost is slightly different from what you are used to. I do no longer try to maintain the illusion that I can write a blogpost every single month… Apologies for that. Family and work demand a lot of time at the moment, so I have to switch to a “I write a post when there is something to write about”-mentality. I will still try to write at least every other month, I just cannot guarantee.

So far for the introduction. Now let’s get to the interesting part.

Shortly before the release of Bloo Kid 2 iOS I wrote a small summary about Bloo Kid. Today I want to turn over a new leaf of the Bloo Kid success-story.

GameStick

The GameStick is a new micro-console in the vain of the OUYA that brings Android games to the TV screen. I was contacted by someone from gamestick after he stumbled across Bloo Kid 2 in the toucharcade forum. They asked me to do a port of the game. I said I would first want the game to be content complete (== 5 worlds instead of the current 3) but I could think of porting Bloo Kid 1 instead. Corona supports GameStick (and OUYA) by now, so I figured I would be able to port the game with minimum effort.

They sent me a devkit some days later and I took the following week to make the game run with the latest Corona version and implement the gamepad controls as well as some other minor stuff. And voila, the game has been submitted to GameStick today.
This “move” is totally compliant with my genereal creed to bring your game to as many platforms as possible. I will tell you in the next blogpost if it worked out this time.

This is also a “test-case” to see if it is worth to port games to the platform. Bloo Kid 1 was ported quite fast because Corona already supports GameStick. Since Bloo Kid 2 is created with another framework that does not have GameStick support yet, it will take more time to port it.

bloo kid gamestick
Bloo Kid running on the GameStick. The “remove ads” buttons has already been removed :)

Moneys

While I was trying to imagine how many people already own a GameStick and how many would bother to buy the game, I was also curious to know how much money Bloo Kid has generated during its lifetime of almost three years. So I started collecting all data I could find (or better: that I could remember), trying to consider every advertising network I used in the past. It is not a gapless computation since I e.g. totally forgot the AdMob revenue of the first few weeks and I already deleted my AdMob account since then, so I am not able to recapitulate the AdMob revenue. But you could consider it as “the game made at LEAST that amount of money”, and I bet it will be motivating for everyone of you.

If you need a quick summary of the Bloo Kid development story you can check out my previous blogpost covering the “Bloo Kid Timeline”. I will not go into much detail about the pros and cons of different networks. If you want some more insight, just browse around my blog and read some old posts.

Starting with InMobi

InMobi was one of the first networks I used. It was quickly replace by another one, but nevertheless generated some revenue for Bloo Kid. Most of the revenue came from the Android version. iOs is not worth mentioning here.

bloo kid inmobi android
With InMobi, Bloo Kid generated $4,641

Switching to InnerActive

After Corona introduced InnerActive I made a switch and generated some revenue with it. This time, iOS was more profitable than Android.

bloo kid inneractive ios
InnerActive generated $7,494 in revenue

The RevMob period

As some of you might know, I was using an advertising network called “RevMob” for quite a while with great success. I used it since May 2013 until I found out that the Vungle Network was even more profitable and switched to Vungle since then. Bloo Kid still makes some minimum revenue with “old versions” that still use RevMob.

revmob history
Monthly RevMob revenue since May 2013

bloo kid revmob total
~$45,000 Total RevMob revenue since May 2013

iAds

I introduced iAds somewhere on the way, and it has provided some nice additional revenue so far.

blookidiosadrevenue_cumulated
With iAds, Bloo Kid generated $17,209 so far in little more than a year

The Vungle Domination

During September 2013 I switched to Vungle which I still use to this day. It has generated an incredible amount of money considering the rather short period I have been using it since.

Vungle does not offer the possiblity to generate a diagram for more than 2 months (and I was a bit too lazy to create one myself), so I will just present you the the rough numbers.
Android: $1,905
iOS: $39,950
Vungle generated $41,855 in revenue in just about half a year!

