2018 App Market, app marketing, app results

$0 Marketing / Advertising Budget Still Yields $1587.25 App Launch!


$0 Marketing / Advertising Budget Still Yields $1587.25 App Launch!


Learn how I did it and how you can too!


My last post talked a little bit about how we are using Instagram (among other things) to launch apps for free + set them up to bring in consistent revenue over time.


It was called, “Generate $1,000+ with your app on Instagram with $0 costs!” If you haven’t checked it out, click here.


A lot of apps launch and die. That’s not what we want. We want our launch to pay for any costs we had creating the app + give us a little cash in bank. Then everything after that is profit.

Continue reading “$0 Marketing / Advertising Budget Still Yields $1587.25 App Launch!”

2018 App Market, app marketing, app results

Generate $1,000+ with your app on Instagram with $0 costs!

Generate $1,000+ with your app on Instagram with $0 costs!

What I’m not talking about >

  • Influencer marketing where you do a revenue split with someone that already has a following. I’m talking about building your own following to attract those influencers and all their followers to your new thing. In time this can snowball. 
  • Instagram ads of any kind
  • Paid posts
  • Anything paid on your part

Continue reading “Generate $1,000+ with your app on Instagram with $0 costs!”

app results

StartApp eCPM – Ad Network CPM

Many of you who follow us know that in the last couple of months, startapp ad network ecpmwe’ve implemented a newer ad network for iOS–StartApp. We started including StartApp ads in some of our apps 10 weeks ago, so now it seems like a good time to stick with our pledge of transparency and let you take a look at our StartApp eCPM results. In this post, we’ll show you the overall StartApp eCPM, eCPM for our apps by category, by source code, and by country. You should note that the eCPMs we report do not include any registration bonuses or anything like that, which are great, by the way–if you use the following link, you’ll receive a bonus when you hit a certain amount of impressions, and the more impressions, the bigger the bonus: http://bit.ly/startappbonus.

What is StartApp

StartApp is a monetization and distribution platform that has been around for about 4 years, but only recently moved into advertising on iOS. While they’re relatively new to iOS, everything has been running smoothly for us (installation, fill rate, and eCPM), and they’ve even added support for Swift, the new coding language that’s paired with Xcode 6 and iOS 8. I’ve also verified that StartApp will support iOS 8.

What is eCPM?

Really quickly, if you’re new to marketing, eCPM means how much money we make for every 1,000 ad impressions. For example, if I launch our Bingo app and see an ad pop up immediately, that’s 1 impression. If I start playing the game and see another ad, that’s another impression. So in any one session, a user might see 0 impressions or 100 or more. It depends on your ad placement and which screens the user sees in your app.

Which StartApp Ad Units?

StartApp has both banner ads and full screen ads.

Full screen ads include interstitials, but they have a nice variety–one is pretty standard, but they also have overlays, which are basically semi-transparent ads that appear over your app. Below is an example of an overlay that shows a rotating cube that is advertising an app:

startapp ad overlay

These overlays catch the eye and are unique–they don’t look like a normal ad–which can result in a better CTR (click-through rate) for you.

Their full screen selection also includes offer walls, where more apps can be advertised through one impression. They have both 2D and 3D versions. Here’s an example of a StartApp 3D Offer Wall:

StartApp 3D Offer Wall Appwall

The difference between this and your regular More Apps pages by bigger ad networks is significant. In my opinion (and eCPM verifies this), these 3D walls are much more beautiful; StartApp looks completely different, which will catch users off guard and lead to more conversions and more money in your pocket.

StartApp also has banner ads, and again, they have a few options that will stand out and help drive sales. They have a regular 2D banner, a 3D rotating banner, and a mini App Wall banner. Here’s a screen shot of the mini App Wall banner:

StartApp Mini Appwall Banner Ad

This is a great take on the typical, boring banner that we usually see. Banner ads are notorious for having terrible eCPMs, but something like this takes banner ads to a whole new level.

Note: Most of our apps don’t implement banner ads (now I’m wishing more of our apps did!), so we only tested StartApp interstitials.

Now that you know what the ads look like, let’s get right to the data:

StartApp eCPM Overall Results

3 apps in 3 different categories = $3.33 StartApp eCPM
Fill Rate = 100%

I don’t know about you, but that makes me happy. Why? Well, in our experience, we usually average around $1-2 eCPM on some other well-known ad networks. The only time we see higher eCPMs is with Casino-based source codes, and even then, sometimes it’s still not over $3.00. The apps we’re looking at today do include 1 Casino game, but that actually had the fewest number of impressions. As you’ll see below, StartApp eCPM is actually pretty consistent across different app categories, which is rare with most ad networks.

