October 19, 2010
Meet Michel Lesoinne, aerospace engineer by day, awesome Android developer by night.
Michel is the creator of the ridiculously addictive Bubble Burst series on Android. The game seems simple enough: tap bubbles of the same color to earn points, the more adjacent bubbles of the same color you pop with each touch, the higher your score. But the game will only keep going as long as you have at least one color with two adjacent bubbles; when no more bubbles of the same color are around each other, it’s game over. An inviting UI, engaging gameplay, and strategy/arcade balance are what make Bubble Burst a must download for any Android user, but at it’s original price of $4.99, the biggest bubble that was being burst was how much Michel could have been making.
When we reached out to Michel, he had released a free, lite version of the app but was hesitant to incorporate advertising for fear it might not fit in with the look and feel of his app. He also worried that users who were used to the versions without ads would create a backlash of negative reviews complaining about the incorporation of ads.
At the same time, we were working on a report comparing the current state of free vs. paid apps in the App Store and Android Marketplace, and were able to provide accurate extrapolations as to why it would be beneficial for Michel to feature advertising in the free version of Bubble Burst. Not only was 2/3 of the Android marketplace free, but the average price for paid applications at the time was $4.10. We knew featuring highly targeted, premium ads would create enough sustainable revenue that Michel could even consider eliminating his paid version all together, or utilize Custom Ads to help up-sell the paid version and cross promote other apps he was developing. As the largest mobile ad exchange, Mobclix monitors the pulse of the mobile industry and is always finding new ways to help convey additional insight to the developer community to help them create even better apps and monetize more effectively.
Once Michel realized we provided advertising that engaged rather than alienated users, we discussed everything from the best places to feature ads to integration tricks, ad feed optimization to how he could plan for future releases. Being able to reach the Mobclix team through our dedicated support channels means we’re able to provide quick turn-around and get developers the answers they need to push out their apps faster and start generating revenue.
By releasing a free ad supported version of Bubble Burst, Michel saw and continues to see on average 5X higher revenue. Since joining Mobclix, Michel has added 3 more apps and is running ads in all of them. For an even more in depth look at the paid vs. free debate, check out a recent blogpost by one of our lead engineers, Saverio Mondelli, co-founder of Enormego.