Audify is an India-based company with three music and audio apps and has experienced substantial growth in user acquisition over the past year. When focusing on ways to increase revenue from their in-app advertisements, they were hesitant to add and test new ad network SDKs as they were concerned that memory usage might negatively impact the user experience. In 2020, Audify discovered AdMob’s bidding solution, which enabled them to access more ad networks without having to implement more SDKs all while preserving a quality user experience. After testing out both the bidding solution and a range of ad formats, Audify found an optimal solution for their apps that delivered incremental revenue, raising their total earnings by 15% without compromising on the quality of the user experience.
Growing revenue while keeping the app size small
In addition to a fixed subscription model, Audify’s hybrid monetization strategy included in-app purchases (IAP) and ads. To generate higher revenue, they decided to test new advertising networks, which offered more experimentation opportunities than subscription and IAP. But they knew that every SDK they added would increase the size of their apps and negatively impact the user experience by lowering the retention and download rates. Based on previous experience, the team had a high bar and wanted to use only stable and trustworthy SDKs. During that time, they were using AdMob and two other ad networks.
Audify CEO Ashish Patel, learned about AdMob’s bidding solution and liked that it opened up competition in real-time. Patel believed they could potentially increase revenue without taking on the risk of adding new SDKs. “We were very interested in it and wanted to implement it as soon as possible,” Ashish recalls.
A/B testing across ad formats and countries
Audify’s familiarity with Android apps and Google products paid off. Setting up the bidding solution was painless. “The integration is tight and effortless,” explains Ashish.
Audify integrated bidding into all three of their apps. Then, they used Firebase A/B Testing features to measure the impact of different ad formats on user retention. All three apps use multiple ad formats such as banner, interstitial, and app open ads. Ashish and his team read through all the user reviews in the Google Play store during the experiment while keeping an eye on the Firebase results. He says the team continually A/B tests new features, mainly to understand the balance between earnings and user retention. “What we always want to know is, what's the tradeoff?” says Ashish.
Through their tests, the team discovered which combination of banner and interstitial ads worked the best for them. They also realized that the ad density does not have to be the same across their entire user base — that some countries had a much higher ad tolerance than others. So, they adjusted the advertising accordingly. By creating events in Firebase and analyzing the user retention rates across various ad densities, the team gained greater insight into user behavior and effectively optimized their ad monetization strategy.
With bidding, you could still be able to increase revenue because you're not adding more ads, you're just increasing your eCPM by adding more ad networks.
Increasing revenue while maintaining retention
The new ad formats, combined with increased eCPMs from bidding, led to a 10-15% increase in overall revenue without impacting the retention rate. Audify partly attributes this success to the fact that they did not have to add any new SDKs to boost earnings. “When you’re increasing the app size, generally, your downloads go down, your retention goes down”, says Ashish. “It doesn’t help your users, and it’s not a scalable model. With the bidding solution, the app size doesn’t increase, but the earnings go up.”
Now Audify is working on building a suite of new apps and is planning to integrate and test AdMob’s bidding solution for those as well. They also plan to keep experimenting across ad formats, including rewarded videos, fine-tuning their monetization strategy with AdMob.