The other piece is a 100% fill rate. We talked to StartApp support and verified this. Other ad networks struggle to fill the demand of ad impressions, but StartApp has that covered. Also, eCPM can look inflated if your fill rate is low, so don’t be fooled by other ad network’s eCPMs if their fill rate is lower than 100%.

StartApp eCPM by Category

When we look at the apps by category, you see a range, but with other ad networks, this range tends to be much larger. Here are the StartApp results by app category:

1 Entertainment App = $3.48 StartApp eCPM
1 Games/Casino App = $4.36 StartApp eCPM
1 Lifestyle App = $2.17 StartApp eCPM

Again, in our experience, this is more consistent than other ad networks, which is a major plus. This can help forecast what your app will make before it launches if you’re testing in a new app category.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you can probably figure out which source codes the above results apply to, but for everyone else, here are the apps…

StartApp eCPM by Source Code

The CPM values are the same, but it’s just another way to look at it–by the actual source code, so you can see which apps brought in which eCPM.

Bingo = $4.36 StartApp eCPM
Random Fact Generator
= $3.48 StartApp eCPM

Daily Quiz = $2.17 StartApp eCPM

StartApp eCPM by Country

One last, yet very important, piece of the puzzle is to make sure an ad network has most countries covered. We’ve experienced low fill rates and fewer impressions with some other ad networks because they will simply not support certain countries. This is extremely frustrating and will lower your revenue. But with StartApp, this has not been the case.

Here are our Top 5 eCPM countries for StartApp interstitials:

Vietnam $    6.24
United States $    5.66
Switzerland $    4.78
United Arab Emirates $    4.31
Turkey $    3.62

As expected, the U.S. is on this list (and it’s where 90% of our downloads come from), but it’s awesome that we’re seeing high eCPMs for a variety of countries. In general, you’ll see a very high eCPM for the United States when using StartApp ads.

Money From Apps + StartApp

So there you have it. Honestly, you’ll be seeing us implementing more StartApp ads in our apps and taking away some of the bigger ad networks that aren’t making as much. Even a $1 difference in eCPM can mean the difference between a profit and a loss, especially when you’re looking to scale. Every dollar counts…

[Tweet “Always track which ad networks are giving you the best returns, then share that data for good karma.”]

Again, the numbers above don’t include any bonuses, which StartApp is known to do, and when you factor those in, your eCPM shoots up even higher. You can take advantage of that now by using this link:


We’ve also heard about some type of big product promotion coming soon from StartApp as well. We’ll try to get the news to you about that… make sure you’re signed up for the Money From Apps Mailing List by entering your email address in the green box at the top right of this page (if you’re on a mobile device, head to the bottom and click “view full site” and then scroll to find the green box). We’ll send you information on how to participate there, and if you join the mailing list, you’ll also get access to our free quiz source code that comes with a free video tutorial showing you how to reskin it.

Update: We followed up with the nice folks at StartApp and the promotion is here, which ties in with their new SDK. StartApp is giving away a GoPro Camera! We hooked it up and got you this exclusive link. A limited amount of developers will be allowed to join, and in order to get the camera, you must reach a certain amount of StartApp ad impressions. Sign up now to participate by going to this page:

Get a GoPro Camera, Courtesy of StartApp

Now go out there and make some money (and prizes) from apps!

app results

“Bingo Hall” Results From Bingo Source Code

Our first skin of our very own Bingo Source Code has just hit the two-week mark (this past Friday) of being live in the App Store.  We wanted to give you an exclusive look behind the scenes to see how we are trending.

