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Flappy Mistakes in Mobile Monetization

So we all loved (or simply were very frustrated) from the newest star in the mobile gaming space, Flappy Birds. Its success has been predicated on the fact that Flappy Bird is a very frustrating game – one in which players immediately uninstall it, or perversely use that frustration to try to power their high score into double figures.

As a free game without any in-app purchases, Flappy Bird’s only monetisation stream is through the banner ads served through Google Ads – as shown at the bottom of the screen.

 

These are the worst ways to monetise an app or game, as banner ads are the lowest performing ad unit you can integrate. Even with the giant audience thatFlappy Bird has, the amount of cash generated is relatively tiny.

Of course, there are no hard figures in terms of the game’s downloads, daily active users, average game sessions etc so we’ll have to use some back-of-the-envelope guestimates.

  • 1. Let assume Flappy Bird has been downloaded 100 million times.
  • 2. Everyone who downloaded it is playing it.
  • 3. On average, a player plays five sessions per day.
  • 4. And, again on average, three ads are served per session.

On that basis we have 100 million installs, 100 million players, 500 daily sessions and 1.5 billion ads per day.

But banner ads are pitiful at generating revenue. The revenue for showing 1,000 banner ads (its eCPM) is around 2 cents.

On that basis, Flappy Bird is showing 1.5 billion ads daily at $0.00002 per impression, which gives us a daily total of $30,000.

This is the absolute best case scenario for flappy birds, a more pessimistic view will say that 100 million downloads is too high and not everyone who downloads the game plays it after day 1. So tweaking the metrics above with a dose of reality will yield probably around $6000 / day. Well this at least is the starting rate, a user doesn’t keep playing for long or in this energy,

Now, take into consideration the metrics EZmob shows mobile developers and website owners, by having a different ad unit such as our EZpops or Bookmark ads Flappy Birds would have seen 15% conversion from impression to clicks, engaging many more users, it will also be less intrusive when compared with in-game banner ads. Monetization-wise EZmob shows a much higher eCPM for our publishers than the $0.02 generated by banner ads, more than 20x more in fact.

If you’re a publisher, don’t make Flappy mistakes and choose the right monetization strategy for your business.