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Windows 8 app developers hunger for ad revenue

Andy Patrizio | May 6, 2013
All through the month of April, ad-supported Windows 8 apps have gotten next to no ads. That means no revenue for developers. What gives?

In response, Parker Fox, who lists himself as Ads-in-Apps Account Manager at Microsoft in his LinkedIn profile, wrote "I hear you all loud and clear. Your sentiment and comments are being seen and shared internally by the right people. I assure you all of us on the Windows 8 Ads in Apps team are working hard to improve monetization for our publishers. Once I have an update I can share, I'll post back here ASAP."

Microsoft attributed the problem to a change in its ad campaigns. When asked about the issue, a company spokesperson from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide issued a statement that said, "As you know advertising is a seasonal business and its normal that there will be peaks and valleys. During the month of April, there were reports of low fill rates from some developers, this was within the expected norm of campaigns ending and new campaigns ramping. Ads continued to be served in the month of April."

The statement went on to say, "That said, we are constantly making improvements for developers using our Advertising Platform and are always looking at ways to ensure that we can smooth out the natural peak & valleys associated with the advertising business. We welcome the feedback and thank our developers for being patient."

Fox's posting left the impression he was not in a position to do much or give them the answer they needed. Needless to say, this has not placated the users on that board. Most of the ones contacted by ITworld did not want to discuss the matter beyond their posting. Some did, however.

Dry spell

Erkan Deveci, who runs Deveci Games, said he was getting a satisfactory number of impressions before April 1. "This is the 24th day with almost no ads. We've had 60 million requests with only 160K filled," he said.

"This is the first time I start to lose my faith in Windows Store as an indie game developer who expects some incentives for adopting and supporting the platform," he added. Deveci is strictly on the Microsoft platforms, so it doesn't have iOS and/or Android to fall back on, but he's ready to consider it.

"Cross-platform development has always been a delayed plan for me because of the time I am able to spend on mobile development; but it is a must follow practice for all developers/companies, and a definite must for me considering the current poor monetization options for Windows Store Apps," said Deveci.

"The free app model provides a way for consumers to get into an app at no cost. Developers either make money by providing a premium upgrade feature, or they make money off of the ads. Not all apps can provide a premium upgrade feature, so the ad serving has become a common way to make money ... and if that ability is no longer feasible, well then there's no point in a developer making free apps," said one developer who did not wish to be identified.


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