Regular Sales

There is also an ad-free version of Bloo Kid available. Even though the revenue of the sales is a bit despicable when compared to the total ad-revenue, it is still a huge amount of money. You can clearly see how I changed from $0,99 to $1,99 between December and January (following a new and self-confident pricing strategy) and increased revenue drastically.

blookidios_sales_cumulated
Bloo Kid generated $9,838 in sales

Summary

So let’s sum it all up

InMobi $4,641
InnerActive $7,494
RevMob $44,871
iAds $17,209
Vungle $41,855
Sales $9,838
Total $125,908

It is worth to mention that most of the revenue came from iOS. While it is still possible to make a decent amount of money on Android (as you might know from my other blogposts covering my kid’s apps) iOS was the more profitable platform for Bloo Kid.

It might sound unbelievable that a single mobile game, created by a single person in about three months of work, can create that much money, mostly from ads. Taking into consideration that this money was generated during the period of about three years “damps” the sensation a bit, but my expecations where nowhere near those numbers when I first released the game. It is however a proof that staying focused and believing in what you do can lead to great rewards. There are millions of mobile-users around the world, tons of indie-friendly websites, blogs and magazines, and a lot of help from experienced people on the net.

This is also a proof that “exploiting” your game by bringing it to multiple platforms and keeping it updated is rewarded with a long lifecycle and eventually financial success. You will know if this is true for the GameStick-version too in a few weeks when I got the first numbers.

It might not be as easy as it sounds, but it is possible to make a living out of games. People prove it every day.

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Posted in Reports

The Bloo Kid timeline

Finally, the release of Bloo Kid 2 is imminent! The game will be out for iOS on Thursday, 6th of March. Time to recall the story of Bloo Kid and the story of a three-years-lasting success.

This is a rather unusual blog post. Don’t Panic! I will publish “regular” reports again soon, and I will also make up for the couple last months where I did not find time to post. This post is more or less a complete “reprocessing” of Bloo Kid part 1, covering the first ideas that came to my mind, the realisation, the release, the updates and of course the revenue I generated with it.

I started creating Bloo Kid about THREE YEARS ago when I started my “carreer” as a completely independent game developer, and the game and myself have since come a very long way.

I will comment all important steps that the game took during the last three years one by one, so you can see the whole picture in one blogpost. Regular readers of my blog will come across many things that they have already read in the past, but I wanted to sum it all up in one blogpost, so repetition was inevitable.

Alright, here we go…

March 2011

The company I was working for (and which I had co-founded back in 2009) closed its doors due to a change of mind of our investors. I started working at another company on an interim basis but already had plans to start all over again as an independent developer.

May 2011

Two months later, I quit the aforementioned company and grabbed some governmental funding which consisted of 9 months of unemployment benefits plus some bucks for health care. Then I started working on Bloo Kid. Due to technical limitations of the Corona SDK which I used at that time, I decided to create a “one-screen-platformer” that combines ideas from Mario Bros. and Bubble Bobble. The visuals were heavily inspired by the wonderboy game-series. Check out the trailer below.

July 19th 2011

After two months of intense work, the first version of Bloo Kid was released to Android phones. The game contained 60 levels spread across 5 worlds and was using Admob to display ads. Even though the game hit 10k downloads after two weeks, the ad-revenue was abysmal: About $2 a day, which was nothing to make a living out of.

August 3rd 2011

The iOS version of the game was released. I split it up into an ad-supported, content-limited “lite” version, and a paid “full” version priced at $0.99. The first week saw about 50 sales a day which made me very optimistic. But shortly after that, it dropped to 1-5 sales a day which was a total bummer.

September 2011

Ad revenue was not very high, but constant. I released a content-update which added 2 new worlds, bringing the number of levels to 84. With the update I also changed the ad-provider. That increased my ad-revenue and I was able to make a few $100 bucks a month, which was still not enough.

During the same month I discovered “by incident” that games made for kids seemed to be very promising, so I started making games for kids and made enough money to keep on making games.

July 2012

Nearly a year later I decided to give away Bloo Kid completely free. since nothing had changed to the original situation and I still made only about five sales a day. I kept the “paid” version but added all the content to the “free with ads” version as well. That was the point were the game took off. Downloads were growing daily, and so was the ad-revenue. Read the full story in my July 2012 report

November 2012

Ad-revenue from the game was growing constantly, and in November 2012 I changed the ad-provider again. This time, I started using RevMob and managed to increase my ad-revenue dramatically. Read the full report here.

