Harpan, the developer of popular games Solitaire, FreeCell, Sudoku and Pyramid Solitaire, distributes more than 12 gaming apps on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Harpan was interested in a cross platform mobile ads solution, which can provide the needed earning lift without compromising their user experience. In order to focus more on app development, Harpan needed a solution that was easy to integrate and could help track app performance.
Harpan decided to use the Amazon Mobile Ads API for monetizing their apps across platforms. Tim Oswald, co-founder and CEO of Harpan shared that Amazon was their solution of choice. The Amazon Mobile Ad Network delivered higher eCPM, provided a great experience for their users with high-quality tailored ads, and enabled app optimizations through actionable performance tracking and reporting.
Harpan’s earnings increased with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. The biggest factor driving this was the payment structure. Amazon pays on ad impressions served instead of clicks on ads. “With the Amazon Mobile Ads API, we are consistently getting 20% higher eCPM on our Android, iOS and Kindle Fire apps compared to other ad networks. We were extremely pleased to see the Amazon Mobile Ads API performing better than other ad networks on iOS, said Tim Oswald.
The quality of ads was very important for Harpan to provide a great experience for their users. Tim explained, “While we want to increase our earnings, we don’t want to compromise our users experience. Amazon provides an engaging experience for our users by delivering relevant ads from Amazon and brand advertisers. We are seeing 25% higher CTR on ads delivered by the Amazon Mobile Ad Network compared to other ad networks.”
Harpan was able to integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API in minimal time and focus their efforts on app development. Tim shared, “Enabling the Amazon Mobile Ads API in all their apps was very easy and took just few minutes to integrate the API. We really liked the integrated tracking, which helped us in monitoring and optimizing the performance of our apps in real-time.”
*Your results may vary.
Gordon Edwards, the creator behind the Scanner Radio app, started serving banner ads in 2010 and was working with several ad networks by 2013. The app provides live audio from over 3000 police, fire scanners, weather radios, as well as amateur radios. The app has over 800 reviews on the Amazon Appstore. Recently we had the privilege to sit down with Gordon to discuss how his app was performing and how he leveraged Amazon’s Mobile Ads API to generate revenue.
Figure 1- Banner Ad
$1.00 eCPM from Amazon Banner Ads
Generating revenue has always been a challenge for developers. With Gordon’s background in ads, integrating ads into his app seemed an obvious solution. But the primary reason why Gordon went with Amazon was that he thought the “quality of ads served would be better than those from other ad networks”. In short time, Gordon saw an earnings lift of 39% and it only took him less than a day to integrate.
“I see very consistent and high eCPMs from Amazon, as well as very high quality ads” says Edwards. The eCPM from Amazon was consistently around $1.00 which meant he didn’t have to monitor the earnings closely. This allowed him to focus on developing the app and creating a better experience for his users. He was pleasantly surprised to see the strong eCPM continue in Q1 when earnings dipped on other ad networks. His users were also happy to see the high quality ads from Amazon in their favorite app.
43% Earnings Lift from Interstitial Ads
Something that Gordon was not familiar with however, was interstitial ads. Gordon mentions that “I've never displayed interstitial ads in his app until now, but decided to display them from Amazon since he knew the ad quality would be high”. Gordon created a new interstitial ad slot when Amazon reached out about testing the ad format. Since then, his earnings increased another 43% from the additional ad slot. Gordon mentioned that he has since tried interstitial ads from other ad networks when Amazon ads were unavailable, but none provided the quality he was looking for. Now, he is working solely with Amazon.
Figure 2- Interstitial Ad
Try Amazon Ads!
Gordon encourages developers to try the Amazon Mobile Ads API. “Definitely try the Amazon Mobile Ad Network if you’re looking for a high paying and high quality ad solution.”
