Apps Revmob

Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by treysmith


The one on RevMob

Ok, two things.

Thing one:

Snoop Dogg changed his name to Snoop Lion.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Thing two:

Someone asked me the biggest turning point of my gaming career and I immediately thought “Oh man, this is easy… this simple thing made all the difference“.

Then I thought “Man, snoop dogg should NOT change his name to Snoop Lion.  It doesn’t sound as good”.

Then finally, I thought “I’ll make a blog post about these things to clear the air”.

So, here we go.  The biggest single thing I did to make more money with games.  It actually DOUBLED my daily income and was super easy.


When I started making games, about 18 months ago, they were all paid.  Super simple.  Pay 99 cents, get a game.  That might have worked back then, but after a few months the whole market shifted.  Fast.

Next up was the now famous “freemium model” that crushed it in 2011.  This revolves around giving your apps away for free and making money with in app purchases.  This worked great for a while and I actually did $3,000 in one day with jump pack using this model, but now we’ve had another huge shift in business models and this one was a doozie.  Literally ended up making me twice as much a day as before.

I’m talking about showing ads on load up like this (they are officially called interstitial ads):

As I mentioned in this blog post, over 70% of my income is from ads.  This is changing a bit with some of my recent releases (the higher end stuff like Animal Mall), but still holds true to the majority of my games out there.

To be clear.  I ONLY recommend this on free games, not paid.  People who do it on paid games deserve to be crotch kicked repeatedly… by Snoop Lion (see, it just doesn’t sound right).

For free games, it’s now industry standard.  Even the industry leaders like the publicly traded Glu Mobile are using these ads to help monetize their high converting games.  It makes sense too… I ran some test and was surprised how little effect ads had on people purchasing from inside the app.

These ads are not for your core base.  Those people will just skip over them 90% of the time.  They’re for the people who might just be trying out your game, but not care about it that much.  They’re for the people who will never buy something in your app.  This way you don’t LOSE all monetization possibilities from those people.

We are now putting in code to turn OFF ads when someone does an IAP… this way we don’t annoy the core userbase.


I got with a group of guys and we tested EVERY major player in the full page interstitial ad space.  Tapjoy, Play Haven, Chartboost, Revmob and Greystripe.

By FAR the highest converting one was RevMob.  The second best was Chartboost.  If you haven’t heard of RevMob before, that’s because it’s new.  As you’ll see in a sec it’s the CLEAR winner here.

We compared by eCPM… this means earnings per 1,000 impressions (I say clicks in the pictures below, but that’s because it was late and I was wrong).  It’s a great way to compare what is working the best.  For every 1,000 people that see an ad, you make XX amount.  We went through a bunch of data on different apps and here are the results (I’m going to show pictures from my accounts).

Let’s check out the stats… these were pulled today:

click to enlarge

So the highest app (and you can see the others as well are pretty dang good) is getting a $32 eCPM.  That means every 1,000 views from that game gets me $32.  Way higher than anyone else during this test.  Pretty insane results.

Revmob takes this oneYou can sign up here and it’s super easy to put in their SDK (also they are one of the only companies that makes it easy to install ads in Unity 3D)

Not only does RevMob it make you more money, but it’s owned by one of the SMARTEST dudes I know… a guy named Gui who has absolutely CRUSHED it with games as well.  He made the super popular game Ant Smasher and knows how to improve things from the developer point of view.  He just keeps on improving this thing.

Sign up here:

Talk soon,


P.S. – Fun Fact: I’m a good friend of Gui’s and actually named the company one day while on a skype session, but I think we all agree he should rename it to RevDogg in honor of our fallen friend.  Did you hear that?  I think it was a tear that just hit the floor here and echoed across the universe).

P.P.S – Also, I do get compensation if you sign up but I made sure it would not cut into YOUR profits at all.  Just Gui’s.  Yeh!  Take that Gui!  That’ll teach him to mess with us!

P.P.P.S – Don’t feel bad for Gui, he made about a billion dollars* off of Ant Smasher.  He’s fine.

*He didn’t make a billion dollars off of ant smasher.




