Android Money – Income Report #1: May 11

Today I’m startin a new series of articles in this blog. It’s name is: Android Money Report.

As Android is open (at least way more open than other OSs), I decided to be open too. This is why I will share my monthly private income through Android Apps with you. The Income I’m getting with ANDLABS will not be part of this reports though, because I’m not allone in the company and hence not allowed to do so.

For all money reports, please click here.

Android and Money? How’s that gonna work!

Many Android developers heard that many times. Most people still say: “iOS, that’s where the money is (for apps)”. My experience shows that that’s definitely not true. The difference is that most of the Android apps gross more money when being ad supported instead of being sold. This month the proportion of my ad income to marked sales income was about 13:1. In one sentence: For most Android apps, using ads probably is the way to go!

Which Apps?

Here are the apps that are currently making me money:

  • 3D Invaders – about 72.000 installs, 20% active
  • AL Voice Recorder – about 320.000, 30% active
  • AL Voice Recorder Ad Free – about 650 downloads, 45% active
  • SmsToSpeech Full – about 600 downloads, 45% active

All my other apps are either not intended to bring in money or are a property of ANDLABS.

As AL Voice Recorder Ad Free and SmsToSpeech Full are not ad based, I don’t care too much about their active installs, in terms of income. But as you can see, my ad based apps, 3D Invaders and the AL Voice Recorder, don’t have too high active install rates, which is a problem for ad supported apps.

With 3D Invaders I think this is basically due to the fact that the game is very repetitive. It is fun first but becomes quiet boring after a while.

The voice recorder has a mysterious bug I was not (yet) able (and, I admit, willing enough) to reproduce which causes it not to work on some devices. I guess a lot of uninstalls have to do with this.

How?

Most of my apps generate money with ads. The voice recorder uses AdMob, 3D Invaders uses a mix of AdMob, Mobclix and Madvertise. While Admob brings stable income, I’m not satisfied with Mobclix. Madvertise used to bring enormous eCPM (more than $ 10) but decreased strongly in the last weeks.

Okay, how much did you get?

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, my Android income for May 2011 (so far):

  • Madvertise: ~$ 295
  • Mobclix: ~ $ 50,94
  • AdMob: $ 260,51
  • Market sales: ~ $ 45

Total: ~ $ 651,47

(Numbers with a ~ are converted from Euro to USD)

This is an acceptable result. I must say that there have already been better times, but the future is bright as Android grows and so do my apps, I’m convinced.

What’s next?

3D Invaders will get a new set of weapons in the next days which will hopefully lead some more users to it and lets them keep the game longer and increase their playtime until they have tried out all the different weapons (especially the so called “Nuke”). I’m reworking the voice recorder but this might take a little while as I’m currently focussing on 3D Invaders and, of course, ANDLABS.

Hopefully my income will increase in the next month. My target figure is $ 750. I think this is definitely possible. We’ll see.

Please feel free to share your experiences with Android app revenue in the comments below.

19 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your income figures here. It’s great to see more Android developers being open about earnings and market strategies. I think it will help a lot of beginners (myself included!) to head in the right direction from the beginning.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your Android development in the future!

  2. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing that info!

    Our app in short:

    – 14000 Dl. / ~47% Active
    – monthly average: ~$60,–
    – usage: ~1500 users

    Do you take any CRM means like a users forum or other means to *integrate* your users more into your app?

    Do have other any experience with user feedback?

    Cheers,

    • Hello Marketier,

      thank you for sharing your data.
      Do you only use ads in your app or do you also offer a way to upgrade to an ad free version?

      I used to include a feedback-button within my apps which simply starts the mailapplication. This is a good way to communicate with users as long as your app is not too well known and you are able to answer each feedback sufficiently. As your app more popular, you might want to build a facebook site for it, so users can help themselves.
      I didn’t try a own forum so far, I think this suits best for complex apps with a huge number of use cases or games with lots of levels.
      FAQs can usually answer the most questions users have, but a developer that replies is definitely a better experience for them.
      Did you try anything like that so far?

      Best regards
      Johannes

  3. Those are some good numbers :) Thanks for posting this information, I find it helpful (and inspirational) to see people being successful in making some kind of steady income from the Android market.

  4. I make a game, can I get that money from Ads like that ?
    And can I use Adsense for that game?

    • Hi minh,
      in general you can but it depends on your game of course. For mobile applications, you should use AdMob which serves AdSense content too (or any other mobile ad network).

      Best regards
      Johannes

  5. Hi,

    thanks for the openness. My Question is: how log did it take, to get that number of downloads for your free apps? What kind of advertising/promotion did you consider? Have you advertised them? Would be interesting to read about the ascent of your downloads over time…

  6. Well, my app Photaf 3D Panorama makes most of my money:

    Free version – 585508 downloads, 34% Active installs – $400 (Admob)
    Paid version – Makes about $5000 (Android market (sales)

    My guess is that games are better with Ads, than apps.

    • Hello Oren,
      thank you for sharing your numbers.
      It probably also depends on the uniqueness of the app. If another app can do what your app does in the same quality and is free, it might be difficult to sell a lot copies. For games, I also think that ads are the way to go, as long as they are also placed in the game itself.

      Best regards
      Johannes

  7. What do you mean by ‘Active installs’?

    Does the apps send a signal when turned on that you can track?

    • Hi BigA,

      an active install, as it’s displayed on the Google Play developer console, is an install that hasn’t been uninstalled yet.

      Best regards
      Johannes

  8. Sorry…still a bit uncertain. :)

    How would Google Play know something has been uninstalled? A message goes from the user’s device and notifies GP?

    Seems a handy tool, but curious the mechanics of it…do you need to add network capabilities to the manifest,etc.

    thanks!

  9. Thanks for sharing your numbers. I hope I’ll eventually reach a steady income too :)

  10. Thanks this was interesting. I didnt knew much about Madvertise. I will definately check it. Here is another url which gave good insight between diferent ad networks: http://andoiddeveloper.blogspot.in/2012/11/admob-vs-inmobi-vs-mobclix.html

  11. nice article..it will very thankfull if you can give reports on category of apps that give high income..

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