There are many different ways for developers to make money from mobile apps. Paid downloads have been a popular choice among developers, but with only a third of users willing to pay1, increasingly apps are free Now, more and more developers are making money with in-app advertising and freemium models, with revenue for both growing over 70% from 2013 to 2014.2

That’s why today, at our annual I/O conference, we announced a set of tools to help you create smarter ways to monetize through segmentation, scale your business through reservations and integrate rich ad formats into apps more easily.

Smarter tools for greater success
As a developer, you want to know your most valuable users and be able to create different experiences for them in your app. Recently we launched the Audience Builder tool, powered by Google Analytics, that enables you to segment users based on how they are using your app. Now we’re announcing a new smart feature in beta, that enables you to define a list of users and show ads to them, while hiding ads from the rest of your users. For example, you might show ads to casual users, but hide ads from highly-engaged users who love sharing your app with their friends on social networks. If you’d like to be considered for this beta, please sign up here.

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Targeting ads to an audience in AdMob
Smarter monetization should mean earning the most revenue possible, and AdMob’s free mediation tool has helped many developers run other mobile ad networks through the AdMob platform to simplify management and improve competition. Today we announced that AdMob mediation now supports 40 mediation partners, with 15 networks added in the past year alone. We're pleased to welcome Tencent GDT as our newest mediation partner, one of the largest mobile ad networks in China.

Helping you scale your app faster
Many app businesses with global reach and scale are growing very quickly in the ecosystem. These apps have dedicated sales teams who work with large advertisers to sell their inventory. Today, we announced a beta to support mobile app sales teams called AdMob Reservations. These sales teams will be able to take ad campaign bookings from advertisers they work with directly, upload ad creatives, and manage the delivery of these campaigns for free, using the AdMob platform.

Fast-growing app developers are choosing AdMob to monetize. Last week, Etermax, who created one of the world’s most popular trivia games in Trivia Crack, became one of our newest partners.

Making ad integration easier
We want to bring native ads to more app developers in a scalable way and with minimum fuss, so we’re improving our ability to serve these types of ads. In the coming months, we’ll be introducing Native Ads Express, a new way to take advantage of native ads that requires no custom engineering work by you. We know there are many developers who don’t have the resource to design a custom native ad that matches their app, but still want the flexibility that native ads offer. With this feature you can simply define the style of your ad using CSS, and AdMob serves the ad adhering to your specs. You can update the ad’s appearance on the fly by adjusting the CSS, so there’s no need to change your app’s native code when you want to test a different look. We have ads from millions of advertisers that can be styled in the way you want.

We’ve already made great strides to help you integrate AdMob ads across platforms with plugins for games engines such as Unity and Cocos2d-x. Now, we’re excited to announce the integration of AdMob into Android Studio. This powerful new feature will let you quickly and easily create AdMob ad units as you build your app.

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AdMob Ads Activity in Android Studio

At Google, we’re passionate about fostering successful app developers, and as the AdMob platform continues to grow, with over 650,000 apps, we’re continually working to give you the tools you need to build your app business, intelligently. Visit the AdMob website to get started, and put our new monetization tools to work in your apps.

Lastly, if you’re interested in driving app installs and measuring campaign performance, see the latest exciting I/O announcements from our AdWords and Google Analytics teams.

Posted by Jonathan Alferness, 
Vice President, Product Management

1. eMarketer, February 2015
2. App Annie, App Annie & IDC Mobile App Advertising and Monetization Trends, March 2015

To improve our product and service, we send out a survey to our developers every 6 months. The next survey will be released over the coming weeks and we’re looking forward to getting your responses.

Thanks to your suggestions from our last survey, we’ve launched new features to improve our product and help you grow your earnings. These include launching in-app purchase house ad formats, allowing developers to create audience lists for re-marketing, introducing TrueView video ad interstitials and native ad formats.

Provided we have the right email address for you and you’ve opted in to ‘occasional surveys’, you could get an email giving you access to complete the full survey. Please double check that:

  • You’ve updated your contact details
  • You’ve opted into receive ‘occasional survey’ messages

Whether you’ve completed this survey before or you’re providing feedback for the first time, we’d like to thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts.

We’re excited to get your feedback!
Posted by Rachel Barrett
AdMob Developer Happiness Team

Google I/0 2015 is just around the corner (May 28-29th), and we’ll be there. There’ll be more than 200 talks centered around some important topics which matter to you: Design & Develop, to help you build beautiful, powerful apps; Earn & Engage, where we’ll cover tools to grow your user base and create sustainable, successful businesses; and What’s Next, a peek into Google’s emerging platforms.

Be sure to tune into our session featuring Jonathan Alferness, VP of Product Management and Global Head of Mobile Display Ads Products for Google on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 2pm PDT . He’ll be discussing how AdMob brings the power, scale and innovation to app developers who want to monetize effectively through tools like ad mediation for higher fill rates, new formats like native ads, and Audience builder with Google Analytics for list building and targeting. In this talk, we will also be unveiling some new features that will help make things simpler for developers. Click here to register for the livestream.

Posted by the Google AdMob Team

Great developers know other great developers. Starting today, you can refer developers to sign up for AdMob through our AdMob Referral Program. Both you and your eligible referral* will have the opportunity to win a trip to Google Headquarters to meet the AdMob team.

