Apps appstore

Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by treysmith


How I’m currently making money with apps…

If you would have asked me how I was making money with apps 3 months ago, I would have said almost 100% with In App Purchases through Apple.  This industry moves fast and times are quickly changing!

I was just looking over my stats and thought I would share how I’m currently monetizing my  apps.

Let’s check out data from the last 7 days:

Click To Enlarge

So here’s a quick breakdown of each column:

In App Purchases – This is either .99 sales or in app purchases from Apple.

iAd – This is money generated form Apple’s ad platform.  Mainly from banners.

AdMob – Google’s Ad company. I show their ads when iAds is out of inventory.

MoPub – This manages iAds and AdMob.  Really cool free system that rotates ads based on who has inventory currently available to share.

Chartboost – Great company that we do extremely well with.  They show full screen ads on start up.

Revmob – This one is amazing.  It’s a fairly new company by my friend, Gui (who made the popular Ant Smasher game).  UPDATE: I’m now making more money with RevMob than anywhere else.  Hidden gem.

As you can see with this data, we are making about 77% of our money right now form ads.  Pretty crazy, but there is a very good reason for this.

A few months ago I was focusing on promoting my OWN games.  I really wanted to focus on building up my own network and have a large “traffic source“.

Now that’s happened.  We are doing about 20,000 clicks per day and we’ve found it’s easier to make money promoting apps that have large payouts.


If I have a game that generates an average income of .10 per download, then that does not compete with a .70 payout from a larger company like Zynga right?

So if you monetize with ads then you immediately will start making less with in app purchases.  It’s all about figuring out which makes you more money in the long run.

There is a negative side to promoting other apps.  It doesn’t help you grow your network.

The end goal is to promote your own HIGH CONVERTING apps.

In a week we are releasing our first really big social game called “Animal Mall”.  Since this will have a much higher RPI (Revenue Per Install) we will start pushing more traffic to it instead of ad companies.

Check back for a breakdown of how that goes later on!

Talk soon,


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About the Author

Trey Smith is the founder of Kayabit, a game company with over 10,000,000 downloads on mobile devices, Secret Headquarters, Inc, a marketing company that teaches entrepreneurs how to build their businesses and L-System records, a house music label from San Diego, CA.

77 Responses to How I’m currently making money with apps…

  1. Itachi says:

    Nice stats, Hey maybe you should look into PC gaming aswell :) , A successful game can make money I believe !

    • treysmith says:

      Dude, I just skyped a buddy of mine and said “Next step is Steam and Mac App Store”. We are going to have a meeting on that this week.

      • Itachi says:

        Nice :D do you look for people with tons of ideas maybe ? i feel like i could help i always been looking to do what you do :p and im a huge hardcore gamer of all sorts !

  2. jeff says:

    Where do you see yourself in this business 5-10 years from now? Are you just going to keep churning out new games or is there a bigger plan behind it?

    • treysmith says:

      I think it will just keep getting bigger for sure. Only something like 27% of people have a smartphone. It’s crazy.

      It’s all about a portfolio of super fun high converting games. That is my goal.

  3. jeff says:

    Hey Trey,

    Isn’t it kind of a bummer that there isn’t a long life to alot of these games- unless you come up with angry birds? In this business are you always having to come up with new ideas for new games for when your previous game gets old?

    • treysmith says:

      Not sure what you mean? My old games all still do good. I mean, there is a definite “launch” to this. When you release a new game it’s first month is typically it’s best, but it’s not like it dies out completely (at least in my experience).

      • jeff says:

        Cool – I gotcha — I was under the impression that after a while a game kind of just fizzles out. Like in the Xbox or PS3 world -
        you launch a game – but to HUGE numbers because the games are 60 bucks a pop – and you probably get a 2 year life out of em’ sometimes one until you have to make your next one.

        So I was under the impression that it might suck with apps because you are only making 99cents a pop -even in launch — but if the games keep some traction over time – then that can be pretty cool.

        Glad to see you having success with it man!

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