Conclusion of the Ad experiment – We have a winner

Android, Monthly reports  |  March 13, 2013  |  4 responses  

If you guys remember from January 2012, I started a small experiment to determine if a totally free, ad-supported version would make cents for me (yes, it’s the same pun. It’s just too good to not use again). Today I happened to collect some financial stats and we have a clear winner!

Lately, given that I’ve been focusing on ThankBee, I’ve made an effort to not do any work that I’m not certain will provide some clear financial benefit. This goes against my natural tendency to want to work on two pet projects I have, one of which is the group of Flashcard apps.

I’m wanting to change these from a free version/paid version model, to have just a free app with in-app purchases of word sets. This would make maintenance and deployment easier, as well as hopefully make the barrier between a free user and a paying user much lower. Their money would be just two clicks away from my wallet, whereas now it’s a whole lot of clicks away.

So I decided to get some really quick numbers on the Flashcard sales (and widget sales, since they’re kinda related) for the last 3 months. Here goes:

3 month total Monthly average
Widget $50 $16.6
Flashcard sales $326 $108.6
Ads (Flashcards) $72 $24
Total $448 $149

I haven’t been tracking individual sales for a while, just monitoring the total, so I had no idea of how much each app was making. $150 per month isn’t bad considering it’s totally passive, however it’s far from impressive.

Conclusions

So, the ad experiment is finished and it’s obvious that, at least for this app, it’s a bad idea to just use ads for revenue. $24 per month is barely enough for a movie and a burger once a month, and it’s 4 times less than sales income.

On the second point of business, the decision of making these updates would have to be based on an expectation of how much more they would make, given I have no data. $10 more per month? $50 more per month? Maybe as often happens with pet projects, I’ll update these just because I need a break from real work.