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Since it’s unveiling at I/O this past June, Startup Launch has been building momentum. The Startup Launch team has been hard at work piloting the program with a select group of companies, and it’s now ready for its worldwide debut!

What is Startup Launch?

We’re so happy you asked. Startup Launch is a program and community dedicated to helping developers grow their startups into successful businesses. Featuring exclusive events, mentorships, trainings, a variety of tools, an easy-to-use interface, a supportive community and more – we give developers like you much of what you need to get your app business up and running successfully.

Startup Launch is more than just a help center or resource – it’s a real, empowering environment with colleagues and mentors there to guide and support you every step of the way.

What you can expect

Aside from a suite of awesome tools and a network of great people just like you, you may look forward to:
  • Credits for AdWords and Google Cloud Platform
  • Early access to product releases, APIs and SDKs
  • Online resources to help you design, develop, distribute and monetize your app
  • Online trainings tailored specifically for startups
  • Access to other startup professionals with Google Business Groups
  • Exclusive invites to Startup Launch events all around the world
  • Mentorship from an experienced member in Startup Launch’s mentor network
  • UX reviews by Google Developer Relations team and Google Launch’s mentor*
  • Distribution and monetization guidance to maximize your success
*for select startups only

Startup Launch is already helping entrepreneurs like you in over 100 countries, and we can’t wait to have you join our community of creative, talented and passionate startups. Apply Today to join Startup Launch – we’re ready to help you take your app business to the next level.

Visit developers.google.com/startups to learn more, and make sure to stay connected on all things AdMob and more by following our Google+ page.

Posted by Desiree Motamedi
Product Marketing, AdMob

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There’s nothing like the excitement of unwrapping gifts on the holidays. More and more often those gifts are shiny new devices – ready to be filled up with apps. At family gatherings, we pull out our phones and share photos and videos – and recommend our favorite apps. So it’s not surprising that the holiday season has meant big business for app developers. But just how big, and how can you be ready?

It’s big
"With the holiday season upon us, app marketers have a tremendous opportunity to capture new users by jumping on the surge in downloads", said Marcos Sanchez, VP Global Corporate Communications for App Annie. "If last year is an indicator, it would be no surprise if we see a doubling in the number of downloads from Google Play in the US."

Cloud and mobile testing firm SOASTA reported that 3 in 10 mobile device owners were planning to download an app on December 25th of last year. Millennials were the most likely age group to say they would download an app that day, with 47% planning on it.*
*http://www.emarketer.com/Article/App-Downloads-Nearly-Doubled-on-Christmas-Day/1010508#sthash.9jwl3sGD.dpuf

Be ready with a winning strategy

Proper planning across the entire app workflow will help you reach this app-hungry audience. Here are the top 3 strategies for making the most of this peak time:

#1 Customize your app for the holidays
  • Small changes, like changing the background or app icon, can have a big revenue impact.
  • The more you customize for the holiday, the more likely your app will be highlighted in app stores. For instance, change to holiday colors or themes in your design.
  • Create multiple versions of your apps and target each version based on regions that celebrate the holiday vs. ones that do not.
#2 Plan ahead to ride the traffic wave
  • Be prepared for big traffic spikes so that you can capitalize on them – make sure to create and implement a load balancing plan, with an additional contingency plan in case systems get overwhelmed.
  • Keep approval periods in mind when scheduling and publishing app updates – iOS has a manual review process with a ~2 week approval period, and Android has a week-long code freeze starting the 2nd Friday in December, so submit ahead of time to be ready for December.
  • Don’t do any new feature releases around peak times until they’ve been thoroughly tested – with so much competition during peak periods, you don’t want the user's first experience with your app to be buggy.
  • If you do have to launch, do vigorous testing first – use one of Google’s various A/B testing services for Android apps to help with this.
  • It doesn’t end at Christmas Day – it's great to get the download at Christmas, but what happens after is just as important. As more users come online and download apps, ad impressions increase through January. Consider optimizing the ad experience during that time and focus on retaining those users.
#3 Monetize, monetize, monetize!
  • Implement smart banners to optimize the size of ads that display across devices and various screen sizes to ensure higher click-through conversion rates.
  • When you drive more users, your rankings will go up, which will allow you to earn more through ads and in-app purchases. If you have a paid app, consider discounting or offering your app for free during the holiday season – app download and engagement is highest during the holidays.
  • Integrate interstitials – Developers tend to see good ad revenue growth when they implement interstitial ads, as seen by Raon Games with their game, Bouncy Ball. They achieved a 30% revenue growth even with a limited use of CPC interstitials. 

