Friday, January 27, 2012

Introducing Windows Phone App Marketing and Monetization Newsletter

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We have just lunched a newsletter about “Windows Phone App Marketing and Monetization”. Every month we will cover interesting news, articles, tutorials and other content related to promotion and monetization of your Windows Phone apps. Check out the first issue and subscribe here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marketing and Monetization Interview Series #7. Elbert Perez Hides Nothing

elbertElbert Perez is one of the most productive and most open Windows Phone developers there is. He blogs openly about his experience developing Windows Phone games as his main occupation and Elbert is not hiding anything. You can find all the download, financial and other details in his blog posts.

It seems that there’s not much left to ask, but I’ll try…

Congratulations on your first million downloads. I'm pretty sure the second million won't take another year. With so many apps and users do you see any trend in the rate at which Windows Phone user base is growing? Have we started accelerating after Mango/2nd generation of phones came to market?

Thanks Alan, hopefully 2 million will hit by the middle of the year :) Currently I am seeing my user install base gradually increase in volume without me releasing a new game or doing any aggressive marketing over the past month.This could mean two things, firstly, my games are being discovered more and secondly the volume of users is increasing. I am betting more on the second part especially with the new second gen phones out. User growth from the data I have seen is accelerating, by how much I do not know because the data set is still small. But 2012 is definitely going to be the breakout year for Windows Phone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Windows Phone In Use Worldwide, US Leads

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We are working on bringing you some geo stats and in the mean time I’d like to share some global Windows Phone usage statistics based on data from a couple of days of activity in close to 700 apps on AdDuplex network.

Over the course of 2 days these apps were used in 189 countries by 166,000 users. You can pretty much call that Worldwide. USA is leading the pack with 34% of users coming from the states. An interesting trend could be seen if we look at the same chart from a month ago:

app_users_2011-12

United States becomes less dominant (even though still a clear leader) while countries were Windows Phone was launched in a second wave are getting more and more traction. Russia nearly doubled its share (from 3% to 6%), India came up from below the radar (at less than 1%) to a respectable 4% mark, Netherlands – from 1% to 2%. We can see that launching the phone and Marketplace in a country increases usage dramatically, as it should.

non-marketplace-usage-2012-01

12% of the users come from unsupported countries. This number includes China (7%) since the marketplace is not yet live there. One can assume that the rest of the world doesn’t matter because it’s only 5% of the users, but that would be a false assumption. It is only 5% precisely because it’s not supported and not the other way around.

I’ll try to post a similar chart every month so we can see the progress.

You can find a list of all logged countries and their share after the break.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Features, System Updates

We have deployed a new bigger update to AdDuplex that was mostly targeted at improving speeds and availability. That said it brings quite a few visible updates.

“Achievements”

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No, we are not giving you any badges (unless there’s a popular demand?), but we will highlight great performance gains of your apps and campaigns and offer you an option to share them on social networks.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Little 50% Screw Up and A Fix

Yesterday we’ve launched a 50% birthday discount on advertising. Unfortunately, due to my lack of experience configuring our new ecommerce provider, I made a mistake of applying the discount only to the 20,000 impression package. 100k and 250k were shown discounted on the site but were listed at full price on the checkout page.

This is now fixed and I apologize for the confusion this could have caused you. To mitigate this: every buyer of the 100,000 package will get an extra 20,000 impressions free of charge, and every buyer of 250,000 package will get a 40,000 bonus.

Thank you for supporting AdDuplex and sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to AdDuplex and a Present for You

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On January 9th, 2011 AdDuplex.com went live. Yes, we have officially turned 1 today. Happy birthday to us!

Some quick facts/achievements for the first year:

  • we went from 0 to 600+ active apps on the network;
  • I was excited when we crossed 5,000 impressions per day last spring. Now I’m waiting to cross 1,000,000 impressions per day in the nearest future;
  • close to 100,000 unique users see your ads every day;
  • we are the #3 most used ad network on the Windows Phone platform (#2 for XNA games) based on August stats (thank you, Justin Angel). Have we beaten Google since then? :)

Thank you very much for believing in the idea and using AdDuplex in your awesome apps!

