Author Archives: Mark McDonald

Regional Finalists Announced for the AdMob Student Challenge

Since January, students from around the world have been submitting entries for the AdMob Student App Challenge. Students around the world were challenged to build an app that that demonstrates their skills and monetize it with AdMob. Today, we are excited to announce the four regional finalists, hand picked based on app quality and traffic.

The regional finalists are made up of the top entry in each of our 4 participating regions - North America, Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. Their apps have made a huge splash in the Google Play Store, with over 500,000 downloads and 10,000 reviews combined! Each member of the regional finalist teams will receive brand new Pixel C tablets and advance into the final round where the global winner will receive a seven night trip to San Francisco and a visit to Googleplex.

North America:
Team: Dodo Built
Average review: 4.6 / 5.0
Block Havoc is North America’s finalist, and deservingly so! The app is an extremely entertaining game with endless modes and patterns that challenges users to improve their reaction time on a beautiful and polished interface.

Latin America:

Team: KUNIC Apps
Average review: 5.0 / 5.0
And, LATAM’s finalist is #booleaning, a handy and well-featured calculator for boolean functions. This productivity application looks professional and is designed to save users’ time with built in logic operators, like NOT, AND, OR.

Team: Upskew
Average review: 4.5 / 5.0
Encode: Learn to Code is APAC’s finalist, differentiating themselves with an extremely straightforward and fun way to teach beginners how to code. The simple and intuitive tutorials and lessons allowed users to immerse themselves to build a quick and strong foundation.

Europe/Middle East/Africa: 
Team: Turbo Rocket Games
App: Dragon Sim Online
Average review: 4.4 / 5.0
Our last finalist is Dragon Sim Online, an addictive game with outstanding graphics. The application provides an epic adventure that allows you to engage and join other online players through beautiful flying and fighting animation to level up in this fantasy world.

Congratulations to the Regional Finalists, and thank you again to everyone who participated. The Global Winner will be announced on August 25, 2016, so stay tuned! 

Cindy Tran
The AdMob Challenge Team

Source: Inside AdMob

Introducing AdMob Campaigns, a powerful way to cross promote your apps and manage direct sold campaigns

Thousands of AdMob publishers leverage AdMob house ads to cross promote their apps and scale adoption of new apps to their existing users. Today, we’re taking this to the next level with the launch of AdMob Campaigns. We’re enriching our house ads functionality and adding direct sold capability to the AdMob platform. With this launch you can take advantage of:

  • Innovative formats: Use app promotion, image, text, HTML5, Video CTD ads that outperform legacy formats.
  • Advanced ad serving controls: Set four different goal types and allocate your inventory more efficiently with detailed performance reports such as campaign progress tracking. Run goal forecast to help predict whether your campaigns will meet their goals.
  • Best in class conversion tracking: Track your cross promotions using the same AdWords conversion tag, which is tightly integrated with third-party conversion trackers. No new tags required.

Going forward, you can manage all of your house ad campaigns and direct sold campaigns from one place. With AdMob, you can focus on building great apps while we do the hard work for you.

For more about AdMob Campaigns, visit our help center, and to stay connected on all things AdMob, follow our Twitter and Google+ pages.

Posted by Sarah Faulkner
Product Manager, AdMob

Source: Inside AdMob

Game developer Mobirix increases revenue from paying users by 44%

“Gaming app users are often exposed to ads but when we show them AdMob in-app purchase (IAP) ads, we are able to convert some of them into paying users, which helps us generate more IAP revenue.” - Hyun Kwan Ro, Director, Mobirix

Mobirix is a Korean mobile gaming developer and publisher that transitioned from creating games for feature phones to smartphones. Today, they have developed and published over 200 games for users around the world. Mobirix prides itself on creating great user experiences and not using push notifications, believing that users will come back to their apps without needing reminders.
The problem

After building a large user base, Mobirix looked at its monetization strategy to generate revenue. It started by working with a game developer to find a way to monetize its popular game, Zombiehive. At first, Mobirix’s game developer didn’t want to incorporate ads, but Mobirix understood that it was common for users to see ads and that mid-core and hard-core players were more likely to make an in-app purchase. As a result, Mobirix took a segmented approach to monetize non-paying and paying users.

The solution

Based on AdMob’s recommendation, Mobirix decided to implement a hybrid monetization model, which used a combination of in-app ads and in-app purchases. With AdMob IAP house ads, AdMob automatically predicts likely spenders based on Google’s proprietary data and models, and shows them IAP ads. This helped Mobirix maximize revenue while improving user experience for its likely to spend? users. For the rest of the users who are unlikely to spend, AdMob serves regular ads to help maximize revenue.

The results

Adding ads to the mix allowed Mobirix to monetize non-paying users without relying solely on revenue from IAP. After implementing the hybrid monetization model of IAP and ads for its app, Zombiehive, Mobirix saw an approximate 15% uplift in the number of paying users and about a 43% increase in average revenue per paying user.

Having seen such impressive results, Mobirix is excited for what the future holds. With approximately 90% of its total ad revenue coming from AdMob, Mobirix plans to design future games based on a hybrid monetization model.