Implement as many of these best practices as possible and you’ll be ready for the holiday rush. To find out more about optimizing your apps, visit our Help Center. Be sure to tweet your holiday app wins to @AdMob.

Posted by Desiree Motamedi
Product Marketing, AdMob

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Does your app need funding to get off the ground? Even if you have a simple app, there may be hosting costs as your user base grows, or you may want budget to invest in marketing or hire expertise. But should you go at it alone or get funding from an outside backer?

Learn about when to consider funding and what are the options available in the second video in the App Developer Interview Series, as told by our panel of developers and app experts.
We would love to also hear what has helped you decide which funding option to take. Please share with us in the comments below.

The App Developer Interview Series and App Developer Business Kit are initiatives from AdMob to educate app developers about how to grow their idea into a successful app business. To learn more about funding, marketing and monetizing your app, visit the The App Developer Business Kit on the AdMob website, and stay connected on all things AdMob and more by following our Google+ page..

Posted by Mike Schipper
Product Marketing Manager, AdMob

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When monetizing your mobile app, you have the option to show ads from multiple ad networks to maximize fill rates and increase earnings. AdMob Mediation provides a single place where you can manage many different networks. Over the last year we’ve been adding new features to the service to make it best in class, including ad network optimization that automatically gives you the highest CPM for each ad from all your networks.

Today we’re adding new partners to ad network optimization: AdColony, AMoAd, Flurry, Millennial Media, and Vserv.mobi join our existing ad network partners; Domob, InMobi, Jumptap, MDotM, MobFox, and Nend.

Ad network optimization is a smart way to boost your revenue; it looks at all the CPMs across the networks you’ve set up in AdMob Mediation and selects the highest paying one to show an ad from. It does this on a continual basis, so that you can get the best CPM available.

Set-up is easy; simply enter your ad network login credentials once and AdMob can pull accurate CPM data for each network.

1. In ad network settings, check the ‘Automatically pull the eCPM value from this ad network’ box. 
2. Enter your login credentials so AdMob can collect the latest pricing data from your networks.

To learn more about ad network optimization and AdMob Mediation, please visit our help center, and make sure to stay connected on all things AdMob and more by following our Google+ page.

Posted by Arun Balaraman, Product Manager, AdMob

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So you’ve built an app? Awesome! But how are you tracking success? Does anyone know about your app? Do you have a good monetization plan?

Today we’re excited to officially announce our newest Analytics Academy course, Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals, designed to help you answer these questions and more.

This is a great resource for all AdMob publishers who want to learn more about how to use Google Analytics in AdMob.

Whether you’re an app developer or an experienced marketer in the mobile app space, knowing the fundamentals of mobile app measurement can help you improve your app marketing and monetization efforts. In this course, you’ll learn how to identify your most valuable users, how to find more of them, and how to tailor your monetization experience for different groups of users.
How it works
In this free online course, instructor Fontaine Foxworth will lead you through a series of conceptual training videos and interactive exercises to teach you about Mobile App Analytics. Throughout the course, she’ll use an example online gaming app called Go Fish!, which will demonstrate common Analytics use cases and help you apply what you learn to your own mobile app.

After the course opens, you’ll have four weeks to earn a certificate of completion while working alongside a worldwide community of Analytics enthusiasts. In total, the course should take between two to four hours to complete.

Ready to sign up? Register now and join us when the course begins on Tuesday, November 18th.

We look forward to your participation in the course!

Posted by Christina Macholan & The Google Analytics Education Team

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When you’re developing a new app you have lots of questions. What’s the best way to monetize? Should I launch in a test market first or everywhere? If you need help deciding, who you gonna call? Imagine you could pull up a chair next to industry experts and trusted developers who’ve done it before, and get their advice.

The App Developer Interview Series by AdMob begins today, offering bite-sized insights from top developers with millions of downloads between them, to help you be successful.

The first video of this six-part series, Getting Started, asks ‘What makes a good app idea?’. Following episodes will cover app funding, building, marketing, monetizing and growing your app business. Check the Inside AdMob blog each Wednesday for the next installment.
The App Developer Interview Series features...

