Android Ad Network – Swappit

To earn more ad revenue from your Android apps, what you might need is more exposure.  House ads work great, but they only reach out to customers you already have through your other apps.

That’s where Swappit comes it.  Swappit is a bit of an outlier – you don’t earn ad revenue from it, but rather you exchange your ads for those in other apps that also use Swappit.  Basically, it lets you run a house ad campaign in other developers’ apps.

Wait, no revenue?

Not directly.  You are only exchanging house ads from other developers, so no financial details need to be exchanged.  You show their ads, they show your ads, and you’re done.

The term is ‘impressions’, where an impression is simply when an ad is shown to a user (as opposed to a request, which may or may not have been filled).

Where do you make your money?  The ads displayed in the other developers’ apps should bring in new users for your app.  Ideally, each additional user of your app generates revenue, so you will hopefully earn more from having these users than if you had just shown a paying ad in your original app.

A future task will be figuring out how to measure the results of these ad campaigns.

Is There a Catch?

There isn’t so much a catch, but there is a cost.  Swappit does get a cut – they need to make money.  Basically, they return 80% of the impressions you give them as credit.

So, for every 100 ads you show, you can get 80 of yours shown in another app.  Swappit shows their own ads with the other 20, which is how they earn their revenue.

Good support

You can get everything set up in the Swappit dashboard.  In my case, however, I ran into a small snag.  I began testing a number of ad networks at once, and with that many moving parts there’s bound to be something that doesn’t work as expected.

Luckily, the Swappit team was very responsive, and helped me get set up with MoPub (my review for that network is in the works).  I’m now earning credits (and spending them).

By the way, if you’re using MoPub, I’ll save you an email to their support team if they haven’t updated their instructions yet.  Here’s what I did to get it working for a 320×50 banner ad.

Add this snippet to the Custom HTML box for a custom network:

<iframe width=”320″ height=”50″ border=”0″ frameborder=”no” framespacing=”0″ scrolling=”no” src=”<pubID>&placementId=<AdUnitID>&contextType=app&adSize=320×50&wrapHtml=true”></iframe>

<pubID> = your publisher ID
<AdUnitID> = the ad unit you are serving

You get both of the IDs from the snippet they gave you.  Note that you’d have to change the width and height in both places if your ad size is different.

Tada!  Now Swappit shows ad impressions.

No pain to try it

With most ad networks, you won’t get a dime until you reach a threshold for payment.  That’s not a concern here, since you can spend credits as soon as you earn them.

Additionally, there are a number of integration options.  I didn’t even modify my app at all to integrate Swappit – I just directed a portion of my traffic from MoPub.

Try out Swappit, and let me know how it goes for you.


Posted in Android Ad Revenue permalink

About ProjectJourneyman

I am a software engineer that escaped the cubicle world at a large company to go solo with Android app development. My attention to detail and quality applies both to my apps and to my research on how to make money with Android. Now that I have the freedom to work on my own projects, I am documenting my efforts in the hopes that it will help other current or aspiring independent Android developers get the income they desire.


Android Ad Network – Swappit — 4 Comments

  1. Can you please do an article on how to use all those Swapitt impressions ? Not all users have Android Market installed, so just linking to the market is not a good idea…. Prehaps hosting another website with links to the markets ? But this seems lame & an extra hoop for the user to jump through.

    • That’s a good suggestion. I’m still working on the best way to use those impressions with Swappit, but I am leaning towards using app-only ads (not mobile web). While the linking must be web-based, it doesn’t account for multiple markets. That’s actually a very tough problem. I think it’s not talked about much because so many people are on Google Play. As other markets gain more market share I hope vendors deal with the issue better.

  2. Thanks for the review. Any insight into which apps your ads are pushed out to? And what kind of ads does swappit put on your app?


    • Not much control for where your ads are displayed, except that you can select app or mobile web (and select by platform). I haven’t policed the ads that they place very carefully, and I’m not sure what Swappit’s review process is for user-created ads.