*Performance may vary
Steve Boymel from Farlex is the creator of the Dictionary app “Dictionary.” Based out of Pennsylvania, the app already has over 1,300 reviews on the Amazon Appstore. The app delivers a comprehensive dictionary that is available in over 14 different languages including English, Spanish, and French.
One of Steve’s challenges after creating the app “Dictionary”, was to generate revenue. “After looking at the existing landscape, I felt that Amazon had a great offering,” says Steve, which is why he decided to test the Amazon Mobile Ads API in his Amazon Appstore app. This was Steve’s first time integrating the Mobile Ads API into any of his apps, but he had confidence that the Amazon Mobile Ad Network would monetize well. In the first few weeks Steve saw a $0.70 eCPM, which was much higher than he expected.
Figure 1Example of Ads
With the success that the Amazon Mobile Ads API brought to Steve’s app in the Amazon Appstore, he decided to bring it to Google Play as well since he satisfied the Amazon Appstore distribution requirement.
Integrating the Amazon Mobile Ads API into his Google Play apps was easy. He has one code base for all Android apps so it was just a matter of re-packaging his Google Play binary.
Steve says “the time was well spent since his earnings from his Google Play apps are just as strong as his Amazon Appstore apps.” After a few optimizations, his eCPM increased to $1.20 for his Google Play apps and $1.75 from Amazon Appstore apps.
When we called Steve with an opportunity to monetize his UK traffic as a beta tester, Steve jumped at the opportunity. After all, he was not serving any ads to his UK users so any earning would be incremental. All he had to do was swap out his Amazon Mobile Ads API jar file. So how did the banner ads perform?
“Amazon always exceeds my expectation. $1.36 eCPM for UK banner ads is unheard of!”* Steve Boymel
Click here to get started.
*Performance may vary
The Amazon Mobile Ads API now offers more ways to help you monetize your mobile apps and games. Starting today, we will display ads to customers in the United Kingdom, and in the coming months, we will add support for Germany. On top of that, we are launching full screen interstitial ads across the Mobile Ad Network.
Our expansion into Europe gives developers the opportunity to earn more money from advertising spending in Europe’s top two advertising market segments. The strong eCPM and high quality ads from Amazon will carry over to all supported market segements.
To display ads on your app in Europe, here is what to do:
Interstitial ads use the entire screen to fully engage users. Industry-wide, interstitial ads generate greater revenue than traditional banner ads.
Figure 1- The same Amazon Interstitial Ad in Portrait on Phone and Landscape on a Tablet
We use responsive design when showing interstitial ads to ensure your user experience is not affected. Ads will automatically adjust to the screen size of the device on which your customers are running your app.
We know that every millisecond counts when it comes to the responsiveness of your apps. We preload interstitial ads to minimize the impact on app latency. As the developer, you decide when you want the ad to display (for example, once your user has reached a new level of your game).
“We decided to add interstitial ads from Amazon since the banner ads were outperforming other ad networks. The quality of Amazon’s interstitial ads has exceeded our expectations and our earnings increased 43%!”* - Gordon Edwards
Interstitial ads can be integrated in as little as an hour and offer revenue tracking through the same Amazon developer portal as banner ads. As with banner ads, you can distribute an app that incorporates the Amazon Mobile Ads API through other Android stores as long you distribute it through Amazon.
To display interstitial ads on your app, integrate the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API. To display ads in Europe, you may not need to do any additional work. Interstitial ads will then automatically be loaded when the app is first run. You should display them at a transition point in your app (for example, game level transition). The user will always have the option to close the ad.
Let’s take a look at an interstitial ad using the sample app from the unzipped Amazon Mobile Ad API folder located in /Android/Ads/samples/InterstitialAdSample. Running the sample app for the first time you will see a button to show an ad and another button to load a new ad.
Figure 2- Interstitial ad sample app from Amazon Mobile App SDK
Clicking on the Load Ad button will preload a new interstitial ad to cache and then when you click on the Show Ad button it will be displayed.