Title: “Bingo Hall – Play Bingo Games for Free”

Released: April 18, 2014

Keywords: daub,stamp,rush,fast,speed,

Expenses: $597

Income: $598.54

  • Revmob: $70.76
  • Chartboost: $5.82 (More Apps page only)
  • AppLovin: $518.48
  • In-App Purchases: $3.48 (net after Apple’s cut)

Net After Only 17 Days: $1.54

# of Downloads: 4,384 (no marketing)

Quick Take:

Bingo Source CodeAfter 17 days, we are officially positive–this is amazing! The general rule of thumb is that a source code should get you even at 30 days. The Bingo source code kills this!
We still generate triple digit downloads every day and expect the advertising revenue to continue to increase over the next few weeks. As all experienced app reskinners know, if you can turn a profit on the 1st skin, and in less than 1 month, then you have the potential to make a lot of money with this source code.
Based on the low costs for additional versions of this app (there are only 35 graphics to change + the icon), we can expect to see a net income of approximately $500 within 2 weeks of our next reskin’s release.  So if you plan to release 3 versions per month, you could reasonably expect to net $1,000+ in the 1st month alone!
This is also not using Upsight (formerly known as PlayHaven) interstitials at all. You can turn Uspight on (and Revmob off) and test those results… or you can turn off all the ads and see if you make lots of money with in-app purchases! There are great options here.

The Best Part:

What is better than putting an extra $1,000 in your pocket in the 1st month?

Doing it quickly and easily!

Justin has created a Step-by-Step Guide that will show you how to reskin this app.  And the course is FREE!  Each version that you reskin will take you less and less time, which means you’ll be able to calculate your hourly return on each version.  If by the time you create your 7th version of the Bingo Source Code you are able to complete it in 2 hours and can expect to make $1000, that is $500 per hour! Tell me where else in your life you are seeing that kind of financial return on your time.

Act Fast!

For those of us that have been reskinning apps for a while, we know that there is a shelf-life for each source code and the key to maximizing your returns is getting in early and producing quality versions ASAP.  We are confident that this is the best and best-priced version of a Bingo Source Code that is available.  We decided to sell the source code at a price point that we know you can be successful with and our early results showcase the revenue-making possibilities.  We are still in the early-adoption phase of the Bingo Source Code, which means there is still a lot of time left to make money, but those who are ahead of the curve will see the greatest returns.

app results

Best CPM Ad Network for iOS

Update: We’ve pulled newer numbers and with more ad networks. Check out the new post here: Best eCPM Ad Network for iOS in 2015

What’s the best CPM ad network out there? When you’re first starting out developing an app, either from scratch or as a reskin of a source code, one of the toughest things to figure out is which ad network(s) you should implement. Every ad network (Revmob, Chartboost, AppLovin, PlayHaven/Upsight, etc.) boasts huge eCPMs, but which ones perform the best and will make you the most money from apps? Which categories of apps generate the best ad revenue? We analyzed about a year of data with over 50 iOS apps from our portfolio and as usual, we decided to share the priceless results with all of you, which can generate a lot more cash in the long run.
Just a quick disclaimer: these numbers aren’t perfect because our tracking of impressions isn’t perfect; however, we believe these “averaged eCPMs” that we drew up are just as useful.

Drum roll please…

The Winner: AppLovin

AppLovin wins in every category, but let’s take a look a little closer at the data and see if we can come to some more conclusions that can make us all more money.

By Source Code

best eCPM ad networks

Here we see the data organized by the source code. A few numbers jump out–$12.94 eCPM for the poker source code with AppLovin interstitials, and the next highest $7.22 eCPM for the big slot machine source code. This isn’t very surprising to us since we see these numbers on a daily basis. Whenever we get a good amount of downloads from a slot machine or poker app–pretty much anything that can be considered a “casino” app–we make great money from AppLovin.

The other interesting thing is that AppLovin also wins for every type of app when we look at interstitials (pop-up ads). Based on this data, it really seems like we should consider changing all the codes to implement AppLovin. But let’s try looking at it from a different angle…

By Category

best ecpm ad network by category

Again, we see that AppLovin wins in every category for interstitials. The only place we see higher eCPMs are with PlayHaven’s More Apps page, but this isn’t clicked as often, so it generates less revenue. Along those lines, note that we don’t have any data for PlayHaven interstitials in the casino category (by the way, PlayHaven is now known as Upsight, so you might hear both names used). This would definitely be worth the test. If any of you readers out there have the data handy, we’d love to hear how Upsight pop-up ads performed for you in the casino category. Going forward, this is definitely something we’ll implement.

Another key here is to notice the difference in Casino Games versus everything else. Why do casino games consistently get higher eCPMs? It’s because there are a ton of casino games in the top charts that make a crap load of money, and the developers shell out top dollar to advertise these apps. The more they pay, the more we make. So when we reskin a casino game and it’s successful, we make a lot more than if we reskinned a flappy bird game that got the same amount of downloads. Flappy Bird players probably aren’t as interested in downloading a game (from a casino advertisement) than someone who is already playing a casino game.

