So over here
I started asking about the feasibility of serving ads in apps and such. The thread wasn't really about that originally so I think it's better to pick up in a new thread.
My basic question is: Should you sell an app for $.99 in the adnroid market, or distribute it for free and try to make money off of advertisements.
I'm assuming here that ads are not that tough to integrate into an app, even though this is not at all a foregone conclusion - I still don't fully understand how I'd put ads into my non-web-based app.
Regardless, here are some numbers I pulled out of thin air. Obviously, I could be way off, especially since this is going to be unique to each app.
Let's say I can get 50x as many players with my app if it's ad-supported compared to if I charge $.99USD on the android market.
1 user that pays $.99 is worth $.69 to me (I get 70%).
So what are 50 ad-supported users going to do for me?
I'll assume my average user opens the app 8 times. Most will open it less than that, but some will open it 50 times, balancing a lot of short-time users.
If I just sneak in ad once per activation, that would be 400 impressions for every one paid user I could have had.
Keywords relevant to the stuff I'm developing have fairly healthy cost per click on adwords, so I would expect my eCPM (income per 1000 impressions) to be relatively healthy as well - perhaps $5.
Which would lead to $2 of ad value for every $.70 of value a sold app would generate. Of course, I just pulled all of those numbers out of thin air. Users may not tolerate ads at all, or I may not get that many more users with a free app, or it may just be that android game players never ever ever click on ads, killing my CPM. On the other hand, maybe users will use my app more, or might not even balk at one ad shown every 5 or 10 minutes after startup, or maybe my game is very relevant to the advertising shown and my eCPM surpasses $5. Tough to say.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, particularly from anyone that is serving ads now - When/how do you show them? From what network? What do your users say about the ads? Care to share what your revenue per download is? Also I'd love to hear from anyone with experience with adsense - what kind of eCPMs would you expect from what kind of ad-serving situations?
Btw have you guys checked out Papijump? I think this is a pretty decent model - when you submit your high score you get a page with sponsored links. Of course then you have to build a web infrastructure around your app. At least this way you don't have to interrupted the game experience at all. My issue is that many players will never submit their high score at all, and those who do may submit once, then realize how far down the ladder they are, and not submit very often after that.