Friday, April 20, 2012

What's up with Apple's iAds ?

A couple of weeks ago I thought it would be fun to give iAds a try and test a theory on how customer acquisitions would change if the price is reduced from an already low 0.99c to free.

Although it is still quite early (I am only in the first months of data), for me personally, there are now three major takeaways from this.

1. People love free stuff. (Duh!)
My app "downloads" were cool. Unfortunately, everything for free.
But well. The app IS quite difficult to find since the name is quite generic.

2. People us my product.
Based on the iAd data I had the opportunity to see how and where my app was used.
It is a wonderful feeling to see that people allover the world are actually using my product.

I have to admit Koto was always a little bit of a selfish app since it was supposed to solve my (and I originally thought only my) problem. While sitting on the train in the morning, I needed something to
play around with which actually improves my Japanese. But now there are thousands of users all around the globe. Wow!

Thank you very much! 

Now, here comes the negative surprise.
Suddenly at the beginning of last week the fill ratio dropped.


From the regional data we could observe that roughly 75% of requests came from areas that actually have iAd support like Japan, Germany, and the United States.  Roughly 15% of requests came from China and Singapore where the service is not yet supported. Therefore, we can conclude that the numbers should be better.

After some more research  it became apparent that the fill ratio algorithm is related to the actual units sold. And, as I have not doing much marketing in the last week the downloads volume decreased as well.

Therefore, my last take-away (for now)

3. iAds work best for products that already have a lot of traction.
I have roughly doubled my revenue from Koto while my user-base increased 20-fold.
This increase would have never happened with the payment model. However, the revenue increase
dramatically lags the increase in user base.

And this is exactly the point where I start considering using other ad suppliers. 


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