So if you’re just starting out and are curious what area you should go into, we’d probably suggest casino apps, especially if you think you have something that will get a solid amount of downloads and/or you have a unique theme that you can jump on. I wouldn’t necessarily get a slot machine, though, since there are so many reskins of slot machine source codes already out there and it’s tough to get downloads on them nowadays, unless you’re doing something a lot different or you’re doing a full re-skin of the code. Conveniently, we just might have something for you in the next couple of weeks that satisfies all of this. Keep your eyes and ears open, and make sure you’ve signed up for our mailing list on the right side of this page.

Are you having different results from ad networks? Have you found a new ad network that is killing it? Let us know in the comments.

app reskinning, app results

“Halloween Casino” results from 20 Line Slot Machine Source Code

Update:  We recommend looking into the Bingo source code.

We just crossed the 2-month mark for another casino app reskin that we created, using the same “20 Line Slot Machine” source code that Carter Thomas  has made available at bluecloudsolutions.com on this page.

Carter Thomas - BlueCloudSolutions.com
Carter Thomas – BlueCloudSolutions.com

Conveniently, we’ve also released a full video course on how to reskin this app from the moment you purchase the source code, to submitting to the App Store. It’s super comprehensive, yet incredibly manageable. After you see these results, you might very well be sold. You can get the course here.

Here are the results for the second reskin we made of this code:

Halloween Casino Icon

Title: “Halloween Casino – Slot Machine with Bonus Games”

Released: September 12, 2013


  • scary, spooky, gambling, slots, spin, win, coin, treat, play, candy, chip, ghost, cash, trick, jackpot, contest, cat
  • Think we’re crazy for telling you this? SensorTower is like 95% accurate, anyway, so you could’ve just looked it up yourself

Expenses: $140

  • Code: $0. Why? We already purchased the code and re-skinned this game before. We counted the cost of the code into that post.
  • Stock Graphics: $40
  • Development: $0
  • TapJoy Ads: $100

Income: $2,109.81

  • Revmob: $32.98 (-5%)
  • Chartboost: $367.73 (+100%)
  • PlayHaven: $39.99 (-27%)
  • AppLovin: $1,669.11 (+307%)(% change compared to our first reskin)
  • In-App Purchases: $116.61 – $34.98 Apple Share = $81.63

Net after 2 months: +$2,051.44

# of Downloads: 7,462 (+68%)


1. Again, we really can do the graphic and development work ourselves. It’s not that difficult… And each re-skin takes less and less time. You can do this, too! Learn how to re-skin the entire source code in about an hour here.

2. AppLovin continues to dominate eCPMs compared to other ad networks in this genre. We learned that from the last version of this code and decided to show more AppLovin ads. We also decided not to promote this through our gigantic Instagram network like we did with Animal Wheel. This improved our eCPM, because we didn’t have a ton of kids coming in that didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. SIDE NOTE: Speaking of gigantic Instagram network, this has been another very profitable project for us, and Lee is currently working on an eBook that explains how we managed to get 100,000 Instagram followers in a month. We’re super excited about that–more details coming soon.

Halloween Casino - AppLovin Income

3. PlayHaven made about a quarter less money than Animal Wheel, but this is probably because we also cross-promoted our own games in the “More Games” page. When we released Animal Wheel, we didn’t have any other games to promote in PlayHaven, so every install was revenue for us.

4. Paying for TapJoy “Rewarded Installs” wasn’t worth it, even at only $0.10 per download. At best, we broke even. We wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re making $0.50+ per download. This app makes $0.30 per download, which is still incredible for the amount of effort put in.

5. Theme, icon, screen shots – Unlike Animal Wheel, I took a whole 2 minutes to do this icon… I just took one of the slot machine images and used it for the icon, and this performed so much better than Animal Wheel. Sure, you can say that it was due to the overall theme, but this icon is just a lot cleaner. Combine that with so little work put in, we’re definitely going to use this strategy going forward. But there’s also a good course on Udemy that gives you Photoshop files and a great tutorial on how to make your own great-looking icons very quickly/cost-effectively. It’s normally $97, but you can access the 50% off coupon here. That course also comes with an automation tool that will resize your icons in like 2 seconds so that you don’t have to keep saving it over and over for different sizes. Very cool.

