Jumping into Ads

Apologies for the long hiatus.  I’ve been busy is a bad excuse, but it’s true.  Well, it’s not so much busy as lazy.

Anyway, I got quite discouraged after all this time with 8 apps in the marketplace, some since WP7 launch, but only an extremely lackluster download performance in the Marketplace.  I was beginning to think nobody appreciated me.  Or, more to the point, it seemed clear that nobody liked my offerings.  I’ll confess it: my best performer, the Fraction Calculator, has accrued a mere 185 downloads in the past 9 months or so.  Obviously, at this rate, I’m not heading for a state of independent wealth, that’s for certain.

So I kind of temporarily tossed in the towell while I tried to think of something I could do that would actually be popular.  I’ve been trying to pick up the skillset of an XNA game programmer, but this has been proving to be a rather tough climb in learning-curve land.

But over the past week it seemed like I really needed to try out converting one of my apps from paid to ad-supported.  I picked my most anemic app, Just Sayin’, to work on first. This app has gotten only  12 total download over the past seven or eight months, all paid, so I guess this means that I’ve earned about $7 from the effort — which was small, since it was a quick throwaway.  I didn’t really expect much from it.

As my subject for putting an ad into it, I decided to reissue it, renamed “Free Sayin'”, and with some enhancements.  And so I did it.

The result has been somewhat dramatic.  To my surprise, and it has been less than 5 days since I published it, and I don’t yet have any download numbers, the ad unit has already gotten 3,600 impressions, and there are about 7 reviews on the thing — to this point none of my apps garnered any reviews, except for Fraction Calculator which got exactly one.  I guess the app, by its nature, engages the user somewhat, and to go through the entire stock of clever sayings and quotes that it displays might take an hour or so if someone is diligent at sitting there, and this might explain the impression count.

Since then I have reissued Fraction Calculator and Decimal2Fraction calculator as free, ad-supported apps, but they are new enough that I have virtually no data on them.  I don’t expect much from them, but… one never knows.

I guess the future of ad-supported apps is perhaps brighter than for paid apps.

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