An in-app purchase house ad in Zombiehive

To check out Mobirix’s success story, or any other of our other success stories, visit us at at the AdMob website. Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter and Google+ page.

Posted by Henry Wang
AdMob Marketing

Source: Inside AdMob

Writing the best business report for the AdMob Student App Challenge

With less than two weeks left in the AdMob Student App Challenge, you should now be working on your business reports. In order to qualify, your team must submit a business report along with your app so please review the guidelines. Here are some tips to help you write your business report:
  • The presentation and layout are easy - just follow the template on the AdMob website, and provide logical and cohesive explanations on each step of your decision-making process. 
  • Give examples along the way. This does not necessarily mean flashy and colorful graphics, but a clear marketing strategy and an examples of your app’s performance will go a long way with the panel.
  • Don’t worry about having the report translated to English. Submit the business report in the language you are most comfortable with.  
  • It’s important to make sure your business report demonstrates a sound strategy behind the choices made when integrating AdMob into the app. 
  • With your marketing strategy, talk about how you have already marketed your app, and what you’re doing to get the word out about your app and to maximize downloads.
While time is running short, continue to promote your app, monitor feedback, and get your business report wrapped up. The submission deadline is June 28, 2016 by 5:00PM PST, and this includes both your mobile app and business report. As always, follow us on AdMob G+ and Twitter for updates and keep an update on #AdMobSAC16 too, for any last-minute posts.

Posted by Jeff Miner
AdMob Student App Challenge Team

Source: Inside AdMob

How Holaverse grew total revenue 10% with AdMob native ads

“As developers, the challenge is in creating a beautiful experience for the user. AdMob native ads allows us to do that by delivering relevant ads in a format that matches the look and feel of our app. Such an experience was not possible before.” - Feng Xie, CEO, Holaverse

Shanghai-based app developer Holaverse’s app, Hola Launcher, achieved 100M downloads in just 9 months. A customization app, Hola Launcher lets users change the way their home screens look and behave. Users can add new functionalities that simplify their navigation process and choose from a vast library of themes and wallpapers to adjust their homescreen appearance. With so many users, Holaverse sought a way to monetize their growth.

The challenge
While Holaverse wanted to monetize, they wanted to do it in a way that was not detrimental to user experience. The challenge for them was creating a beautiful ad experience for users.

The solution
Knowing that AdMob has a great reputation for its global reach and industry leading fill rate, Holaverse decided to integrate AdMob into its app monetization strategy. Holaverse chose to monetize with native ads, because it delivered relevant ads in a format that matched the look and feel of their app. After working closely with the AdMob team, they were able to successfully implement native ads.
Native ad in HolaLauncher
The results
Within one month of implementing AdMob native ads, Holaverse saw its total revenue increase by 10%. From just one native ad slot, they earned over 4K USD in a single day. AdMob’s global reach allowed Holaverse to reach millions of users around the globe, helping Holaverse maximize its revenue potential.

Thanks to AdMob, better monetization has also led to more growth for Holaverse, as it has doubled from a team of 60 to 120 in the past year. To learn more, read the full case study here.

New to native ads? Check out our help center. Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter and Google+ page.

Posted by Henry Wang
Product Marketing

Source: Inside AdMob

SDK-less Mediation: An easier way to mediate

Publishers have long used mediation to maximize revenue by showing ads sourced from diverse ad networks. However adding new networks required integrating and testing new SDKs - which often led to wasted development resources, app updates, bugs and bloated code. With SDK-less mediation it is now possible to simply add new networks server side without updating their apps.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re adding SDK-less mediation to the AdMob and DoubleClick for Publishers platforms. SDK-less mediation is a feature that lets developers add new ad networks without having to integrate additional SDKs or adapters. This is great for developers who are concerned with SDK size or who simply do not want to deal with the hassle of adding and updating new ad network SDKs. With SDK-less mediation, developers can conveniently add new ad networks to their mediation stack.

"AdMob SDK-less allows us to test new networks without updating binaries. It means we can get more expensive traffic from new networks and increase our overall eCPM (and overall income) just by adding new networks and finding most optimal mediation settings (and all these don't require any programming!)." - Victor Negrutsa, CEO, 1C Wireless

As with AdMob’s existing SDK-based mediation, SDK-less mediation will support all existing mediation features including ad network optimization, Live CPM, and country-specific CPM values. Developers using SDK-less will still be able to leverage SDK-based integrations and the two can be combined in the same mediation waterfall. SDK-less networks will have the ‘SDK-less’ suffix on the AdMob interface.
To launch SDK-less, we’re happy to announce our first round of partners: Aarki, Drawbridge, MdotM and Smaato with more coming in the near future.

For more information on technical integration for SDK-less mediation check out our help center. Not mediating yet? It’s easy to set up and takes very little time to manage. With AdMob, you can focus on building great apps while we do the hard work for you. Here’s how you can get started.
For more about AdMob Mediation, visit our help center, and to stay connected on all things AdMob, follow our Twitter and Google+ pages.

