Are In-App Purchases Enough?

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by

Last week, Swrve released a report about in-app purchasing in mobile games. The reports found that only 0.15% of all mobile gamers contribute 50% of all the revenue from in-app purchases in free-to-play games. Of these spending users, 49% make only one in-app purchase per month, and 13% make five or more purchases. Once an initial in-app purchase is made, 53% of spending users will go on to make a second purchase within 14 days, while 47% of users don’t make a second purchase. Despite the various incentive campaigns by mobile game developers, a huge majority of users will never spend any money at all within a mobile game.


So, what does this really mean for mobile game developers?


The Good:


This report further supports the idea of there being a group of “power users”, or “whales” to use the casino term. While the number of power users is small, developers can use their analytics to single out these specific users. Once this group has been identified, developers should begin to implement a user retention campaign aimed at this group. Offer them discounts on the in-app store or give them “VIP” access to any game updates or new apps in beta.


Also, this report shows that getting a user to make that initial purchase will increase chances of them spending in the future. Devs should take this into account. Think about offering some kind of “welcome” discount for the in-app store to new users, encouraging them to make a purchase.

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How To Make eCPM Work For You

Posted on February 6th, 2014 by

How can I increase my eCPM?


We hear this question a lot from our developers, and similar questions pop up on developer forums all of the time. The first step in increasing your eCPM is to understand what eCPM really means.


What is eCPM?


eCPM stands for “effective cost per mille” (‘mille’ is the Latin word for thousand, so eCPM really means “the effective cost per thousand”). In its full definition, eCPM is the effective cost per thousand ad impressions.


eCPM is used as a tool by app developers when they are comparing ad networks or evaluating the success of an ad-based monetization strategy. Calculating eCPM is very simple. The formula for eCPM is:

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Introducing: Two Brand New Ad Types!

Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by

We have been working tirelessly to perfect our In App SDK, so today we are incredibly proud to introduce our two newest ad units: the Splash ad and the Overlay ad.


Overlay Ads


The Overlay ad adds a unique and engaging entrance animation and uses a transparent background so that the user interface of the app is shown behind the ad. Overlay ads will appear in rotation with our regular full-page ads!



Splash Ads


The Splash ad is designed to appear when a user launches an application. With the Splash ad, developers set up a splash screen which is then followed by one of our Overlay ads. The splash screen is completely customizable for developers. You can choose the color and text, or you can use your own custom loading screen prior to the advertisement.



Each new ad type offers eye-catching animations that will encourage users to engage with the ads, and higher user engagement leads to high eCPM!


StartApp developers can download the latest version of our In App SDK on the developer portal.


Not a StartApp developer? Sign up here!


Interested in learning more about our monetization solutions? Visit our homepage



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User Acquisition & User Retention

Posted on January 24th, 2014 by

User acquisition and user retention are really two sides of the same coin, and both are important for app developers once their app is published on an app store. All developers want to get users in the door, but the trick is to get these users to stick around. Getting the users in the door is user acquisition, and getting them to stick around is user retention. Both are an integral part of a successful app strategy.


User acquisition:


UA is an important part of any app strategy. When a developer first publishes their app, they need a way to get those download numbers increasing. There are various strategies for user acquisition. Developers can do it organically by doing the appropriate demographics research and releasing their app into a receptive market. Having a complete app page with strong graphics and informative app descriptions will also help. Press releases and app reviews can also be great ways to get users to download your app. App devs will a little more money in their pocket can start advertising their app on the web or within other, similar apps.


Developers also have the option to do an incentivized download campaign, although they should review app store guidelines before doing so as some stores outlaw the practice. Incentivized download campaigns mean that a user is given some type of reward for downloading your app. Incentivized downloads increase overall download numbers quickly, but a lot of these users will either never open your app, or they will uninstall it quickly.