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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.

64 Responses to The one on RevMob

  1. Geo says:

    What happened to the rest of project zero? Almost beta then after that nothing ! Was that a classic bait and switch on your part to get us to buy Chad’s modules????

    • treysmith says:

      Geo, have you not logged into Kajabi? We are on the 3rd release now! Out of alpha and getting near release candidate. We’re using this version to submit to the app store.

  2. Richard says:

    You say that eCPM is the “earnings per 1,000 clicks” but it’s way better than that … eCPM is usually earnings per 1,000 *impressions*, and indeed the RevMob FAQ says:

    “When you say “eCPM” do you mean dollars per thousand impressions, where an impression is a displayed ad which is not necessarily clicked on by the end user, correct?
    We mean dollars per thousand impressions. These impressions are not necessarily clicked by end users.”

  3. Thanks for the great tip Trey. This will be incorporated into my apps for sure.

    What is the best way to use this and a nag screen together? Is there a way to put your own ads into RevMob so that you can essentially create a nag screen for your app or should they be two independent screens?

    Thanks again for the tip Trey.

    • treysmith says:

      No, I put both in my apps and use Chartboost for internal promotions.

      • Marty says:

        Thanks for all the info and for answering the questions as great info.

        2 Questions:

        1. So if we want to promote any of your games in our apps do we need to approach you via the Chartboost market place or can we just do direct links from our apps?

        2. You mention Tapjoy above whom I have used for a number of lead gen campaigns I have set up and I wondered how well incentive/reward traffic worked for you as these installs can be purchased for as low as 10c and they also have their Video pay per view product which starts at 2c per full 20 seconds play. Does that convert based on the volume you can generate?



  4. Oleg says:

    I agree with your opinion and think that this is the right decision to put ads only on free apps and games. As far as I noticed in the industry this is the general business trend.
    I still do not conduct business with computer games. But after reading your blog I was thinking about this area of ​​business.
    Thank you for sharing ideas.

  5. James Grandstaff says:

    Hey Trey!

    Thanks for sharing all the juicy data. Snoop Lion is a really bad name. ;-)

    Question: I bought your MGS course and my first game is almost ready for upload. I have both ChartBoost and RevMob installed. Are you using the RevMob “Download A FreeGame!” apple pop-up or does RM allow for full screen interstitial ads too?

    Thanks man!


  6. William Gee says:

    Great info Trey! Thanks as always.

    Did Snoop really do that? Wow! I wonder if he’s been hanging out with Metta World Peace! Lol

    • treysmith says:

      Yes he did! Crazy

      • Ron says:

        Trey, he’s crazy as a FOX, now instead of his name being in the background, he’s in the foreground with FREE publicity, what did all of the chatter cost him? Ahhhhhh, the answer to that is obvious, nothing.

        Just think of those who’ve changed their names to Ali, Metta World Free, World B. Free among the others.

        By the way, keep up the great work, especially with the numbers, because it’s really all about the numbers.

        Ron Schmidt

  7. Oliver says:

    So a full screen ad on start up – that would be the same as a nag screen right? In many cases, wouldn’t it be better to use that space to promote your own app network rather than getting those ad money? I mean, having both a full screen ad on start up as well as a nag screen for your own app network would be a no go, I assume.

    I’m doing a full screen ad with RevMob in my coming app, but that’s gonna pop up in the end of the user’s process, as we are gonna use the nag screen on start up to promote own apps sometimes, and other times LinkShare/RevMob ads (gonna have to test which method gives the most)

    Hope you can give some info here. Sorry for the million questions lol

    • treysmith says:

      Great questions :) So here’s the deal on that. First off, nag is the same as full page banner. As for promoting your own apps… I used to say that it’s better to promote your own apps instead of others, but that was before people were paying these crazy CPI (cost per install) rates. Right now, I will get a CPI in revmob of $1-$2 very often. People spend this much because they are doing multiple campaigns in attempt to get into the top 25 of their category.

