Promoting your App: Flurry Review
After the somewhat disappointing impressions left by Admob, we turned to a different promotion service called AppCircle by the company Flurry. AppCircle differs from traditional advertising where you pay per view/click, by allowing the developer to pay per install.
The AppCircle service (from a user perspective) is embedded in apps as an advertising service and presents the user with a list of suggested apps based on the users interests.
The apps within this list are then sorted based on the bid made by the developer; the higher your bid, the higher you will be on the list.
So far, AppCircle sounds too good to be true: if we were to use AppCircle for promoting a paid application, we could set the bid to be below the cost to install; theoretically guaranteeing a profit.
Upon registration the first downside of AppCircle becomes clear: the minimum investment fee is $250, a hefty fee to try out an unknown service.
Under the assumption that advertising a paid application would pay itself back, we decided on advertising for the paid version of our application, and here are our results:
Before I begin explaining this strange graph, let’s look at the results using the “old” advertising standards.
AppCircle gave us 9k of impressions for $0.90, resulting in a single install. The CPC / CPM seem very reasonable, and the cost per install is well below Admob’s ~$7.
Now on to the rest of the graph. You’re first question should be: why did you turn off the marketing budget after the first few days of advertising?
Apparently AppCircle measures the performance of your application after the first day, and if the performance is subpar, your application will receive less and less impressions.
More than 99.3% of the impressions we received were from the first day of advertising. Afterwards AppCircles advertising algorithm kicked in and decided the application wasn’t worth showing.
We tried increasing the budget per install, the app summary and contacting support; all in vain. Once AppCircle decides the app isn’t worth showing, it’s over and there is little you can do.
One could argue that the application itself just isn’t good enough. However, after searching on the issue, different developers reported similar issues.
Also, Prototype Defense has an average review of 4.5 / 5 stars on Android Market, with the rating still rising. The paid version has an average rating of 4.8 stars.
So in the end we learned the hard way that AppCircle is not meant to be used to advertise paid applications, and the reasoning behind this is pretty simple:
The view – click – install conversion rate of free apps will always be orders of magnitude better than for paid apps, ensuring that paid applications have no place in AppCircle.
However, this is advertised nowhere on the website itself, while clearly known by support to be an existing problem.