As a thank you present, we have slashed the advertising prices in half for the reminder of January, 2012. So now is a good time to boost exposure of your apps at a great price.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Introducing the New AdDuplex Site

new_adduplex_screenshotThe initial AdDuplex site design was done by me and I think it was pretty awesome considering my utter lack of design skills. But time goes on and “… awesome considering …” wasn’t cutting it anymore. At the same time we wanted to highlight our core messages and showcase awesome apps using AdDuplex.

We could have hired a random designer to do the work, but we wanted someone who understands Windows Phone and developer community around it. So our first choice was the mega-awesome Long Zheng and, luckily, he didn’t turn me down when I approached him with the idea.

We have just launched the result of our work. Check it out. It’s only the first step and not much has changed functionally from the previous version, but the groundwork has been laid and we will improve the site and add new features in the nearest future.

One thing that has changed though, is the processing company for the paid advertising. Previously we have used PayPal, but some people have strong feelings against the company (we have been slightly burned by them on other projects ourselves) and it doesn’t provide both us and our users with all the features and payment options we need. So, we are happy to join forces with a great company we are successfully using in other projects – cleverbridge. You will still be able to use PayPal to pay via cleverbridge, but in addition you will have a lot of other payment options and features.

We appreciate your feedback on the new design and processing options. We’ve tried to test everything on the new site and hope that the transition was smooth, but if you notice anything unusual or not working, please, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Are You The One Getting Nokia Lumia 800 for Free?

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If your name is Olaf Conijn and you made Dilber Daily Tile among other apps then you are!

There were 220 apps eligible to win, but the gods of randomness decided that the gorgeous Lumia 800 is on its way to the Netherlands. The whole Dutch Windows Phone development scene is quite amazing and probably one of the most active in the world, so it’s only natural that a member of #wp7nl won the prize.

Thank you to everyone for using AdDuplex and congratulations to Olaf on your new phone! I’m kind of jealous myself ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who Needs Original Ideas?

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I don't make hits, I take risks
And make flops like floppy disks
I still stay professional and not sloppy
I try to be original, not a photocopy
Never Stop by Chilly Gonzales.

A few months ago I was honored to be a mentor at a mobile app hackathon called App Camp. During the first day “idea people” and teams pitched their ideas to recruit missing members to the team (or just to practice their pitches, if they didn’t need people).

My first thought after the pitches was that there weren’t many really original ideas, if at all. It seemed that either people didn’t do any research on the number of similar apps already in app stores, or they just didn’t care. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense from the small business perspective.

Basically the high level process of app business (or probably any business) consists of 3 steps:

  1. Coming with an idea
  2. Building an app
  3. “Selling” it (that includes popularizing free apps)

Anyone can come up with some idea. It could be a good idea or a bad idea, but most of the times there’s no lack of “idea people” at these coding events or even any drunk party for that matter. Technical and creative people can relatively easy evaluate their ability to implement that idea. That covers 2 steps out of 3.

Now, for selling the app, 99% of the people in the app business have no idea how to do it. Na├»ve “entrepreneurs” suppose that it’s enough to build a good product, drop it into the marketplace and start collecting money. More experienced (or just sober) people know that it’s not easy at all.

If you have an original idea and no one out of the tens and hundreds of thousands of developers thought of it, chances are that none of the users thought they need it either. It doesn’t mean that your idea sucks. It only means that you’ll have to somehow convince people that they have a problem that your app solves or, in case of a game, just shove it into faces of users until it catches some word-of-mouth inertia. All of this requires a lot of work and most likely money and it’s not what idea or techie/creative people have and/or want to spend.

Much easier and predictable route is to identify a large(ish) market segment and evaluate your abilities to outexecute the competition. In larger segments there’s enough space for more than 1 or 2 or 3 players. Each platform has a dozen of twitter clients, photo effect apps or Angry Birds clones, and definitely more than one app in each category is doing relatively well. People search for these apps. They evaluate a couple before settling with their favorite. If you execute well, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to succeed with relatively passive approach to “sales”.

Later in the above mentioned song there’s a line

And if I lack authenticity
Remember – authenticity is often shitty

So, honestly, even though I frown at the idea of creating another “fart app”, from a purely small business standpoint, it seems that unless you want to take big risks to go big, doing a good job on a non-original mass market idea is a safer bet.

What do you think?