      Now let’s look at ARPU. Glu Games just released data about their ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user):

      As you can see on the high end it’s $.12… and I”m glad to see Glu release this. So many people BS their numbers and this seems VERY real. Their Deer Hunter game gets .08 and it made $750,000 last month.

      Anyways, the point is this:

      Glu Games, even though they are one of the biggest companies in the industry, still does full page nag screens. That’s because if they get someone to install their HIT GAME they only make .12… but if someone installs someone elses game they make $1-$2. Literally 10X as much.

      So, in my opinion, the numbers just don’t match up like they use to. That single user will most likely never generate 10-20X the revenue from just “being in your network”.

      That said, I still use my MORE SCREEN to build the network and I do think that is important! I just save my nag screen for high income.

      • James Petty says:

        Trey this great info and makes sense if you already have a large player base in which to advertise to but if you release a new game how do you and other companies build their player base if they are not using the nag screen to advertise within their network?

  8. Maxi Wiebe says:

    I really enjoy following you. The excitement and love for the sport of games, is great. Lo, I would like to show you a new kind of game out there. It’s coming from German. Have a great time.

  9. Ann says:

    Trey – love your games, love your insights! From reading your blog I think some people might be left with the impression (no pun intended!) that RevMob pays on impressions but in reality they pay on installs and those installs have to result in at least ONE opening of the game! So yes, the revenue generated is higher but man getting someone to actually “open” a new game is really tricky and is very much hit or miss…

    For those wondering – this is straight from RevMob’s FAQ –
    “What does eCPM mean? Do you pay per impressions or per installs?
    We pay per install generated, and then we divide the total revenue by the number of impressions, and then the result is multiplied by 1,000. The final result is the eCPM, which means revenue per thousand impressions. Therefore, we do not pay per impression, but per install.”
    AND also from their FAQ -
    “Do I get revenue only from people that have downloaded the apps?
    You will only earn money when a user downloads a game and opens it.”

    Don’t get me wrong here! I use RevMob in my games and Chartboost but for me Chartboost has been generating more actual $$ over RevMob. I would love for it to be the reverse but for the life of me I can’t seem to get it to work that way!!

    Any suggestions? Thoughts? And with ya on Snoop – Snoop Lion just doesn’t flow…Thanks!!

    • treysmith says:

      Yes sir you are 110% correct and thanks for clearing it up. I am getting paid per INSTALL and that equals to $30 eCPM on some games. As for suggestions, we honestly just put the code in and let it run! We’ve found some games work better on Chartboost but 80% do better on RevMob. Your mileage may vary!

  10. Jacky says:

    You got it wrong. Image says earnings per click and text says earning per view. Which 1 is it ?

  11. JC Haswell says:

    Great post Trey, thanks!

  12. Michael Lang says:

    Is it true you are an owner in RevMob?

    If it is true you should disclose it for the sake of fairness…..don’t you think?

    If not….my apologies

    • treysmith says:

      Check out the “P.S.’s” at the end. I’m always very upfront about this stuff. I’m just friends with the owner but unfortunately don’t own any of the company myself ;)

  13. Thordur says:

    Hey Trey congrads on your success!

    Does it work to make network with simple aggregating apps from appmakr kinda services?

    I am hearing that these appmakr apps get’s rejected by apple, if that is true, how do you make network to promote your quality apps?

    or maybe you have already apps network in place before apple got very aggresive on what is a good app and what not.

    Is it too late now to make network?

  14. Jas says:

    Sure, I agree with you that snoop lion sounds weird, snoop dog sounds cool. Maybe his brain turned a little nuts after all the drugs he uses, perhaps thats why he changed the name….

  15. Brandon Witzig says:

    (again my opinion might be skewed as I am a “old school” gamer with older views on the industry)

    I have to agree with this just based on what I have played in IOS and android games in general. I like it becuase on my end it is out of the way, and for a free app I have no issues with advertizing as long as it doesn’t bother my experence. I also have to agree about this being in paid apps, I have a couple that did this and although I dont mind cross promotions between a developers apps, I don’t want to boot up my strategy game and see an add for something not even close to relevent.

    ps. someone REALLY needs to make a Heroes of Might and Magic clone for ios or android ;)

  16. Steve says:

    I’m using Revmob right now. I have gotten about $3.50 ecpm in my android apps. It isn’t bad but its def not $32.

