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PhotoMeta iAd revenues

PhotoMeta, my first iPad app, became available in the App Store about six months ago. PhotoMeta is a photo metadata app that excels in ease of use and has a couple of unique features. But with a lot of similar apps in the App Store, I thought it would be a good idea to make it a free app with iAds and an in-app purchase. That way a lot of photography addicts would install it and give it a try. If they like it and therefor use it on a regular basis, I would earn some money via iAds. And users who don't like ads could get rid of them via the in-app purchase. Note that the in-app purchase also reveals extra functionality. It seemed the best of both worlds. 

In reality though it turned out quite differently. The PhotoMeta iAd statistics for the past 6 months are:

  • 46662 ad requests were sent from PhotoMeta to Apple's iAd servers.
  • 1022 of those requests resulted in an actual iAd banner. That's a fill rate of 2,2% which is pretty disappointing. 
  • 13 of those 1022 displayed iAd banners resulted in an actual tap on the banner. That's a click through rate of 1,27% which is pretty high.
  • People in 110 different countries are using PhotoMeta while the 1022 iAd banners where all delivered to users in the US.
  • I earned $ 2.10 with the 1022 iAd banners and 13 full screen iAds. 

A fill rate of 100% would have resulted in about $100 iAd earnings which is still rather low compared with the in-app purchase earnings (~ $1000).

What I cannot measure exactly is how many users actually bought the in-app purchase because they wanted to get rid of the iAds. I only know it's less than 20% since 80% of the in-app purchases were done outside of the US.



For PhotoMeta, iAds don't seem to be a good idea. Unless some iAd miracle happens, the next major PhotoMeta release will be without iAds. Maybe I'll make it a paid app and get rid of the in-app purchase too. Maybe I'll keep it free, but with new features "hidden" behind an in-app purchase.

What's your opinion on this? Use the comments below to ventilate your opinion.

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    Galarina - Galarina blog - PhotoMeta iAd revenues

Reader Comments (4)

Hi, this info really helped me planning the revenue model for the app I am thinking of releasing. The "fill rate" stats actually disappointed me, but there is nothing I can do about it :(.

I don't understand when you said "I earned $ 2.10 with the 1022 iAd banners and 13 full screen iAds", do you mean your total income (after Apple's share) was $ 2.10?

Thanks again for sharing these stats.,
- Vikram

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVikram


That's exactly what I meant: a total income of $2.10

November 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterChris

A friend of mine told me about your experience with iAds, and that doesn't suprise me -- I think iAds don't really have a great revenue model. (OK, for me they just bring everything I hated about Flash back to the iPhone, without the good parts). In any case, have you taken a look at this discussion thread: Basically, using a library so that you can have iAds when available, but defaulting to something like MobClix can give you a much higher ad revenue. Yes, I know that "iAds" are supposed to be a better experience, but I don't think it makes a huge difference for the user; I think the only external effects is that iAds open in-app, whereas other ads tend to open Safari (not great, but not a dealbreaker). Just something to consider.

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@dwollen

I know the library that allows you to dynamically switch between different ad providers, but I decided to go ahead with paid apps only. Having an app with ads was a nice experiment, but I feel more comfortable with ad-free apps, thereby offering a superior UX for users who want to pay a couple of bucks for a quality app.

April 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterChris

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