I released my new app to the store and used push notifications to my GhostTalk users to promote it. Within a week it was seeing the same traffic as GhostTalk and was out performing it for ad revenue. The new app is Ghost SLS and uses Machine Learning to identify humanoid figures on the camera feed. It’s similar to what a Kinect camera can do but without the laser grid.
After nearly a month in the store I wanted to see my stats and this is what I found:
The first thing I noticed is that I’m displaying 90k ads to my users but I’m only earning $163. That’s 1/10 of a cent per ad display. If I was getting $0.02/display I would be making $1800 and that seems much more fair to me. So maybe I can optimize the ads a bit.
My idea is to try an ad-free model. But instead of asking users to pay $0.99 for that, I’m going to show them a ‘reward’ ad instead and let them earn a month of no other ads. This is a test though so I’m only doing it with one app, GhostTalk.
The reward ads are a full 30 seconds and you have to watch the entire thing to get the reward. I’m hoping that by doing this my earnings per ad display will go way up. I’m also hoping that those reward ads pay much more and that makes my earnings improve as well.
Looking at my RPM (Revenue per 1000 impressions) on GhostTalk only, my highest earning app, I can see that AdMob estimates $2.11 earned. That’s $0.002 per user which is horrible. So far without promotion I have 3 reward users which are people who have watched the 30 second video to get ad free in the app. The Observed eCPM (Effective earnings per 1000 impressions) is $16.61. That’s $0.016 per user which is 8x the earnings for ads only.
So less than a week into this experiment I may have some evidence that using reward ads to enable ad free is a good option. If that’s the case after some good traffic and promotion of the feature then it may be worth promoting the feature more prominently in the app and possibly playing with the duration of the ad-free period. If the app is making $60/month now in ad revenue then with the reward model it should jump to $480/month and I already know that two paid days a week in the AppStore generates about $200/month so expecting $600/month on this one app doesn’t seem unreasonable. Now I just need about 100 more apps like this.