Android Ad Revenue: MobFox Review

MobFox isn’t as MobFoxwell known of a player as AdMob or Mobclix.  However, they specialize in extremely high CPC (cost-per-click) ads in Europe and When they say high CPC, they really mean it.  I’ve seen 24-cent clicks, which is rather exciting if you’ve been seeing 3 cent clicks on AdMob.

Today I’m reviewing MobFox and using it for Android apps.

In my continuing quest to get the absolute maximum I can from my apps, I have been running them all head-to-head.  I have compared AdMob to MobClix in the past, and have also talked about getting paid by those two.  I also have compared ad income to paid app payouts.  Getting the money in your hands is an important thing.

If you need more resources, check out the Android Income Toolbox, where I’m maintaining information that helps me earn income from my Android apps.

Update – check out the Android Ad Network Primer for instructions and reviews for many more ad networks.

Initial results caught my attention

Immediately after releasing an update to my low-traffic app using MobFox, I saw an increase in the revenue over AdMob.  Not only was the CPC higher, the CTR (click-through-rate) was higher as well.  That doesn’t take much math – higher income per click, and more clicks means more revenue.

MobFox day 1 incomeSo, within a few hours of uploading my app, I already had confirmation that this ad network showed promise.  Obviously, to make real money I’ll need more traffic and more time.

In fact, over the next week I started seeing eCMP (the approximate amount you’ll make per thousand impressions) jump around between $4 and $10!  I got pretty excited and switched over more apps to MobFox.

A Little Confusion

I’ll admit, though, I haven’t gotten this thing figured out completely.  While my first app showed amazing revenue, my larger app didn’t scale up.  The CPC was lower, and I wonder if the demographic information I provided scared off the higher-paying advertisers.  Or maybe my low-traffic app simply had a great group of users in countries that had high-paying ads available.

Either way, the revenue is still high for all of my apps on MobFox.

Update 2011-5-5: For some reason, when I use the eCPMcontrol feature (see below) and send traffic to AdMob, I get higher RPM than when the traffic went directly to AdMob from my app. Interesting.  Perhaps the refresh rate is different.

Update 2012-4-6: Some food for thought – here are the breakdown numbers for where MobFox is seeing traffic: [never mind, the link broke]

Feature Runthrough

There are a few features that differentiate MobFox from its competitors, besides the high CPC rates I saw.

For one, they have a backfill option that lets you send traffic to AdMob (directly, so you get all of the income) if they don’t have ads to serve.  This is very handy, and I set up a separate AdMob “app” to track this traffic.  Update – I should also mention that you can use InMobi with the backfill option, instead of Admob.  It’s just as simple to set up.

What’s even cooler, they have a feature called “eCPMcontrol”.  Basically, you can limit ads shown to only ones with a higher CPC or eCPM (or both) than a value you set.  Don’t want low-paying ads to even show?  This gives you that control.  Paired with the backfill feature noted above, this means you can use MobFox to just serve high-paying ads and have AdMob (or InMobi) serve the rest.

That’s what I’m doing now, as I still like AdMob for serving house ads to advertize my own apps.

Another feature that has piqued my interest is the affiliate program.  Yes, if you sign up from a link I give here I might get some revenue based on how much you earn.  It doesn’t cost you anything, though, so just consider it a contribution (that costs you nothing) if I’ve helped you out at all with this article.  Then, after you join, anyone you refer will earn you money.  Once they get a payout, the referrer also gets a small payment.  The affiliate link is generated automatically when you join, so it doesn’t take any effort.

Payout thresholds are a little higher than AdMob – $50 vs $20 for AdMob.  However, they very nicely sent me a statement at the end of my first month showing me how much they owed me.  Neither of the other two players did that.  Also, I’ll make the payout threshold faster for MobFox than for AdMob simply due to the higher revenue.  For comparison, MobClix has a payout threshold of $100, the highest of the three.

Conclusion

At its worst, MobFox seems to be at least as good as AdMob.  At its best, it pays a whole lot more.  And since you can control what traffic MobFox handles, you actually can have the best of both.  You definitely want to sign up for MobFox.

Update 2011-8-29 – It’s been a few days and I’m still waiting from a response from MobFox.  I’m not sure why Admob no longer appears as a backfill option (only InMobi), but my previous election is being honored and the traffic is going to Admob still.  Hopefully we’ll get this sorted out in the next few days.