Posted by Arun Balaraman, Group Product Manager

Source: Inside AdMob

Managing your time effectively in the #AdMobSAC16

Here are some pointers for managing your time as your team gets started in the #AdMobSAC16.

  • January to February: 
    • Organize your team; if you haven’t found a team, utilize Collabfinder to ensure you find the best team possible.
    • Assign tasks and deliverables for people according to their strengths.
    • Brainstorm your ideas for your app.
    • Put together your strategy for project completion. 

      Tip: This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the AdMob app policy, which can be found in the AdMob Help Center.

  • March: As springtime approaches, your team should be in the heart of building the application. Focus on:
    • Design work and developing the basic elements of the app.
    • Aim to have a working prototype by the end of the month.
    • Don’t forget to integrate AdMob ads into your app. This is a key requirement.
    • Open it up for testing among a small group of trusted developers who are willing to provide detailed feedback.Start thinking your app’s promotional strategy.

      Tip: A large portion of #AdMobSAC16 is scored on the success of your app (such as the number of downloads and ratings - check the judging criteria for the full details) - you will need to give yourself enough time to put effort into promoting your app.

  • April: 
    • Complete final testing and make refinements based on user feedback. Your app should be high quality, and part of that is responding to user suggestions. 
    • Release your app on an app store and start promoting it.
    • Remember to submit your app and AdMob account ID to AdMob so we know you’ve built it.
  • May to June:
    • Continue promoting your app. Think about creative ways to do it. 
    • Now will be the time to start readying your business report, which is due on June 28, 2016 by 5:00PM PST. The Challenge website already has a recommended template on it.
    • Remember, your project will be reviewed by a panel of app experts from Google, so your business report will need to be thorough and of professional-level quality. 
Be sure to visit the AdMob website to register. Follow us on AdMob G+ and Twitter and keep an update on #AdMobSAC16 too, for regular updates on the challenge.

Posted by Jeff MinerAdMob Student App Challenge Team

Source: Inside AdMob

January is the Black Friday for Apps

Shoppers are on the hunt for gifts in countless moments throughout the holiday season. In between going to festive parties, sipping eggnog, and making the required visits to see extended family, millions of shoppers will be buying new mobile devices. In fact, Gartner reports that 30% of all smartphone sales worldwide happen in the last three months of the year.

As people unwrap those shiny new phones and tablets, you can bet that many of them will be downloading apps -- and not just one or two. Our research shows that the average smartphone user has 36 apps installed on their device. Games, messaging, news and shopping apps all rank highly as the first kinds of apps people download within a week of purchasing their phones.

We looked at AdMob data from last year and found that ad impressions spiked across apps by nearly 30% between the months of October and January, with the largest spike occurring in January. This is perhaps due to people trying out their phones and downloading new apps with the added free time during the holidays. Developers should take advantage of the January Black Friday by promoting their apps, but also understand the monetization opportunities that lie beyond installation.

Check out our new infographic, put together in collaboration with App Annie, which features strategies to help get your app ready for the holiday (and post-holiday) app explosion. Let us help you ‘deck the installs!’
For additional holiday app monetization tips, download our free Holiday App Performance Guide. It features data and tips tailored to several countries that do very well during the season–Brazil, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Also, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter and Google+ page.

Posted by Arun Balaraman
Product Manager, AdMob

1Gartner, Smartphone Sales Worldwide, Q1 2012 - Q2 2015
2Google & Parks Associates, Global Apps Consumer Study, Q1 2014

Source: Inside AdMob

Megabit: Building a dream with AdMob

Growing up in Jordan, Ahmad Jarrar knew that he was going to start his own company. After working in the tech industry, Jarrar decided to quit his job to work on Android apps. Starting out wasn’t easy but he refused to give up, building a successful company in Megabit. Having grown a large user base, Megabit shifted its focus to retention and that’s when they turned to AdMob. Megabit used Analytics to gain valuable insights into their users, enabling them to optimize their apps for higher returns. Megabit also adopted an ad-supported model with AdMob, generating 5X revenue while achieving a 100% fill rate. To find out more, check out Jarrar’s story here.
Megabit’s popular app, Wallpapers for Chat, reached 4.2 million downloads in just 3 months. Wallpapers for Chat lets users customize their wallpapers on chat apps by choosing from a large wallpaper collection.

Posted by Henry Wang
Product Marketing, AdMob

Source: Inside AdMob

Catch what you missed at Casual Connect SF

We had a blast at Casual Connect this year. We enjoyed meeting with game developers, chatting about the best ways to monetize their apps. If you weren’t able to make it, below is a video recording of one of our talks.
This talk was given by Alejandro Manchado, Google's US Gaming Partnerships Lead. He covered how AdMob is bringing the unique scale and innovation of its solutions to help game developers figure out the right monetization strategy for their audiences, whether that's IAP, ads, or both. This talk discussed monetizing games effectively through tools like ad mediation, plus adding value through new formats like native ads.

For more information on monetization, and to stay connected on all things AdMob, follow our Twitter and Google+ pages.

Posted by Mike Schipper
Product Marketing, AdMob

Source: Inside AdMob