December 2012

I added gamecenter support to the game, boosting the games popularity once again. I also added iAd advertising. The free version of the game had already surpassed 500k downloads and the user base was growing daily.

February 2013

It took a while until iAds were working correclty in the Corona SDK, but in the February 2013 report you can read how I switch between the different ad-providers during the game.

April 2013

Bloo Kid was featured as the “Free app of the day” at http://appturbo.it/ and got 103k new players on a single weekend. You can check out the full story in the april/may report.

November 2013

With the RevMob revenue slowly going down, I decided to try another ad-provider called “Vungle“. It turned out to be a good choice as you can read in the July 2013 report.

March 2014

Now, three years later, the free version has reached 2,5 million downloads and the game is perfoming now better than ever before! It is hard for me to understand why a three-year-old game is still making that much revenue. But why should I complain? The game took me two months to make (plus another month for the content update) and has already earned me more than an annual salary.

Below is the curve for total downloads since initial release. You can clearly see the point were the full content was made available “completely free” and the financial success kicked in.
bloo kid free all data

Posted in General, Reports

Monthly Report November 2013

Greetings!

This month I managed to write a regular “monthly” report, not a “bi-monthly” one like the months before. I have heard your call (in the comments and in emails / twitter messages) so this month I will focus on the percentage composition of iOS vs Android, sales vs ads, countries etc.

iOS vs Android

First, I am going to fuel the ongoing debate about which market is the better one by presenting my own stats. In the past I mentioned that my iOS vs Android income is %50 / %50. This has changed over the last months. Below is my current income composition.

At the moment, there is a 70% (iOS) to 30% (Android) ratio regarding my total revenue.
“Android” does include google play store as well as 3rd party stores (amazon, samsung etc.). The only 3rd party store worth to mention though is “fuhu apps” which makes about 15% of my total Android sales revenue. There is little chance to make ad-revenue in those 3rd Party stores, since the common “get paid per install”
model (like with Vungle or RevMob) always sends users to the google play store, and it is not allowed to link to google play from within an app that was downloaded from e.g. the amazon appstore.

 

Paid vs Ads

The question wether it is better to use advertising in an app or better sell them as paid apps is also very interesting. If you have a look below you can see that I profit from both of the models. In my opinion, it greatly depends on the type of app you have created.

For me, this is a 55% (sales) to 45% (ads) split. I would not want to miss any of those two options. A while ago you needed a lot of users for your ad-powered app in order to make up for a single purchase. Nowadays, in times where you sometimes get multiple dollars if a user installs another app due to advertising, you might end up making more money from a single user when using ads than you would get from that user with a purchase. Of course, chances that a user installs an app from within your app are still quite low. For high quality apps (like Oceanhorn) I would definitely say that a “reasonable price”  (meaning not too low!) is way better than advertising.

 

Paid vs Ads on iOS

Now lets have a look how the paid vs ads ratio looks for different platforms. Lets start with iOS.

It is interesting to see that only 43% of my iOS revenue comes from sales and 57% of the revenue is generated through advertising.

Most appstore experts would say that iOS users spend more money than users of other mobile platforms and though revenue from sales would definitely be higher than revenue from ads. In my case, you can see that this is not true. I must admit that I was also a bit surprised that ad-revenue is higher than sales in iOS, but that’s how it is.

 

Paid vs Ads on Android

Now lets have a look at the same thing on Android.

Here is the next surprise: 86% of my android revenue comes from sales. Only 14% of the revenue is from advertising.

That is something that surprised me. There are a few explanations I can think of, like that fact that I have a lot of kids apps and that parents are willing to spend money for their kids. Or the fact that advertising is better paid on iOS than on Android. But nevertheless, this is a very unexpected result.

 

Downloads iOS vs Android

Now lets have a look at which platform gets the most downloads.

The download ratio is exactly the same as the total revenue ration. 70% (iOS) and 30% (Android).

I think this is a bit of a coincidence that they are exactly the same, but no surprise that downloads and revenues are close together. Like I mentioned before, they used to be 50%/50% in the past, now iOS is way out in front of Android. I am excited to see how Windows Phone will fit into this diagram once Corona supports it.