Registering for the program is simple. Just fill out our referral form by June 30, 2015 to invite your friend. Both you and your eligible referral will have be eligible to win a round-trip flight to Google Headquarters to meet the AdMob team, an opportunity for your app to be features in the AdMob App Spotlight video series, a Nexus 6, and more!
Ready to refer? Submission deadline is June 30, 2015. Multiple referrals are welcome. Send any questions to

Posted by the Google AdMob Team

*Qualified developer referrals exclude existing AdMob developers. For more details, review the full terms and conditions for the AdMob Referral Program and the Referral Program Contest, including additional details about eligibility.

As an app developer, you know that improving your app’s rating to 4 stars or more could increase discoverability and convince more users to download it. Google Play research also shows that higher rated apps earn more revenue:

* Revenue includes all app business model on Play: IAP, paid app, ads advertising

But how can you achieve that 4+ star score? Once you have set up your regular cycle of collecting, reviewing and actioning feedback from user reviews and ratings, the next key strategy is to optimize the quality of your app.

6 principles to improve app quality

1. Stability: no crashes. Read user error reports often, and take action quickly to help you improve stability and eliminate bugs.

2. Responsiveness: speed matters. Minimizing the complexity of your layouts is a simple way to improve your app speed.

3. Usability: be thumb friendly. Two common, easy-to-fix problems are addressing small tap targets and fonts that are too small. Make sure links are easy to tap.

4. Appearance and aesthetics. If you don't have the luxury to work with a designer, try using Photoshop, GIMP and other image editing tools to make your app look better.

5. Less is more: launch the right features. Listen to your users by collecting and responding to feature requests, but remember, you don’t always need to build every suggestion.

6. Integrate with the system and third-party apps: make users happy by including system features like Home screen widgets, rich notifications, global search integration, and Quick Contacts; or leveraging other apps’ functionality.

Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Google+ page and Twitter page.

Posted by Amelia Walkley
Marketing Communications Specialist, AdMob

Need to raise your app’s ratings and increase downloads? Gimmicks and hacks to get higher ratings and more reviews won’t get your app meaningful long-term growth. Instead, the best way to get better ratings is to build authentic relationships with your users–truly listening and responding to their feedback. This leads to a better product experience, loyal users, and ultimately sustainable growth.

Here are three steps to use reviews and ratings to improve your app and increase user engagement.

Step 1: Read and address ratings comments
  • Book an hour in your calendar each week to read through ratings comments.
  • Reply to user reviews to help address their concern or gather more detailed feedback. 
  • Pay extra attention to those who gave you 1 or 2-star ratings as their comments will give you more insights for improvement.
Step 2: Create user friendly opportunities to collect feedback
  • To make sure you’re getting feedback from the most appropriate users, define the signals that prompt your target audience like “reached Level 10”, “completed the first booking”, or “opened 3+ times in a week”
  • Choose a placement in your app where you don’t interrupt user experience. Unexpected pop-up messages asking for a rating can bother users. Instead, place the review request after a user has had a positive interaction with your app, like successfully completing a task or level.
  • Ask about the user’s happiness level first. Depending on their happiness level, provide different channels to escalate their feedback:

Step 3: Analyze and act on user feedback
  • Apply filters to see feedback by rating, written language, app version, and/or device.
  • Understand your user better by interpreting comments against user-related metrics such as download sources, retention rates, and in-app behavior. 
  • Update your app with users’ feature requests and fix issues they have raised. Be sure to respond to the comment directly in the Play Store, sharing the positive changes you’ve made.
The hard work of building relationships and responding to user’s concern won’t pay off instantly, but it can lead to longer term success. Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Google+ page.

Posted by Amelia Walkley
Marketing Communications Specialist, AdMob

Lowdown is a regular series that brings you tips and tricks on how to best use AdMob to grow your app business, directly from members of the Google AdMob team.

It’s a fantastic time for messaging apps. Massive company valuations, global user bases, and strong demand for wifi-based communication have incentivized mobile developers to throw their hats into the messaging arena. We’ve seen the features and functionality for these apps become more sophisticated, expanding to delivering virtual goods, coupons, app-discovery, and even social networking. As functionality has expanded, so have the monetization potentials. Here are a few ways to best monetize your messaging app and tips to optimize your setup.

Banner Ads:

The nature of messaging apps make it very conducive for banner ad units. User spend large quantities of time on their menu, contacts and messaging pages, making it easier for users to interact with ads and drive higher engagement from anchored banner units. AdMob’s strong global coverage and year over year eCPM growth in this format can help monetize the market your users operate within.

Interstitials Ads:

Interstitial ads are not just for gaming apps. Messaging apps also have natural transition points within their user’s flow, perfect for eCPM-driven ad units like interstitials. For example a perfect place for an interstitial ad may be the moment once a user completes a phone or video call and the app transitions back into the main screen. See examples below.

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Targeted In-App Purchases

Messaging apps could offer In-App Purchases (IAPs) in the form of more minutes, credits or virtual goods. Although the traditional conversion rates for these offers have been very low, AdMob automatically figures out which of your users are likely to spend, based on Google’s proprietary data and models. AdMob offers robust IAP functionality, making it easy for you to create IAP offer units and target high potential spenders. You can learn more about this feature here.

A diversified, metrics driven approach can help you to better monetize your messaging app. Visit our website to learn more about how AdMob can help you grow your app business. Until next time, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Google+ page.

Posted by Jeff Salvitti
Strategic Mobile Partner Manager