App Revenue Sources

Increasing Income

I talked to Navang from Mobclix a few days ago, and he was very helpful with data about where my ads were being served. Now that Google shares a lot of information on the Android Developer Console (see my previous post about the awesome new Statistics in the Developer Console), I have lots of data to crunch.

This is just a short comparison of traffic and income sources for my app. Keep in mind that this app is exclusively in English, and is text-intensive. I don’t expect anyone to be using it who doesn’t have at least a reasonable grasp of English (yet expectations should always be checked).

Again, these statistics are for Droid Secret Tips and Droid Secret Tips Pro.

App Sales

After a month of the pro version being available, my top three sources of app sale income are from:

  • US – 84.4%
  • Netherlands – 2.7%
  • UK – 2.7%

The lion’s share of income for the paid app is coming from the Google Android Market.  I also sell from SlideMe, where the income was also almost entirely from the US.

Free App Downloads


Interestingly, this is not the same as the traffic sources for the free version. Mobclix reports that the breakdown of ad requests is:

  • United States – 83.15%
  • United Kingdom – 4.25%
  • India – 1.96%

As a side note, my results don’t match the average top Mobclix ad request sources for Android:

  • United States – 56.25%
  • United Kingdom – 5.12%
  • Korea, Republic of – 3.31%
  • Japan – 3.29%
  • Saudi Arabia – 2.65%

The Mobclix representative indicated that Asia and Europe switch places periodically as to which has higher traffic. The US remains the top source of income.


On to Admob. The numbers are aggregated differently, but the US is still the majority of the traffic:

Admob report (for traffic)

  • North America – 84%
  • Europe – 10%
  • Asia – 4%

Of note, however, is that the proportion of income is different. Europe has a higher percentage of income relative to the traffic. Asia is the reverse.

Admob reports (for income)

  • North America – 76%
  • Europe – 13%
  • Asia – 2%

This would seem to indicate that while there is traffic in Asia, the income isn’t quite on track. That relates to something the Mobclix representative said about the deals for advertising in Asia not quite reaching the monetization levels that they see in other parts of the world. That’s certainly worth thinking about.

Google’s App Statistics

I had just finished assembling this data when I saw the new Statistics feature of the Android Developer Console. This writeup took a backseat while I looked into that new treasure trove of data. So, here are some install numbers to compare with the above.

For the free version, Droid Secret Tips, the top install locations are:

  • US – 82.1%
  • UK – 3.5%
  • India 2.8%
  • Canada – 1.0%

Off the cuff, I would say the correlation between install locations and ad serving locations is fairly strong. I don’t know that I need to put any more effort into tracking the ad request locations. The install count is a strong enough indicator.

Deciding on Metrics

While the ad request count and distribution is important, the fill rate is pretty important to revenue as well. Some of the fill rates shown in Admob show that they just don’t have ads in some regions. I’ve even seen clicks that resulted in zero income. Mobclix doesn’t supply this information in the dashboard (at least not yet), but they do track a lot of stuff they don’t display. If you are concerned about fill rates outside of the US, you can submit a ticket and ask if there is a significant no-fill rate for your app.

For now, I don’t think my traffic and install count outside of the US merits significant effort in tracking and optimizing my fill rates outside of the US.


All in all, while I haven’t been able to make specific decisions about countries outside of the US, I can determine that about 15% of my app installs come from outside of the US. With the ad revenue, I really don’t know if that’s 15% of my income. With the paid app, however, I certainly do. I would be curious to see how the numbers would change if I released an app that wasn’t so English-intensive.

While it doesn’t appear that most of the ex-USA world provides a significant income for me, it would be worth finding if it’s possible to get greater exposure to Europe. The numbers show that the income per user is higher in Europe than in Asia.

Another strategy would be to have a higher user count in Asia (as there are some very large growing markets in Asia). That might be appropriate for a language-independent app, but not Droid Secret Tips (at least without translation). Something to investigate later.


Posted in Android 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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