Friday, February 15, 2013

Windows 8: The Featured App Effect

Last week, my app "Physamajig" was a featured app for Windows 8. This means that it had a dedicated tile on the main Store hub which looked like this:

The app had real estate on the Games category like this for 5 days, from 2/8 through 2/12, and I received an email from Microsoft about a week before giving me a heads up that my app was going to be featured at that time. As you can imagine, having a featured app is a huge impact to the number of downloads and visibility of your app.

Looking at how this impacted Physamajig can provide a glimpse into what the most popular apps might be taking in for Windows 8 Monetization.

Impact on Downloads

The graph below shows Physamajig downloads in blue. The top 5 games are shown in the orange color. Notice the huge spike to 5000+ downloads per day during the featured promotion:

Impact on In-App Purchases

The next graph shows in-app purchases, which remain very modest for Physamajig. I may need to toy with the model I currently have, where a single in-app purchase unlocks all sample mini-games and removes Ads. Or it may just be that my customer base (likely 9 to 13 year olds) doesn't have the money to purchase! :)

Impact on Ad Monetization

Physamajig shows Ads until a user "unlocks" the full version through an in-App purchase. Pubcenter is used as the ad service. Let's first look at the "good news" which is the number of impressions per day. From the graph below you can see that the app spiked to 80,000+ impressions per day.

Now let's look at the bad news, which is revenue. Pubcenter continues to return an anemic CPM which is impacting developer revenue on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone platforms.

Normally you would hope for an eCPM of about $1 (or $1.00 per 1,000 ad impressions). But instead I am seeing between 20 and 50 cents per 1,000 impressions which makes for much less revenue. Imagine multiplying the revenue values below by 2 or 3 and things would certainly look more appealing, yes? 

Monetization Summary

Here is the summary of what I've seen for monetization in the first 3.5 months...

"Physamajig" Summary first 3.5 months
Total Downloads since pub lish
In-App purchases
Ad monetization (pubcenter)
$1,641.87     (4,552,202 impressions @ 0.36 eCPM)
Total for 3.5 months

Should you Develop Windows 8 Apps?

If you are lucky enough to have a top app in the Windows 8 Store, and have it stay at the top, is there sufficient opportunity for monetization? I guess that depends on the individual developer but personally I am having a lot of fun hobby time and the monetization is a nice bonus.

There have been some comparable stories to mine, and also some incredible ones regarding Windows 8 app success which you should check out.

One thing is sure, Microsoft needs Windows 8 apps! And they are providing some nice incentives to get people started with Windows 8 app development. Here is a collection of incentives that they are providing to get you started:

Sign up now and you'll receive the tools, help, and support you need to get your Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps developed

Free Windows Store Registration and a copy of HALO 4 for your first app and a chance to win and XBOX w/Kinect.

Get funding for your next great Windows Phone app idea.

Create an app and enter a monthly drawing for $1000, $500, or $250.