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How Applovin is making me money with mobile ads

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Unless you’re making larger games, chances are you are monitising your apps with some sort of mobile ad network. I’ve used a lot of these over the past year, and its always worthwhile to keep a look out for new ad networks who are doing well. One such network I had been hearing good things about was Applovin. Applovin is an iOS and Android ad network. So I decided to try them out with 2 little iOS games I was publishing. First up I had a little racing game that went live on Fri 28 June, 3 days ago. Here are the stats.


The eCPM started off higher then settled just under $7, with total revenue of $141 from Applovin for the weekend. What’s very interesting and quite unusual, is you can actually track the fill rate and eCPM per country, which I haven’t seen too many times before in ad networks.


Some of the eCPMs are pretty nice… $78 in New Zealand, $9 in the US and $8 in Australia. So if you have apps with strong downloads in English speaking countries this is definitely worth looking at. CTRs are pretty good all round as you can see. China is a bit different… the fill rate is quite low (28%) and eCPMs are good at $9.99. Is it hard to compare this to other ad networks as you don’t really have access to their specific fill rates. Making money from ads in China is difficult. You could actually try to improve your ad revenue by using Applovin in association with a Chartboost campaign set up only to show in countries where Applovin has a low fill rate – which isn’t that many.

Next up I had another reskin going live this Saturday, so I had Applovin ads in here as well. Here’s the overview.


This game has been live for about 2.5 days and has made $251, with an overall eCPM of $7.13. That’s not bad. You can see this game is getting more downloads and ad impressions than the first game. Below is the breakdown of fill rates and eCPMs by countries.


China has a low fill rate again, but all of the other countries with large impressions have very high fill rates which is good. eCPMs are not bad either.. nearly $10 in the US, $20 in France (maybe I need to make some French apps?) and the app is doing well in other European countries with high impressions as well. Again for this one you could set up a Chartboost campaign for China only, and have both working together to try and increase this a little.

Their ads are a mixture of static pictures often with a moving button.


Of course figures in the online dashboard are all well and good, but there are a few other things to consider:

1. Customer service: These guys are good. Quick to reply, very helpful and nice to deal with.
2. Payment times: Applovin pay net 15. So you will get paid for your all your July sales by Aug 15th. This is both nice & unusual from what I’ve seen. Fast is good :)
3. Payment thresholds: You can do paypal (min $20) or wire transfer (min $150). Paypal with a $20 minimum is pretty nice for new developers when every penny counts.
4. Full screen ads will make you more money than banner ads
5. Works on iOS and Android. I am going to try Applovin on a few Android apps soon, and have heard good things on the grapevine about this.
6. Applovin is also recommended to put into older apps which already have a larger user base, as it can lead to higher eCPMs. IF this is true it would be great. App downloads and impressions naturally decline after you move out of the new charts so having eCPMs increase as your app ages would be quite nice to offset the usual income drop.
7. Seeing the fill rates and impressions by country is pretty cool.
8. SDK integration is quite simple. Not only that, but when you sign up to Applovin you get ONE ID. You give your developer that one ID for EVERY APP. Unlike the other networks you do NOT need to make a new ID for each app, which is great. If you’ve doing a lot of apps this is BIG.

The only disadvantage I’ve seen to date is you cannot turn off ads in your dashboard. Once ads are on, they are on. Only an app update with Applovin removed can turn them off. Hopefully Applovin will change this in the future as this flexibility is really needed for publishers if you need to switch your app from paid to free for vice versa when its live. 7 days in review is a long time to wait.

So overall I’m pretty happy with Applovin so far and will be using it in more apps.

If anybody decides to give them a shot, I would greatly appreciate if you could send an email to [email protected] and cc: [email protected] to sign up, simply letting them know that Elaine from Choc Lab Apps referred you.

Let me know how you get on.

UPDATE: Here is a blog post from Caeser on how to turn your Applovin ads on and off remotely.

Need more help?

If you love this content all I ask is one thing – please share it with 3 of your friends who would like to boost their ad revenue.

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 28 comments… add one }

  • Phill Mason July 1, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Thanks Elaine, just signed up to give them a go and sent an email to David and Mark telling them to give you a big hug if they see you :) Thanks for tip and I look forward to trying them out.

  • Dom July 1, 2013, 10:08 pm

    Awesome article and great to see AppLovin is performing for you.

    I’m certainly looking forward to your Android results.

    One minor point, and I know you know this, but just so people don’t get too carried away with the eCPM’s in New Zealand ($78) its worth mentioning you can’t really judge eCPM’s until you’ve had at least 1,000 impressions in that region. I’d say looking at the first image, you were luckily enough to have an install in your first 26 impressions in NZ resulting in such an awesome eCPM. Certainly if you got another install every 26 impression up to 1,000 it would be a fantastic result… and the eCPM would hold true, but I guess that’s unlikely, lol.

    Conversely though, your US eCPM does look attractive at $10 after 6,600+ impressions and even your Chinese traffic generating $3.44 is pretty epic.

    Thanks again for sharing this awesome info, I hope you keep us updated.

  • Mick July 1, 2013, 10:32 pm

    Where abouts did you place the ads? On app startup?

  • Darby July 2, 2013, 2:31 am

    Hey Elaine – great post as usual! These guys have been contacting me weekly since one of our games hit the top 50 in racing. I haven’t had time to really look at their website so I am glad you did this post – saves me time! So you were able to get your apps approved WITH the ads showing? There have been quite a few people getting hit with rejections for games with ads so I have been a bit reluctant to give this a go because of possible apple rejection. Would be great if they could add the turn on/turn off feature sooner rather than later! Appreciate you pointing that out! The revenue looks great – so might just be worth taking a chance of getting the app thru review!

