Today, AppFuel announced the public beta launch of its ad network for mobile games, which helps developers get more users and make money at the same time.
The key to AppFuel is its simplicity. On one hand, developers want to get more users by advertising their app within other apps with similar audiences. On the other hand, they want to earn revenue, and they do that by displaying ads within their own app. With a simple slider, the AppFuel dashboard lets you choose between these two options.
If your cash is running low, maybe you’ll choose to earn more revenue; if you have a long runway but stagnating user numbers, maybe you’ll choose to cross-promote. And if you have multiple Android and iOS apps, you can manage them all together.
With 900,000 apps in the Apple app store – that’s 899,999 competitors trying to get users to click that crucial “Download” button – ad networks have surged in popularity as a way to get attention and revenue. AppCircle by Flurry can place ads to promote your apps; Millennial Media pays you money when you add ads from big brands. AppFlood, Google AdMob, and Chartboost all give you both options, with Chartboost focusing on games.
Ad networks live or die by the size of their networks. Chartboost, for example, reportedly has over 16,000 games. Although new, AppFuel is getting off to a good start by partnering with MakeGamesWith.Us, a Y Combinator company managing 16 games, and YetiZen, a mobile game accelerator in San Francisco. AppFuel monitors how well your ad does on particular games and automatically tweaks and refines the placement so you get the maximum number of downloads.
But ads can be annoying, so AppFuel does its best to make them unobtrusive – for example, blending them in with your game’s color scheme.
“Ads aren’t going anywhere,” says CEO and cofounder Andrew Boos. “Instead of it being this disruptive, in-your-face thing, we’ve tried to make it as native an experience as possible.”
AppFuel normally takes 20 percent of your ad space to resell and earn a profit on, but you can use it free for up to 12 months if you sign up for the Founder’s Package.