Figure 3- A high quality Interstitial ad running on a Kindle Fire HDX 7" in landscape mode
Users have the option to close the ad by tapping on the X in the top right. Users can get more information by tapping on the “See more” button. If users tap for more information they will see a new browser window open with the url provided by the ad.
Notice that the ad automatically resizes and fits to the portrait sized screen if you rotate the device.
Figure 4- A high quality Interstitial ad running on a Kindle Fire HDX 7" in portrait mode
Just as you would do for banner ads, you use the Amazon Mobile Ads API to set up interstitial ads. You will need to first register for a free Amazon developer account. Once you do, you will receive an app id that you can use to begin coding. During this time you should set up a tax identity inside the developer console. This way you can continue to code and test your app while the verification process is happening. Once inside your Android development environment, you will need to reference the Amazon Mobile Ads jar file from the SDK and update permissions in your Android app manifest. For a full walkthrough of this process check out the Amazon Mobile Ads API quickstart guide here.
You get the same customization capabilities for interstitial ads as you do for banner ads. This includes setting target values when you are requesting an ad for age, gender, relocation or minimum CPM floor price. For a full list of targeting options check out the developer portal here.
Once you have completed these steps you can start to request ads. Your app will retrieve and display an interstitial ad using an instance of InterstitialAd. To load an ad, call the InterstitialAd.loadAd method, which uses an asynchronous task to request an ad from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. It is important to note that only one ad can be loaded by a given InterstitialAd object at a given time, and only one interstitial ad can be displayed in your app at a given time.
InterstitialAd.loadAd will return false if a request for a new ad is ignored because of another pending ad request. To check if there is an ad loading, you can call the method InterstitialAd.isLoading. To check if there is an ad showing, you can call the method InterstitialAd.isShowing.
Below is an example of a simplified InterstitialAd.loadAd call placed in the onCreate function of an Activity that loads the next level in a game. The interstitial ad is displayed as soon as it is ready, and the next level is started after the user has dismissed the ad.
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network now offers more ways to help you monetize your mobile apps and games. Interstitial ads provide advertisers with a unique opportunity to engage with your audience in a meaningful way, leading to superior monetization. Adding support for interstitial ads in your apps is simple, and most developers are able to integrate them within an hour. Similarly, showing ads to EU users will allow you to earn more money from your apps with minimal work. Apps using earlier versions of the API need only recompile with the new Amazon Mobile Ads API jar file in their app to see EU ads: no coding changes are required. Apps using later versions of the API require no changes at all.
*Your results may vary
Today, we announced the general availability of the Amazon Mobile Ads API which gives you the ability to earn great eCPM by monetizing your app with mobile ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.
eCPM is the amount you earn for each 1,000 ads you display in your app. Higher values are obviously better, and we’ve seen the average eCPM for the Amazon Mobile Ad Network rise 30% since its beta launch in March. Early adopters like Games2Win have already discovered our great monetization solution for banner ads.
‘The $2.00 eCPM we saw from Amazon far exceeded our expectation. We tested Amazon in our Kindle app first. Now we’re racing to get the Amazon ads integrated in all of our apps across all Android stores.’ says Mahesh Khambadkone, Co-Founder of Games2Win.
Starting today, the Amazon Mobile Ads API will be included as part of our Amazon Mobile App SDK. Developers who integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into apps they offer through Amazon may also distribute these apps using the API through any other Android platform.
To provide extra incentive to incorporate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into your apps (as if great monetization and ease of use weren’t enough), Amazon is offering a free Kindle Fire HD to developers who integrate our API in the next few weeks. All you have to do is submit your API-enabled app between July 25th and September 1st and send at least 500 ad requests to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network every week between September 15th and October 19th. (See terms and conditions below.)
We’re excited to share the success of the Amazon Mobile Ads API and encourage you to consider including the API in your next application. For more information, see the online documentation or our quick start guide.
Terms and Conditions of Kindle Fire HD Offer: