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Featured Mobster: Windmill Apps

January 20, 2010

Windmill Apps produces great mobile apps. We’d like to highlight iSpider Free, the perfect prankster app for the iPhone. It’s climbing the ranks fast and features Mobclix ads.

iSpider Free

The Stats:

  • Monthly Downloads: 45,000 in December, 35,000 by mid January (upward trend)
  • Monthly Ad Impressions: 1.3 M in December, 1.2M by mid January
  • Daily Users: 20,000

We interviewed Windmill Apps CEO, Markus Nigrin:

1) Why did you decide to build an iPhone app?

“I wanted to test the waters in the Entertainment category, which, back in June 09, was already described as “overloaded” (little did we know). And knowing the great rendering capacity of my graphic designer, I always wanted to make a spider crawl out of the phone, as a kind of slightly spiced up graphic demo, so that went well together. Obviously I wanted that spider to crawl out of the original home screen, after multiple rejections where Apple stated that even a fake, retro home screen will confuse the iphone users, the app released with a spider getting out of blank earth.”

2) What made you think the ad revenue model made sense for you?

“Initially I just put ads in to see how that goes, to “punish” my users, to create another reason for upselling. In the meantime it is an important revenue generator for me, although the app displays ads only on the homescreen. In December, I made almost exactly the same amount of money from ad revenue as I made from upselling to the full version (which has more animated fear scenarios, not just “no ads”).”

3) What tips do you have for other developers?

“This is a great example of a smaller project that never got a huge spike but starts to pay off over time. It was amazing to see how this app suddenly got a huge spike over Christmas and after five month without an update suddenly started to enter the UK Entertainment charts (up to rank 35). The way I interpret this is that, for one, the app has a certain word-of-mouth factor and it seems to resonate with the growing target group of classic young gamers. This group is very different than the 30yr+ graphic designer which I would describe as the classic 1st gen user of those devices. So for 2010, I think that understanding this target group change and its influence on everything “charts” will be key to success. And here is a provocative thought as a last comment: If you don’t like making apps for that target group, the Apple platform might not be your first choice anymore.”

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