How much do users like ads?

How much do users like ads?

It’s been two months since the last release of Taxi Explorer. Last time I changed monetization model and started relying on advertisement income. You can read about my previous adventures with Taxi Explorer in my post One Year In The App Store.

Ads Performance

I rarely click on ads. I’ve always thought the banners are annoying and most of the clicks on them are by mistake. That’s why I didn’t put them on at the very beginning.

I had no experience with any of the numerous ad networks and providers. I went for the obvious choice – Google’s AdMob. I would consider $1 RPM a success, but I thought that number was out of reach. Since my in-app sales were decreasing and fell below $2 RPM, I had nothing to lose.

Fast forward two months to today. Given the metrics of the last two months, I think the answer is users like ads very much. Ads revenue totally exceeded my expectations. My AdMob stats show my RPM is stunning $9.46! I’m quite satisfied with that, so ads are staying for good.

On the other hand, sales revenue remained the same. I doubled in-app price to $1.99, got less
sales but revenue amount remained the same. I’ll keep that price for now.

All in all, total revenue (ads + in-app sales) for the two months version 3.0 of Taxi Explorer has been released: $103,54. It’s not much, but it is a big improvement over the income from the previous versions.

That was the good news but there is bad news too. App usage continues to fall. The new version saw yet another drop. I didn’t do any marketing though – neither in social networks, nor App Store ads, no web mentions. This is pure organic traffic from the App Store.

Active users for version 3.0

This time I put screenshots from my Facebook analytics. I wanted to use it for my previous posts too, but I had a problem and could not access it at the time.

Analytics Puzzles

I’m using not one, but two analytics SDKs in Taxi Explorer – Google Firebase and Facebook Analytics. I could not decide which one is better, so I put them both.

When I first checked the stats, Facebook analytics was working fine and I liked it. It was easy to use and it had everything I needed.

Google Firebase turned out to be a disappointment. I found out I can log custom events and properties with it, but I cannot view and analyze them later. Google wants to charge me for using their Big Query infrastructure, to let me see my custom properties. I’ve never imagined Google considers few events logged from a hundred users a day “big query”.

I sticked with Facebook Analytics. My satisfaction didn’t last long though. Suddenly I could not access analytics dashboard. I thought there was some failure in Facebook backend, so I decided to wait till they fix it.

Facebook Analytics error message

The error “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.” didn’t hint that I had caused it at all. I tried opening the analytics the next day, then the next week, then the next month and I always got the same error message.

Finally I wrote to the support. They were quite fast and resolved the case in less than a day. It turned out I had disabled Facebook apps in my personal feed from the Settings menu. I don’t know why and how this setting is related to Facebook analytics for mobile apps, but making it Enabled again fixed the issue for me and I could access my analytics again. If you have the same problem, go to Facebook Settings, select Apps from the menu at the left of the screen, click that Edit button and then Enable Platform. Thank you, Facebook support team.
Facebook Apps SettingsBy the same time I received a support email about taxi fares in Querétaro, Mexico. Yes, I hadn’t heard of that city too. But I looked it up in wikipedia and it seemed a big city in my view. I found a new ride sharing service, Cabify, along with the city search. That is a good opportunity to update the app.

So if you happen to travel to Querétaro or any of the other 52 supported cities, download the app today. It’s free! I promise to publish app’s usage stats and revenue numbers. Stay tuned.

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