14/07/2013

Review: Startapp is a great opportunity for Android Devs to cash in on their hard work

Startapp is one of the most talked about startups in the Android industry. And why won't it be? In just over 1 year of its service, Startup appears on over 2.87% of apps present in the play store (according to appbrain). We shall be exploring the reasons behind the success of Startapp, while reviewing it in this article here.

The opportunities to earn:

In a market dominated by Admob, the mobile advertising giant, Startapp has made a name for itself. How has that happened? Well, startapp pays the android developers, on an average, $12 per 1000 downloads of the app. Now put yourself in the seat of an Android developer who has enabled startapp monetization program on his app and the app gets downloaded a million times. My quick maths says you will earn $12,000.

Back in the real world, Startapp can be integrated in an app by using the Startapp SDK, which is quite easy to use as there are no banner ads involved, layouts of an app don't need to be edited. Only some small changes need to be done on the Java end of the app.

There are two types of Startapp SDK integration:
  • Partial SDK Integration:
    This integration creates a 1x1 icon at the user's home screen and changes the home page of the stock Android browser. If you are an Android developer, you would want to use this option if you or your users find the next option a bit too intrusive.

    Partial SDK Integration Payment Rates

    New US Users

    $0.04 per install

    New Non-US Users

    $0.008 per install

    Returning Users

    $0.003 per install
  • In addition to the advertisements present in the partial integration, bookmarks are added to the user's bookmarks list on the stock android browser. As an added bonus, android developers earn a better payment per app download using this type of integration.

    Full SDK Integration Payment Rates

    New US Users

    $0.055 per install

    New Non-US Users

    $0.01 per install

    Returning Users

    $0.01 per install
Apart from the advertising types presented in the two SDK integration methods detailed above, Startapp has recently rolled out Exit ads. As the name suggests, these ads are full screen and appear once a user exits an app by pressing the Back or Home button. These mobile exit ads generally link to a mobile website or a free app download. Exit ads are integrated separately into the app using the Exit ad SDK.

The other opportunities to earn using Startapp includes referring your developer friends over to Startapp. And if you are an android developer, you might already be having contacts with other Android developers out there and thus referring them to Startapp can get you some extra rewards.

For every Android developer you introduce to Startapp, you will earn according to the following table:

Startapp Referral Program

100 app downloads

$10

100,000 app downloads

+$100

500,000 app downloads

+$600

1,000,000 app downloads

+$1800

That means, if you drive a really capable android developer to the Startapp monetization program, you can earn up to $2510 from a single app of his that gets to the one million download mark.

The User Experience Factor:

For any type of mobile monetization an app developer decides to use on his/her app, the first and foremost thing that comes into mind is how the ad will alter the user experience.

This is what the Exit ads look like
Startapp brings an interesting new type of monetization program in which all the advertising stays outside the app, so, your free app stays totally ad free. This provides for an excellent in-app user experience. Secondly, the developers can choose what types of ads they want to integrate in your app. For instance, if they receive negative feedback from the users about exit ads, they can easily remove the exit ads alone and continue with other ads. Also, this can act as another source of earning since it can work in perfect combination with admob, where admob serves ads within the app and Startapp adds the bookmarks and other things outside the app.

On the user end, I specially liked the transparency factor of Startapp. Every app that uses its SDK has to display a message in the description explaining that they are using Startapp for monetization and what it means to the user. Also, there is a license agreement popup from startapp that appears when the app is launched for the first time which explains what types of ad the user will see.

I have personally seen a lot of one star ratings on apps using Airpush platform, for Airpush is really intrusive and sends notification bar ads, something that users don't like. In the case of Startapp, there are limited number of ads. Even when the developer uses the full suite of ads along with exit ads, the only time ads are visible are when the user exits the app, or go to the search icon created on the home screen and in the default browser. The latter two parts can be removed manually by the users, if they want to. That's very clean, to say the least.

Probably the only thing that didn't impress me about the Startapp SDK is the number of permissions your app needs to have once you have enabled Startapp monetization on it. Many users pay a lot of attention to the permissions required by an app. This issue can be somewhat solved by explaining why the permissions are needed in the app description.

Bonus: If you sign up using our affiliate link, you will get a bonus of $25 when you reach 100 app downloads. (I shall get $10 when you reach that number of downloads.)

Summary:

If you are an android developer and are not satisfied with the earnings you are making out of your apps, then you must give Startapp a try. If your app is downloaded in good numbers in the USA, then Startapp will make a very good choice for you. As a user of quite a few apps on my android device that use startapp, this advertisement strategy looks cleaner to me and the advertisements I see are very less irritating than having banner ads fill up the screen when you are using the app. To see how the startapp ads actually work in practice, install this app from the play store that demoes the functionality of the mobile monetization platform. Whether you are an android developer or a user, do let us know what you think about Startapp.
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