 

Country split

Last but not least I would like to show you from which countries most of my downloads come. I have picked the top ten countries.


A whopping 54% comes from the United States, followed by only 13% from the United Kingdom and even less by other countries. Given the fact that traffic from the US is “worth more” than from Thailand e.g. for advertising networks, it is no surprise that my iOS ad revenue is that high in comparison to the iOS sales.

 

Super Glow Puzzle

My latest app which I mentioned last month has meanwhile generated some revenue.
First, have a look at the downloads


And now at the daily revenue generated with Vungle:

The game generated $517 revenue in its first month

It’s no surprise that the download and revenue curve are quite similar. The game shows ads every X level (where X is a variable I can change on my server so I can adjust the amount of advertising in the game without having to re-submit a version).

The main reason why there is such a striking peak in the downloads and revenues is that I created some buzz about the app via facebook advertising. I have not yet evaluated all data from the campaign, and once I did I will at first write my experience down in my ebook so that the readers who bought the book get a new update and some more countervalue :)

What I already can say by now is that I think this was not the last time I used facebook for marketing purposes.

So that’s all for now. As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I will answer them as soon as I find the time.

Posted in Reports

Monthly Report September/October

Another post, another apology! I did not find time (again) to write a blog post. I am considering renaming my posts to “two-month” posts…

Vungle

Anyway, here we go. I mentioned switching from RevMob to Vungle in my last post. Following now is a detailed overview of the vungle results for the last two months. It might look a bit confusing due to the nature of the online vungle dashboard which does not allow to show diagrams for a whole month (or I have not found it yet).

Android

September (click to enlarge)


Impressions: 21.067
Total Revenue: $95,28

October (click to enlarge)


Impressions: 17.020
Total Revenue: $94,71

Taking into consideration that Bloo Kid made only about $15 a month with RevMob on Android, I consider this a great result. ~$100 a month is not that much, but have a look at the iOS numbers now:

iOS

September (click to enlarge)


Impressions: 328.929
Total Revenue: $2913,47

October (click to explode … just kidding)


Impressions: 505.193
Total Revenue: $4823,21

So iOS looks awesome. While September was only a “half” month (starting on 13th of September), I still managed to make nearly $3k that month, and $4,8k the month later. So this looks like RevMob in its best days, with my daily active users still growing, so November might even surpass October.

So all in all, my experiment with testing Vungle was a success. I will keep you updated on how my numbers evolve further.

 

Programmers Art

With this part of my blogpost I want to dispel a myth. Many programmers I know (and many people reading my blog) say that one of the biggest obstacles when making a game is the lack of an artist. While it is certainly true that you need an artist to make art, it is also true that you can “create” an appealing look without having to rely on gorgeous 3d renderings or drawn graphics. Games like Super Hexagon or Tetris are the best proof. So I thought it is time to try something similar. While I am quite experienced at making pixel graphics and managed to pull off some decent “animal” graphics for my kids apps, I would not go so far and consider myself an artist.

So I started thinking about a game that could have some sort of “geometrical” look which I could create within a very limited timeframe. Once again I used Inkscape to create the basic graphics and GIMP to round it all up (gaussian blur effects for the glow textures etc.)

So after two weeks of work, my latest app “Super Glow Puzzle” was released. As you might guess by the name, it uses a “look” that is quite common among mobile games nowadays. The “glow” style :)

As you can see on the screenshot below, the game consists only of basic geometrical shapes with additional “additive”-blended glow-textures applied. I bet that (nearly) every person who is able to operate a computer is able to create circles and rectangles in a vector-art program.


Super Glow Puzzle – a game that took two weeks to make (and that will be updated soon :D )

The game has just been released some days ago, so I cannot say too much about its success, but the iOS downloads look very promising already. I have also included vungle advertising into this app as well. Next month (or in two months) you will know more.

Another great thing is that Corona announced Windows Phone 8 support, so I will be able to publish all my old apps on a new platform soon. Can’t wait for it!

So that’s it for now. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

Posted in General, Reports

Monthly Report July/August

First of all, let me appologize for the delay regarding this blogpost. I just did not find time to write something during the last weeks, so I once again “combined” two months into one post.

