MobFox isn’t as well 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.
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: http://mobfox.com/advertiser-performance-trafficstats?traffic_type=android_app&contype=
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.
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.