I thought I’d blog a bit about Ad Support in iJiggles. To make a long story short, Ads suck. BUT having said that, I think I might have inadvertently found a really good way to make money off of your free apps at the same time without them.
iJiggles was a paid app at the beginning. But it wasn’t selling at all (except for a few copies obviously). So I decided to make it free. Little did I expect that it would shoot to the top of the free lists. 100000+ downloads a day and I wasn’t making a dime. The coverage is really good though.
So I was left with a predicament. I could make it .99 cents again and fall completely off the charts – back to mediocrity, or I could add Ad support. So I chose the latter knowing full well that I’d get some blowback on it
I added ads as a banner at the top of the title screen which is the same screen that you use to load new pictures or take pictures with your camera. So during a single usage of the app, you would see it multiple times but it wouldn’t interfere with how the app actually works. It seemed like the least annoying way to do it for the users.
A few days later, Apple released the update and Ads were being displayed all over the world. iJiggles is displaying 2 million+ ads a day… and my profit for all of this trouble and hassle? About $200/day. This is barely more that I was making at $0.99 cents per copy at the rates that it was selling. Except, I’ll saturate my user base a lot quicker now.
So Ads suck… but making your app free doesn’t necessarily suck…
There are some unintended side effects to having a free app that sticks to the #1 free spot on the App Store. The largest one is exposure.
If you look at the description for iJiggles right now, the first 1/3 of it talks about OTHER apps. These are apps from some friends of mine that I really do honestly like (so the blurbs are real). They are the ones that have been benefitting from iJiggles.
Case in point, 7 Cities. It was released a couple of months ago and did really well for the author, but only got to about #53 on the app store – even while it was featured by Apple. A little while later it fell off the top 100.
Since I have added the blurb about it to my description, not only is it back on the charts but it’s at #44 and climbing!! Basically, my blurb did more for their ranking than being featured by Apple!! (Coupled with a price drop). This is also much better than when they released a Lite version which is the strategy many devs are taking.
Mouse House has seen similar success. They are selling something like 10x as many apps as they were before. Their sales from the small blurb are making them more $$$ than admob support is making me!
So what does this mean exactly? Well, this is a new way to make money off of the top free apps. Devs could approach the top free app developers and “sponsor” their app. It really doesn’t take much. A one or two line blurb talking about how awesome the app is has a HUGE effect. But these “blurbs” or “ads” are WAY more effective than any “in app ad system” by several orders of magnitude. Free app devs basically are their own ad provider. Neat!
So, I’m looking for sponsors for iJiggles. Contact me via my contact page.