One of the reasons was that I was visiting the gamescom in cologne, to show Bloo Kid 2 at the pocketgamer “big indie pitch”. Therefore, I was working on a “presentable” version of the game. To the right is a picture of me explaining the game to the folks of making games, a german magazine covering game development related stuff. It may look like I am asleep, but in fact I was wide awake at that moment :)

It was a great event and people were quite interested in the game. It was a great motivation-boost for me, and I will continue designing levels for the game once I finish this post. Check this link for some aftermath of the event.

Riding a dead horse

Bloo Kid has become some sort of “guinea-pig” for me when it comes to trying out experimental stuff like new ad-networks, social services etc. And since Corona SDK is supporting google play game services now, I decided that it is once again time for a new experiment. The game has been out in the wild for over two years now, so in mobile-game terms, it is really “ancient”. One might wonder if it makes sense to update such an old game. I say: it depends. In the case of Bloo Kid, it totally makes sense.

I have talked about how I built up a strong “daily-user” base in Bloo Kid in my past blog-posts (espacially in THIS one), so I wont repeat that again. Just take it for granted that the game has 5k-15k daily active users. And in this case, it really can make a difference what advertising network you choose!

I released a Bloo Kid update lately that features the mentioned google play game service which for me is the long-awaited alternative to the now shut-down OpenFeint. I also added a new ad-provider called vungle. Vungle displays 15 seconds-long video ads.

I myself just hate the types of video ads that can not be cancelled but must be watched instead (like you know it from youtube). So I was glad to see that you can either force users to watch the full 15 seconds video or allow them to skip the video after three seconds. I decided to give it a go with the 3-seconds configuration. Of course you will get more revenue for “completed” videos, but since I hate long ads personally, I did not want them to appear in my game.

I released the update for Android only at the moment. The Android version of Bloo Kid makes way less revenue than the iOS version, and I did not want to risk the current income stream of the iOS version. So the Android version is some sort of test run.

Following now is a step-by-step comparison between the RevMob and the Vungle revenue

So first of all, have a look at the abysmal RevMob revenue for Bloo Kid Android:

On Android, Bloo Kid does not manage to generate more than $15 a month

With a bit of luck, I manage to make $15 a month with the Android version of the game. It’s no pain if my experiment would fail and I don’t earn that 15 quids anymore. Luckily, it turned out the other way round. Check the Vungle impressions and revenue below:

That’s about 700 daily video views on Vungle. Notice that I have about 1,5k to 3k daily views with RevMob.

Now the interesting part: the revenue:

You can see $2 to $7 daily revenue with Vungle. In comparison, RevMob makes less than $1 every day. With a multiple of views!

I think it would be a mistake to assume that four times the views on Vungle means four times the revenue. But to see that I make more money (on Android) with less views is still promising. The next logical thing I did was releasing an iOS version of Bloo Kid, also featuring Vungle. That version is still waiting for review, so you will read about the outcome in my next blogpost. Since eCPM is generally higher on iOS than on Android, I am quite excited about what will happen once the iOS version is online.

The update did not only feature another ad network but also new leaderboards for best-times, adding a “speed-run-contest”-like component to the whole game. I hope to tie players even more to the game than before by giving them the opportunity to compete online. The already existent leaderboard only counts the collected stars. There is a maximum of 252 stars, so there are currently a LOT of players that are all having “the best possible score”. But now, with the “best-times” leaderboards, it is once again a “real” competition.

[teaser] I have currently another project going on that fits into the “dead horse” theme, but it is too early to tell by now [/teaser] :)

 

So that’s basically all that happened during the past weeks (and is worth mentioning). Hope you like the info, and as always: feel free to ask questions in the comments section!

Posted in Reports

Finally, a new e-book update

It’s been a while, but I finally managed to make a huge ebook-update with the following content:

+ additional revenue through affiliate marketing
+ keyword tips
+ more advertising network tips
+ app of the day promotion
+ pricing experiments
+ tips for higher retention-rate
+ the importance of holidays

Get your copy of the e-book HERE or (if you already bought the book) get the update for free HERE.

Posted in General

Monthly Report June 2013

Welcome to another monthly report.

