Monetization on Windows Phone and 8 Stores #wpdev #win8dev

Let me start by stating a few simple facts:

  1. I received first payout from Windows Phone Store after 6 months
  2. I receive regular payouts from Pubcenter – more so than store payouts
  3. I received first payout for Windows 8 store after about 15 months.

There are multiple factors that most likely contribute to what platform gives better payout. I don’t have the same apps on both platforms. Apps I created overlap but Windows Phone has many more apps than Windows 8.

Unless you have a fantastic reputation, you will need to offer Trial for you apps. The experience and API offered by SDKs are simple – it only takes into account current usage. There is no historic knowledge of what you did before. You can download a trial, use it and reinstall it and get another trial. If you don’t like this, you as a developer will have to implement checks using ANID etc.

If you don’t offer trials, you will have limited downloads.

Since Windows Phone 8 release, we know have IAP. so the Fremium model now has another option. Before you get overly excited here are some more observed behaviours.

  1. Most users will continue using an app
  2. Most people will continue using the app as long as you provide options for it to continue working while in limited functionality mode.

Let me explain: 2 of my apps have a model where I block functionality if its a free app and user navigates away from the app. In one case I stop background music player and in other I disable app specific alarms. Both of these work fine as long as the app is active and what I noticed was that instead of paying $0.99, users will continue using app with ads and restrictions.

if you think user will pay to get rid of apps, think again. sure there is money to be made from ad-revenue. however let me give you more food for thought.

  1. Most ad networks only pay per click –  biggest and baddest out there is Admob – the google monstrosity🙂 You can display millions of impressions yet fail to generate a penny unless your user clicks on the ad.
  2. There are a few providers which pay per impression however the ePCM is lower and if you get clicks, the ePCM rises.
  3. ePCM is measure in a chunk of 1000. for an app that attracts 0 clicks, your ePCM will be around 8 – 10p.
  4. If an app does not display say 1000 ads in a day, you wont see any revenue. like I said, works in a chunk of 1000, all or nothing.
  5. Windows Phone developers traditionally used Pubcenter as it gives a pay per view model however it only pays for a few markets – North America and Western Europe. If your user base is elsewhere you will see little.
  6. For other markets use other ad providers, user ad rotator and try different providers and see what they generate.
  7. If you want ad revenue, make games or apps for kids.
  8. If you are doing Windows 8 development, don’t bother with pubcenter 🙂 Its a waste of time. In 1+ year I can bet that its not generated £1 in total still date even though it has received thousands of requests – there are no ads to serve.

If you think that your app will be user for substantial periods, ad supported fremium makes sense. Make sure you think about ways in which user can just navigate away yet continue using the functionality. Finally if you want user to pay up, restrict the apps.

Sorry not a very cheerful post for a Monday🙂 Happy coding

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