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6 Alternative App Review Sites

Posted on January 21st, 2014 by

Every developer should consider submitting their app for a review as part of their app marketing strategy. However, most of the large tech websites and blogs get hundreds of app review requests per day. It can be extremely difficult for the average developer to break through the noise, especially if they don’t have much experience in public relations. We rounded up 6 smaller, alternative app review sites for the average developer to check out:




AppAdvice is a discovery tool for iOS apps. In addition to app reviews, they also create app “lists” of various themes to help users discover the apps they want. The team at AppAdvice seems committed to strengthening their app community, and they are happy to receive review requests from iOS developers

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Our Top Ten Most Popular Posts from 2013

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by

We looked through our data from this year to see which blog posts our readers liked the best. Below are the top 10 most popular blog posts in 2013, ranked from least popular to the most popular.


Android, iOS, or Windows Phone?


In this post, we outlined the pros and cons of developing for each of the top 3 operating systems. What did we learn? The growth of Android is impossible to stop, but developers still have a difficult time earning money. Apple is losing chunks of the market share each quarter, but still pays a lot of money to developers. Windows Phone is in a very, very distant third place but has a promising future.

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Sign Up Today to Qualify For Our End of the Year Promotion!

Posted on December 16th, 2013 by

Whether you are completely new to our monetization solutions at StartApp, or you have registered with us but have not yet integrated one of our SDKs, now is the time to register and see how we can help you earn money from your apps!


The deadline for registration is quickly approaching, so if you want to take advantage of our End of the Year promotion, please contact us today to learn more!


Contact Us!




Important Note for Current StartApp Developers:


If you are already earning money using one of our SDKs, please check your email, contact your account manager, OR check the banner in the developer portal to learn more!




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Choosing Your App’s Title and Icon: The Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by

After spending months (or even years) programming an application, you may think that finally choosing a title for your app and slapping on an icon will be the easiest part of the process. But, choosing an effective title and icon is a deceptively simple process. Occasionally, you or a member of your team will be inspired and come up with the best name or icon design on the market. Most times, this is not the case. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you narrow down your list of potential titles and help your app’s icon stand out.




DO: Try to limit your title to about two dozen (24) characters. This will make the title look better when viewed in search results


DON’T: Use any special characters. Including any character that isn’t a number or a letter will throw off SEO results and make it difficult for users to pronounce your title.


DO: Check thoroughly to make sure your title isn’t already being used. Spend time searching through the app store now and avoid having to waste time on copyright lawyers in the future.

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How to Optimize Your App for the Holiday Season

Posted on December 2nd, 2013 by

The holidays are increasingly becoming the prime season for app developers. This year, eMarketer estimates that the mobile industry will make up an impressive 16% of all e-commerce revenue during the holidays. Millions of phones and tablets will be activated throughout the month of December, and those new users will be looking to download apps for their new phones. Current users will also be spending more time at home which leads to higher engagement levels because they aren’t restricted by their job or their commute.


If you want to maximize your app’s downloads and revenue during the holiday season, you should dramatically increase your focus on these 3 main categories:

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More Mobile App Companies Move Towards IPOs…

Posted on October 25th, 2013 by

Every mobile games developer wants to achieve the same kind of viral success that “Candy Crush Saga” and “Clash of Clans” have achieved. The mobile games industry is exploding, especially as developers move to “freemium” business models. Some may think that mobile game developers would be wary of going public with their success after witnessing Zynga struggle to maintain users after its IPO (initial public offering). However, several mobile game and app companies are making some steps towards going public, illustrating the insane capital success of the mobile games industry. Let’s take a look at a few:


First on the list is Supercell, a Finnish mobile gaming company, which is best known for “Clash of Clans” and “Hay Day”. Supercell recently sold 51% of itself to SoftBank andGungHo, makers of “Puzzles and Dragons”. This partnership is foreshadowing for Supercell. The company aims to take its products global, and it is now able to do so with help from SoftBank and GungHo. This will be an interesting “test-drive” of sorts for Supercell to see if their apps are popular enough to keep users engaged before they try to file for an IPO.

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