Update 2011-8-30 – I now see this on the backfill page: “Note: BackFill option for AdMob is currently not available. We are working together with AdMob for a solution and will bring this option back within the next few days.”

Update 2011-11-14 – Since the backfill to Admob isn’t working, I have switched off any kind of backfill for most of my apps, and find the eCPM and income to be pretty decent with having all ads served by MobFox.  The income is better than Admob is providing me right now.

Update 2013-4-26 – I haven’t had the chance to check out all of the new backfill options with MobFox, but there are quite a few and they even list the region each network is strong for.

If you’re still hungry for more information on Android ad networks, take a look at the other articles on Android ad revenue or get the Android Ad Network Primer for the full set of my reviews and information on ad networks for your Android apps.

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.

Comments

Android Ad Revenue: MobFox Review — 19 Comments

  1. Thank you,

    Very interested post and blog in general.

    We started playing with Android apps too.
    Got $0.27 eCPM in admob and $0.26 in MobFox. So close.
    Will try eCPMcontrol though, maybe it will help.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the great article. I am also in the same water as you were. Anyway, used the sign up link (you might get contribution!)

    -Sami

    • Do you see ad impressions with MobFox, or is most of your ad traffic being sent to Admob? If you are using the eCPMcontrol feature and it can’t find high paying ads, you might be sending all of your traffic to Admob. Otherwise, I’m not sure why the MobFox ads would be getting no clicks at all – that’s strange.

  3. I want to use MobFox, but I do not have a Federal Tax ID or Euro VAT, as I am not from the US or Europe. Am I still able to use MobFox, and if so, what do I enter in that field? I tried submitting a support ticket about this, but they haven’t got back to me.

  4. Thanks for the good article.Now im using Adwhirl for my apps where im serving ads form admob and inmobi.I’m happy with inmobi but not admob and in Adwhirl there is no option fo mobfox so how can i use combination of inmobi and mobfox, I dont want lose inmobi.

    • You’re in luck – the two options for MobFox backfill are Admob and InMobi. I hadn’t commented on the second choice before, but it sounds like I should update the Quickstart Guide to mention InMobi as an alternate choice.

      Basically, to use MobFox and InMobi, you would use the MobFox SDK for your ads, as described in the Quickstart Guide. Also set up the eCPMControl and the backfill, except select the InMobi option instead of Admob, and enter your InMobi Site ID. After that, it should work seamlessly.

  5. I’ve been using MobFox about 2-3 months now. At first they seemed great but for over the past week, my status keeps going from Active to InActive and I haven’t changed anything. I’ve sent an email to their support (several times) and received no response. As a note, I recently added the Backfill option (inMobi) and it seems like the problem started there. I finally sent MobFox an email asking them to send me my money (it’s below the threshold) and close my account two days ago. Since yesterday, I’ve noticed that my status is Active again (and again, I’ve not changed anything). But given my recent experience, it’s probably only a matter of hours/days before my status switches to InActive again. So I’m switching to AdMob or MobClix (not sure yet which one).

    • Their support seems to have slipped lately, as myself and other readers also haven’t gotten replies about the Admob backfill problem. MobFox is on the rocks for me right now, but their backfill page now indicates that they’re working on the Admob problem and hope to fix it in a few days. I still see the backfill working to Admob, so I’m waiting to see how this turns out.

      It’s possible that app show as inactive if no ads from the MobFox network are being shown (e.g. if they are backfilled to inMobi).

    • I haven’t used this myself. It looks like it’s easier than AdWhirl, because you don’t need the SDK for each ad network. However, they don’t show how ad mediation is done, so I don’t know how well it would work for my needs. It might be worth a deeper look.

  6. Hi, great post! Really useful for people like us, planing to launch a new App and checking out ways to monetize it.
    We are from Argentina, and we are looking for ads solutions focused on Spanish speakers. Do you know wich ad solution could be best for that porpoise?
    Thanks a lot!

    • I haven’t done any testing on Spanish-only ads, so I can’t say for sure. You may have luck with using an ad mediator like MoPub. You may need to do testing to see which networks have good fill rates for you, and using a mediator allows you to switch your ad sources (such as when you find that one is not working well) without re-deploying your app. I’ve been using MoPub with AdMob, LeadBolt, MobFox, and others.

  7. Do not use Mobclix, they owe me almost $10,000 USD for revenue all the way from Aug 2012 till present, and they responded to my queries a few times with this “We are processing the payments in matches and you should receive the payment shortly” and I never got shit

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