Android Ad Revenue: Amobee Review

AmobeeIf you’ve been looking at Motorola’s SHOP4APPS store for China, you’ve probably seen that you need to use Amobee as your ad network.  Unfortunately, Amobee isn’t quite as user-friendly as some of the other ad networks.

In fact, I was about to write off Amobee as “not ready for primetime”.  I signed up as a publisher on the Amobee site, but after a single email from their North American office, they neglected to call me (as promised) or send any other email.  I guess they don’t like to deal with independent developers…

Update: it’s dead, move on.

Developer’s Entrance

However, I did look back at the Motorola pages about Amobee, and saw something:  They have a link to a different signup page.  This one actually works, and gets you an SDK when you’re done.  Be sure to check out the instructions on Motorola’s page (dead link).

So, it appears that they don’t like dealing directly with developers but are willing to do it due to their relationship with Motorola.

I sent an email when I didn’t get a response in 3 days after signing up, and the helpful support guy sent me my login information and advertiser ID, as well as the 1.0.1 update to the Amobee API.

An outdated SDK

How is the API? So far, it’s the worst I’ve seenThere is no XML integration option, so you have to hard-code it into your activities.  After working with Admob, MobClix, and other mature SDKs you can’t help but wonder if this is the first trip around the block for these guys.

Unlike other ad networks I’ve worked with, the Amobee SDK hasn’t been updated in over a year.  The fact that they targeted Android version 1.0 might be part of the lack of polish. (Update – the recent 1.0.1 API is targeted to Android 1.6).

At least they give you code to paste into your activity.  It’s just not complete or correct.  You’ll have to tweak it.  They didn’t bother to copy the relevant data out of the projects and into the setup guide.  I’m sharing my code here in case you’re in the same boat.

Frustrating, but possible

After much more work than was necessary (and a lot of force-close debugging), I got the ads running.  They didn’t show very often, but they did show.  I don’t know yet what can be done to improve the ad show rates.

Here’s a peek at the code, in case you’re struggling with the same problem.  These changes reflect the 1.0.1 API, which changed the getAdView method.  Here’s a tip – the adSpace value is your advertiser ID.

Also, Amobee’s support team indicated that you don’t need to set any of the targeting parameters, so I don’t know why the API demo shows setting things such as the country and other demographics.

        // initialize HAPI
        OnlineHAPI onlineHAPI = OnlineHAPI.getInstance(this);
        
        int AMOBEE_TOP = 1;
        int AMOBEE_BOTTOM = 2;
        LinearLayout layout =
                (LinearLayout) findViewById(R.id.banner_adviewbottom);
        if(null == layout) {
            Log.w(this.toString(), "Null Layout");
        } else {
            // Set adSpace (my ID) and placement
            AmobeeAdView amobeeAdView =
                onlineHAPI.getAdView(MY_AMOBEE_ID, AMOBEE_BOTTOM);
            int width = getWindowManager().getDefaultDisplay().getWidth();
            amobeeAdView.setLocation(0, 0, width, 75);
            amobeeAdView.setBackgroundColor(Color.TRANSPARENT);
            amobeeAdView.setRefreshInterval(60);
            amobeeAdView.setFocusable(false);
            FrameLayout parent = (FrameLayout)amobeeAdView.getParent();
            if (parent != null) {
                parent.removeView(amobeeAdView);
            }
            layout.addView(amobeeAdView);
        }

Payment from Amobee

Another thing to note is that Amobee will pay out when your account reaches $100, or roll over your balance until then.  I’m not sure from their text if they will pay 15 days after you make the threshold or 45.

In either case, your first payment will be delayed an extra month.

I’ll have to go through the whole cycle before I can verify if this actually works as described.

Conclusion – wait this one out

I don’t recommend using Amobee yet.  Their SDK is a huge pain, costing me several hours to integrate.  I’ll be testing their performance in China using Motorola’s Shop4Apps, and will have more information for you when I start seeing ad traffic.

In fact, unless my app’s performance in China is strong and justifies the time I spent getting Amobee integrated, I’m going to downgrade my recommendation for Shop4Apps even further in the Android Market Alternatives report.

Shop4Apps already shut down the Latin America channel, leaving only China.  If China doesn’t show strong performance, I’ll have to chalk up the whole Amobee experience as a waste.  I’ll keep you updated when I have more information.

Update: it’s defunct, move on.

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.

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