  17. John says:

    Why would anyone here give a crap about Snoop Dog???

  18. locky says:

    Hi Trey,
    Thanks for stats on revmob. Quick question – if you are just starting out in the Apps game and not going with game initially is revmob still the best way to go. I am doing a entertainment app to get my feet wet and just wondering will an interstitial on load of some free game not work aswell.

    Maybe I can put something more related to the app in there so can this be controlled in my revmob camapaign.

    Apologies up front if this is a silly question but new to this stuff so games are out of my league at present


  19. behat says:

    Do you know if the CPMs are subsidized and will decline to market prices in a few months ( How else would such high CPMs be possible? Do you know if they will be integrated in an ad rotation service (Inneractive etc.)?

  20. Jasjot Singh says:

    Hey trey will revmob and chartboost do good for other category of apps such as photography, utilities etc or is it only good for gaming kind of stuff.

    on your more screen are you only promoting your own apps or cross promo with other developers.

    please reply to this one.

  21. Jack says:

    Trey, what is the easiest software to use to make a game for the I-phone. Pleqase let me know ASAP. Thank You, Jack

  22. Wade Galt says:

    Thanks, Trey. Great stuff. Just signed up and will try in my free apps.

    I think what you’re having a hard time with is that Snoop didn’t make the Sean Combs 3-step transition (From “Puff Daddy” to “P. Diddy” to “Diddy”).

    Maybe if he went with Snoop Katt (with a K and 2 T’s for trademarking) THEN went to Snoop Lion (or “Leon” to catch the Spanish market), it would work. (Cat’s and Lions are both felines… Katts and Doggs are both domesticated animals… BUT Doggs and Lions aren’t even in the same Genus, much less Species… no connection whatsoever).

    I hope that helps you get over the change. (Apparently Snoop did not learn a thing from New Coke or the artist formerly known as Prince. Damn kids need to learn their history).

  23. JohnUhrig says:

    Hey Trey… thanks for the tips. Learned a lot following your game launches. I currently use RevMob and I’m currently getting a $13.13 eCPM. Not bad… I haven’t used other providers yet to test against, ChartBoost etc. Still building our network of games. But RevMob has been dead easy so far.

  24. Sergio says:

    serg2310 said: Hello Trey,
    How are you?
    I see on your blog that you use Revmob, chartboost, iAds, admob and mopub.
    Do you use all of them into the same app at the same time?
    It is possible? How my developer can do it?
    And where do you show each of them or where do you integrate each one into the app?

    I will apreciate your help with this.

    Best Regards,

  25. John says:

    Hi Trey, thanks much for a very informative blog and this post. I am using RevMob for one of my apps, and Gui is indeed very helpful. I’ve got around 3,000 impressions per day on one of my apps, but I don’t generate eCPM as high as in your charts above. I am averaging around $7. I always take time to download other developers’ apps when they are promoting a product, and RevMob is indeed a great product to promote. However, I just have a question — I’ve downloaded all Free Top Hat apps mentioned in the charts above (some of them both on iPhone and iPad device) and also took time to play them. The question is why in all your apps there is a Chartboost nag screen when you open an app, and the RevMob ads never appear. Have you switched all your apps to Chartboost from RevMob? If so, would be grateful if you could share what the reason behind this is. Thanks much.

    • treysmith says:

      Great question :)

      So I built something really cool into my apps. We call it NeoCortex and basically it’s the brain behind our ad system.

      At anytime we can change the nagscreen between RevMob, Chartboost, PlayHaven, TapJoy or a custom one. We can also setup split tests between them and it has a full section for the More Screen as well. So we can use TapJoy or PlayHaven instead of just our normal one if we want too.

      All of this is changed by a PLIST file on the server.

      But to answer your question right now we are using Chartboost because I am doing promotions for people who bought my App Elite course last year.