I’ll pick up where I left off in my last report:

Affiliate links

My monthly income via GeoRiot has increased from $286 to $338 without me doing anything. OK, I have added Brazil and all other south-american countries to my affiliate network, but their share in the total click-count is marginal.

Since I have more or less constant download rates (the “less” beeing discussed later in this post) the amount of people I send to the appstore via affiliate link keeps growing. That’s the main reason for the increased revenue. See below for the complete june stats.


after the “nasty” setup of networks, affiliate marketing has become a no brainer

You can see that the “top” link is a link to 100 Chambers Free, a mobile game created by my brother who runs codinsoft. I decided to add a full-screen ad in Bloo Kid FREE to help him get more downloads. Since the link is an affiliate link, I actually make money by helping him promote his game.

RebMob ad revenue

I also told you last month that my revmob revenue went up and down due to some problems with apples new “UDID”-policy. Now that RevMob and Corona sorted out their problems, my revenue from revmob is higher than ever. Be sure to read my older blogposts to see what I think makes Bloo Kid that “long-term-successful”.

For the first time I managed to make more than $5,000 a month with revmob

AppStore and PlayStore sales

So that was the good news. The bad news is that there is a slight “downward” trend to my app-sales. I have talked to other app developers and they can confirm that they see the same occurence in their stats.

I assume this is some sort of “silly season”. Since the “peaks” on the weekend are noticeable smaller, I assume people tend to go out swimming or camping or whatever during these days. Since a lot of my apps are made for kids and the parents are the ones who buy them, it’s obvious that “weekend-family-activity” is increasing and thus my sales drop. At least here in germany, the weather is finally getting better and you spend less time at home. So I don’t think that this is something to worry about yet.

So see below for my 3 month sales statistics to get a better understanding of what I am talking about:

Peaks are getting smaller, overall revenue is still more than satisfying

So right now I am working hard to finish Bloo Kid 2. It will still take some weeks until the content is complete, but working on the levels is super fun at the moment. Everyone who liked the first game will love the second :)

That’s all for this month. Hope you like it, and be sure to use the comment section of this page if you got any questions!

Posted in Reports

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!

Posted in Reports

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. Of couse, there are a lot of cases where this model works great, no doubt! But in a time where all the big companies concentrate on free-to-play, it might be worth thinking about targetting those people who don’t want this model. Believe me, there are still enough people like this around. That’s basically what Bloo Kid does.

High replay value

As you can see from the gamecenter charts above, there are nearly 300k players that share their highscores in gamecenter. I don’t have numbers on how many percent of the people use gamecenter, but 300k is already a blast for me!

Another very important aspect you can see in the picture above (and even more if you check the first 100 rankings in the game by yourself) is that many many people are true “hardcore” gamers when it comes to finishing all levels with three stars. When the game was released, only a few people were able to reach the highest possible score (252 stars). Nowadays, the top-50 people all have 252 stars. Those might be cheaters (I don’t know how difficult it is to hack gamecenter). But on the other hand, 50 out of 300k are few enough to exclude the idea of people cheating.

People picking up the game often to finish all levels with three-star ratings are the main reason for me getting many impressions and thus earning revenue with ads. With Bloo Kid 2, I want to “maximize” this effect. Therefore, the levels in the game will be easy enough for most people to finish, but gettings all six stars (yes, six instead of three this time) will take you some time. Since some stars can only be reached when sparing some others, you will need more than two runs per level to get ALL the stars. This might sound repetitive, but the things you must do to get the stars will be diverse enough to keep the fun-level even after you have beaten on stage several times before.

Conclusion

constant downloads + high replay value = a constantly growing “daily-user” base
That’s “all you need” to make money with ads. So it’s not just about the downloads / sales, but about making your users get back to your game as often as possible.

RevMob

My revmob revenue has recovered (as promised last month) and is now at $4,683 again. All this thanks to the download / replay value circumstances described above.

Samsung Appstore

I also announced last month that I am making my way into the Samsung Appstore. The submission and review process has taken more time than I thought, and so there is nothing to report of at the moment, but I am very sure this will change in the next monthly report. So stay tuned for this one.

That’s all. Hope to hear some comments from you in the comments section :)

Posted in Reports