    Thanks for always sharing your successes with us!

  • Andrew Chia July 2, 2013, 3:34 am

    Hi Elaine,

    Dunno if you heard it from my on the FB MM but if you did can you give David a mention please? Cheers :)

  • Andrew Chia July 2, 2013, 3:59 am

    Ahh sorry my mistake (I jumped to conclusions as always), keep up the posting :)

  • Tom July 2, 2013, 6:36 am

    Firstly excuse my ignorance.
    I’m new to the app industry and am very close to launching my first app.
    At the moment it has Revmob integrated.
    a) Is it possible to have Revmob and Applovin integrated on the same app?
    b) Would you reccomend one over the other?
    Any info would be great!
    Tom the App virgin

  • B July 2, 2013, 8:47 am

    What other platforms do you use? Say you we’re just looking at getting downloads?

  • Judy Wong Dobberpuhl July 2, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Thank you Elaine! Always appreciate your terrific blog posts and insights on this fast pace industry! Nothing is constant but change and the mobile app world definitely keeps you on your toes! Thanks for the info! :)

  • Jorge Suarez July 2, 2013, 3:03 pm

    Awesome as always elaine! Guess we’ll have to try it out! Xo ‘s Y.

  • Elaine July 2, 2013, 4:22 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    @Mick – at launch and game over
    @Darby – yes
    @Tom – yes and AppL is doing better for me now
    @B – Sorry I don’t understand the questions. Ads will not get you app DLs.

  • Dustin July 2, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Any chance you want to do a tutorial on this. I followed there instructions, but am getting an error “linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)” and figure it is probably due to something really simple, like missing a . or something somewhere.

  • Adrienne July 3, 2013, 10:00 pm

    Great info!

  • Prudence July 4, 2013, 8:09 am

    Nice one Elaine!

  • Roberto July 6, 2013, 9:03 am

    Fantastic blog thanks a lot Elaine. May God Bless you and keep you.

  • Erwin July 9, 2013, 8:24 am

    Hi Elaine,

    Great to see you are doing well with Applovin!

    Are the eCPMs still about the same after one week?

  • admin July 9, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Erwin, average eCPM since the beginning is now $6.02 over all apps.

  • Jared July 10, 2013, 5:19 am

    Thanks Elaine,

    Do you have any problems getting apps approved with the ads turned on? With Revmob and Chartboost I turn ads off during app review.

  • admin July 13, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Jared – Caesar just did a blog post on this, check out the update at the end of this post to see the link.

  • max July 14, 2013, 10:49 pm

    Hi Elaine
    Can you make a post about how implement AppLovin?
    When I put [ALInterstitialAd showOver: [[UIApplication sharedApplication] keyWindow]]; in AppLovin dashboard appear impressions but in the app I don’t see ads

  • Fire July 15, 2013, 3:31 am

    Hi Elaine,

    That is a nice one. Just came across your book in Amazon and purchased it a minute ago. Am half way reading through it.

    But am having problem to download your audio version of the book as Google indicated that it getting too much traffic for the download.

    Can you help to make it available also in others share drive e.g. Dropbox?


  • Elaine July 15, 2013, 9:59 am

    Hi Max, best thing would be to email David (email above).

    @Fire – hope you enjoy the book :) Try the download again today it should work ok.

  • Ally December 20, 2013, 6:59 pm

    When I looked at your data, I said “WOW!” How did you attract tens of thousands of downloads in the first few days?

    I just released my first re-skin game a few days ago and it only has 2 digit downloads everyday, needless to say about the revenue. I must have done something wrong.

    Dear Elaine, it is your blogs that led me to this industry. Will you please shed some light on what I should work on? Keywords?

  • Stephen May 2, 2014, 10:40 am

    Hi Elaine,
    I’ve been reading your blog and bought one book of your’s and love the whole concept, but could you please help me out I just don’t quite see something. If I’m getting it right, from the figures above, we should expect an average eCPM of around $10 and lets say we have 2 Ad networks per app, so we’re getting $20 total eCPM across our portfolio, so with a portfolio like yours of say 200 apps with say 4M total downloads we have a total income of 4M/1000 = 4000 x $20 eCPM = $80,000 if it costs, say, $400 to reskin an app, we have 200 apps x $400 = $80,000 and therefore zero profit.
    Where am I going wrong with the numbers?
    Thanks Stephen

  • Elaine Heney May 2, 2014, 10:46 am

    Sorry I can’t follow that math!can you explain another way? I focus on turning a profit on each individual app in about a month or less.

  • Stephen May 2, 2014, 11:06 am

    Thanks Elaine, by you saying that, I now see my mistake – lol. I was thinking that number downloads = number of impressions.
    Can I ask you, what sort of number of impressions you get daily across your portfolio?

    I so want to make a living from writing apps:
    I’m an embedded software engineer, (actually published 3 games for the ZX81 back in 1982, so you can have a guess at my age :-), I’ve been in sales for the last 6 years and need to know if I really push myself, outsource, project manage and krank out 1-2 games a week, will I really make enough money to work from home?

  • Elaine Heney May 2, 2014, 11:09 am

    Is it possible? Yes. Can you do it? Only you can answer that question.

  • Zach August 3, 2014, 11:59 am

    Hey Elaine, I can’t believe these amazing numbers your getting in just a matter of a couple days! And to you it just seems decent, so you must making extremely well living off of your app business. Any ways, I was wondering if you use any kind of marketing at all. Are you just throwing these re-skinned apps in the appstore and getting these kind of results that quick with no time or money spent on marketing? Im really curious to know and also wondering how i can view your apps live in the store. Thanks alot i appreciate your answer and any feedback. Best Regards, Zach.

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