Over the last few months we were actively working on something that we really wanted to share with you, but couldn’t. There were just too many moving parts and unknowns. We are still some time away from launching the product, but we have the concept ironed out and couldn’t resist the opportunity to discuss it freely with our friends while at BUILD. So, today we are unveiling AdDuplex Direct!
A little bit of history
AdDuplex was created with a vision of helping independent developers succeed on Windows Phone (and later Windows 8). Our goal was helping you grow your userbase for free or with minimal investments and we were laser focused on that mission. Our reasoning was that there are ways for developers to monetize their apps and the biggest challenge was getting to a usage level when monetization efforts even make sense. Helping with that was our mission from the day we launched in 2011. This is still our main mission going forward.
Having said that, we’ve heard from developers times and times again, that growing the audience is not their only challenge. Not every app is well suited for selling additional functionality or content. Not every indie game developer has skills and resources to spend months optimizing the economics of the game for maximum revenue. And let’s face it, almost no one is buying paid indie apps and games these days.
Advertising continues to be the most hassle-free way for small and medium app developers to monetize their apps. Our developer friends often tell us that they like monetizing their apps with ads, but the problem is that current offerings do not deliver. They loved the cross-promotion part of AdDuplex and continually asked us to step up on the monetization side.
We always wanted to help. But the thing is – we are not a company built around advertising sales. We are a company started by developers. Doing a product to help developers. So we had the question of how we can help with the monetization on our mind, while we were actively working on other things. And with time it materialized into what we are unveiling today…
What is AdDuplex Direct?
As I mentioned above, we are not sales company. We won’t do the sales for you. What we will do, is give you a platform to do your own ad sales. A platform that will help you find your advertisers. A platform were you can sell and buy advertising in the best Windows Phone apps and games out there.
AdDuplex Direct is a marketplace where the best apps meet the best advertisers and do business together without having to worry about the technical side of the deal.
As an app developer you will be able to apply to AdDuplex Direct and have a listing for your app in the AdDuplex Direct Catalog. As an advertiser you will browse the catalog, select the apps you like and initiate advertising deals. When both parties agree on the scope of the deal the advertising campaign starts and when it’s over the developer gets paid. AdDuplex takes care of the catalog, ad serving, money handling – you develop the apps.
Great! How do I apply?
The application process is open to all Windows Phone apps running AdDuplex SDK v.2 (Windows 8 coming later). Just go to your app’s details in the new Client Area and you should see an AdDuplex Direct tab at the bottom:
We plan to select a small number of apps for the initial AdDuplex Direct launch and will gradually invite more and more apps.
Obviously you have a lot of questions about AdDuplex Direct. Here are a few questions that we’ve anticipated. Feel free to ask more in the comments below or over email.
Q: When is it going live?
We aim to launch publicly in Q2, 2014.
Q: How much does it cost?
Listing your app in the AdDuplex Direct catalog is free. When you get paid we will take a 18% commission to cover the costs.
Q: Who can apply?
For technical (read bureaucratic) reasons we are only able to work with developers representing legal entities. We are working hard to figure out a way to work with individuals, but it is unlikely that we will have all pieces in play before the initial launch.
Q: Why is it invite-only?
We want AdDuplex Direct to become the de-facto go-to place for advertisers looking to advertise in the best Windows Phone and Windows apps. Therefore we need to control the quality of the catalog.
Q: Do I have to participate in the AdDuplex cross-promotion network to apply?
At this stage – yes. This won’t be a requirement in the long run.
Q: Why don’t you accept apps that deliver less than 10,000 ad impressions a day?
Direct deals involve a bit of manual labor on both sides of the deal. We feel that it’s counterproductive to spend people’s time individually negotiating small deals. We encourage you to use AdDuplex cross-promotion network to grow your app’s popularity and monetize it later.
Q: What happens when I don’t have enough deals to cover all of my inventory?
You will be able to select what you want to do in this case. One option will be to fallback to AdDuplex cross-promotion. The other will be (pending an SDK update) to raise a special event that would let you hide the AdDuplex control and show whatever you want instead.
We will provide more details as we are nearing the public launch, but we would love to hear what you think about AdDuplex Direct. Please do not hesitate to provide any feedback you have.