Japheth Dillman, Chief Creative Officer, YetiZen
Japheth Dillman is the co-founder & Chief Creative Officer at YetiZen. He’s a veteran to the game space, having worked as an Executive Producer and Lead Designer at numerous studios, such as Digital Chocolate, Flying Wisdom Studios, BigPoint, Chugulu and Aftershock Innovations. Finding enormous success in mobile and social games, Japheth co-founded the YetiZen Game Accelerator program as Chief Creative Officer to help other startups find monumental success.

Kumar Mettu, Founder & CEO, Dexati
Kumar Mettu is the Founder & CEO of Dexati, a mobile entertainment company created in 2011. Kumar wears many hats at Dexati, from designing mobile apps, analytics, and building distributed systems that support apps, to recruiting and management. Before Dexati, Kumar was Senior Architect at Sunrun Inc. and Autodesk Inc.

Sébastien Borget, COO & Co-Founder, Pixowl

Sébastien Borget is the co-founder and COO of Pixowl. He currently manages Pixowl's 25-people international team and is supervising production and marketing of the studio's most popular title, The Sandbox (13+ million players), a pixel world builder game, awarded Best of 2012 games in the App Store!

Arthur Madrid, CEO & Co-Founder, Pixowl
Arthur Madrid is the co-founder and CEO of Pixowl. He is a serial entrepreneur and is managing Pixowl to build a worldwide mobile gaming leader. Previously, he founded Wixi, a web-based social media network where users interact by privately sharing media content.

Arie Abecassis, Co-Founder, AppStori
Arie Abecassis is the co-founder of AppStori, a crowdsourcing and funding platform for mobile entrepreneurs, and a Venture Partner at DreamIt Ventures. He also serves as an advisor to a variety of startups including SeatGeek, Adaptly and BiznessApps. His thoughts on tech and entrepreneurship have appeared in Mashable, VentureBeat and the Wall Street Journal.

Marvin Paul, Co-Founder, Capigami
Marvin Paul is the co-founder of Capigami, the start-up behind the leading shopping list app, Out of Milk. Out of Milk makes paper lists obsolete: users can make and share multiple lists and scan items, making shopping easier. Capigami was acquired in 2014. Prior to that, Marvin worked at Overgroup for almost six years as a Senior Software Developer.

We hope you enjoy the series; let us know in the comments! To learn more about building, marketing, and monetizing your app, check out The App Developer Business Kit on the AdMob website, and stay connected on all things AdMob and more by following our Google+ page.

Posted by Mike Schipper and Henry Wang, AdMob Marketing

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Mobile app growth is exploding, driven by more and more people using mobile devices. To help you build a successful app business, AdMob has created The App Developer Business Kit. You can use this guide to help you figure out the right tools and steps to build an app business - whether you're an entrepreneur with an idea, or a developer with an app already available for download. Take a look below at some of the top tips for starting and growing your app business.

How to start building an app: To start, you’ll learn about the key principles that everyone should consider when building an app including ideas for funding, tech tips for building apps, and ways to earn revenue. You’ll also get a sneak peak into how Polish app developer Szymon Klimaszewski’s Blood Pressure app became one of the most downloaded health apps in the Google Play Store.

Build a user base: It’s important to have a clear app marketing strategy and to promote it effectively. Discover ways to attract more users and reach new markets through a deep-dive into how to promote your app. You’ll also see some great examples of how a few developers turned their app ideas into reality.

Understand the user: Different app users have different needs, and reaching your user audience isn’t easy. Get a good understanding of how users vary across the globe and some advice on how to reach them through recommendations based on survey data from the five hottest app markets in the world – US, UK, China, Japan, South Korea.

Grow an app business: Get answers to common app business development questions: How should I expand my app business? How do I keep innovating?

We hope you find the business kit informative and helpful as you build you mobile app business. Make sure to visit the AdMob website to view the complete App Developer Business Kit, and stay connected on all things mobile apps by following our Google+ page.

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With more than $1 billion paid to app developers in the last two years, AdMob is committed to supporting industry growth. So we are happy to announce that Cocos2d-x developers can now use AdMob to monetize their mobile games!

AdMob has integrated with the AnySDK platform, which means Cocos2d-x developers who use the AnySDK Ads System can now easily include AdMob when publishing their Android and iOS apps.

For details about how to get started, read the full post on the Google Ads Developer Blog.

Posted by Eric Leichtenschlag
Ads Developer Relations Team