      Chartboost is the only one that lets you do Direct Deals and promotions at the moment (and it’s great for that stuff)

  26. Zou says:

    I have tried to use it for only one week, the eCPM is very high is not the TRUTH, the following the report:
    eCPM Revenue
    iOS 4_IN_1_ROW powered by Mathematicians $2.05 $1.02
    iOS 4_IN_1_ROW for iPad $0.74 $0.02

  27. Rich says:

    Trey, fyi, there has been a recent sharp decline in the RevMob eCPM and many developers have brought this up (in short, RevMob has been rendering a big number of $0.02 installs recently that considerably low an average eCPM – far away from $20-30 that you have on your charts, rather in a $2-4 range); check out posts on this page:

    • treysmith says:

      Income has been real strong last few days. All ad companies hit a rough patch a few weeks ago because of a lack of advertisers. Par for the course.

  28. Michael says:

    Hey I was wondering how revmob is doing this month. All of your comments here are from a month ago. I just found it and I’m seeing a lot of buzz about really high revenue from it, and then a lot of other real world users out there who are saying it’s all hype and that only the early adopters got the high revenue.

    If you remember the same thing happened with iAds. The first people who got iAd games out there did fairly good. Then after the buzz got out and everyone was doing it the revenue got split amongst a larger group and then not so good.

    I’m currently doing a free ad supported version of a paid game and my original goal was to use it to convert free to paid with ads. My philosophy is to advertise whatever using iAds (or other ad networks) and that people will convert to the paid version if they like and play the game. But today I’m reading about revmob and am wondering how much I should limit functionality in the free version.

    I’ve noticed a huge drop in revenue over the last few months.. probably about 1/4 what it was 4 months ago.. which was already 1/2 what it was 4 months before that. I need to get my revenue back up to stay in business.

    Also.. I’m VERY concerned about the new app store in iOS6 because of the new one app on the screen at a time thing. Searching with my main keyword it’s really hard to find my game now when it’s down around 35th (in search results). A few months ago I was up around 15th.

    Any advice? Also do you do marketing consulting?

    • treysmith says:

      There was a rough patch for a couple weeks in August with pretty much every ad company because advertisers weren’t spending as much money, but that dry spell is over. It’s been great for me, better than anything else.

  29. davidicus says:

    hi! any opinions on whether a full page ad when an app is launched is more or less effective than smaller banners throughout the experience?

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  32. Hi trey, just wondering buddy I know you like to use revmob full screen ads and wanted to know about your game jump pack, when the ads pop up giving you the option to install a free game, is that the revmob network in action? Or another one of your networks? I want to implement the same on my app. It will be launching shortly, about a week or so. Ironfist pro
    My developers have installed revmob but they are a banner ad. Doesn’t seem as appealing.

    • treysmith says:

      Man I use both. Have a switcher that goes back and forth between Chartboost and Revmob. But honestly eCPM’s have dropped since this article. I’m doing like $6-10 eCPM in both Chartboost and Revmob now depending on the day.

  33. adrian says:

    Hey guys, i need help. Does anybody know which ad network i can go to to have my app setup as full screen ad like chartboost (they dont support carona) that supports carona?
    I only have revmob ads implemented advertising other apps not my own.
    Please help someone! Oh and keep up the great work Trey, this is such a resoursceful page! :) CHEERS HAPPY NEW YEARS!

  34. the shaunimation says:

    Hi trey, great article

    Im curious about this eCpm model. Are those figures for every 1000 views or for every 1000 installs of the advertise app?

    Thanx :)

  35. salem says:

    can i make revmobe to appear just in the menu , and should i make my programmer to do it ?

  36. Jasper says:

    Hey Trey, I am from Germany and I just came across this blog, which I really like! Keep up the good work and all the best from Germany,


  37. Ben Long says:

    Hi Trey, how does Revmob/Chartboost stack up with music apps? We have a utility app and uncertain about throwing strictly game ads at our users. Is the AI smart enough to throw music-related ads?

  38. Paul says:

    Hi Trey,

    I’m struggling to maximise my eCPM. I’m currently only doing about $1-$2. Any tips on how to convert more views?


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