As for the theme, we thought it would be risky, since “Halloween” obviously has a very limited lifespan and we knew there would be a lot of other Halloween apps out there. But the results speak for themselves.

Screen shots were exactly that—screen shots—nothing special, but again, the images just looked a lot cleaner this time around.

Screen Shot example

Again, we didn’t bother spending time to add text and call outs on these images. Personally, I don’t think this is worth the time.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights on what worked and what didn’t in your opinion, and if you’ve bought this source code, what you’ve learned as well.

Coming soon: More results coming (and yes, we made a holiday/Christmas version of this app), and crazy ways we’ve been able to get nearly a quarter million app downloads in 6 months using Instagram as an ad platform. You’ll definitely want to hear about that!

Sign up for the mailing list on the right side of the page for updates and coupon codes!

app reskinning, app results

“Animal Wheel” results from 20 Line Slot Machine Source Code


Carter Thomas - BlueCloudSolutions.com
Carter Thomas – BlueCloudSolutions.com

Update:  We recommend looking into the Bingo source code.

Want to create tons of versions of this app for yourself? Learn here.

Today, we’ll be talking about the “20 Line Slot Machine” source code. Carter has been an inspiration for us with a very positive attitude and huge drive and Alex has been great with support for this code. Carter’s results were pretty astonishing for this slot machine app, and he set the price to reflect that: $750, which is probably his most expensive code. He seems like a great guy that wouldn’t make the numbers up, so we had to test it out for ourselves.

Here are the results for the first reskin we made:

Animal Wheel Icon

Title: “Animal Wheel – Slot Machine with Bonus Games”

Released: August 16, 2013 (exactly 2 months ago when this was written)


  • gamble, slots, spin, win, coins, video, play, poker, chip, casino, money, cash, vegas, jackpot, contest, bet, pets
  • Think we’re crazy for telling you this? SensorTower is like 95% accurate, anyway, so you could’ve just looked it up yourself

Expenses: $947

  • Code: $750
  • Stock Graphics: $60
  • Development: $0
  • Marketing: $137

Income: $698.44

  • Revmob: $34.76
  • Chartboost: $184.10
  • PlayHaven: $54.58
  • AppLovin: $410.34
  • In-App Purchases: $14.66

Net after 2 months: -$248.56

# of Downloads: 4,440


1. We really can do the graphic and development work ourselves. It’s not that difficult. In fact, we are planning to release a video tutorial explaining how to reskin this app from start to finish.

2. AppLovin dominates eCPMs compared to other ad networks in this genre. So how can we exploit that? If I remember correctly, the original source code uses Chartboost for ads while spinning. What if we show AppLovin during spins instead? Where else can we add more AppLovin and take out the ads that don’t perform as well?

Animal Wheel - AppLovin Income

3. Downloads were decent in the beginning, but have been averaging 6 or so each day for about a month, and revenues are pretty much done. Is it worth trying to change the keywords/title/icon/screen shots, or just create a new skin in that time and capitalize on the rush of downloads from being new?

4. While we were net negative on this one, the next skin will only cost approximately $60 for graphics, and a couple of days of work. If we make the same amount of money ($683.78) but only have $60 of expenses for the next app, we’ll be making $623.78 for about 16 hours of work. That’s a decent salary, and it doesn’t include the fact that subsequent releases should be optimized to make even more money.

5. Theme, icon, screen shots – I spent time making the icon myself. I thought it was funny, but wasn’t worth the time after all. There’s a good course on Udemy that gives you Photoshop files and a great tutorial on how to make your own great-looking icons very quickly/cost-effectively. It’s normally $97, but you can access the 50% off coupon here.

As for the theme, we thought animals would be great, but this definitely wasn’t a homerun. The animal theme in the App Store is pretty saturated and could explain the lackluster performance, although it could also be due to the fact that I’m not an experienced designer and used stock images.

Screen shots were exactly that—screen shots—nothing special.

Screen Shot exampleWe didn’t bother spending time to add text and call outs on these images. Would it really help? Personally, I don’t think this is an issue converting users to download the app. I believe getting them to find the app (keywords/theme) in the first place was the bigger problem.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights on what worked and what didn’t in your opinion, and if you’ve bought this source code, what you’ve learned as well.

Coming Soon

We released 3 more skins. How did they do? Stay tuned… And be sure to join our mailing list on the right side of the page to be updated when more reports are released!