When Fingersoft founder and CEO Toni Fingerroos started developing ‘Hill Climb Racing,’ he had no idea he was about to create a phenomenon. A physics-based casual racing game where users race, jump, and smash their way through levels, Hill Climb Racing became a breakout hit, reaching #1 on iPhone in a single week and topping the charts on the Google Play store. Fingersoft now needed a way to monetize Hill Climb Racing and a solution to cross-promote their app. As a result, the team turned to AdMob and implemented AdMob banner ads and house ads.
Striking the right balance between IAP and ads
Before the introduction of Hill Climb Racing, most of Fingersoft’s revenue was generated by using Admob to deploy ads in their apps -- with AdMob delivering the lion’s share of impressions. Although they saw the potential of introducing in-app purchases (IAP), the team wanted to make sure they found the right balance between IAP revenue and ad revenue, and at the same time maintain a great user experience during game play.
Scaling to keep up with a breakout hit
Their IAP opportunity came when they released Hill Climb Racing. Users could purchase coins and progress through stages faster. To achieve harmony between their IAP and ads, the team implemented non-disruptive AdMob banner ads, tested them, and paid close attention to user feedback to protect the gameplay experience. The banner ads were placed at the bottom of the screen to be less obtrusive, and players had the option to purchase coins and hide the ads altogether.
Besides implementing AdMob banner ads to drive revenue beyond IAP, Fingersoft also used AdMob house ads as a way to cross-promote the array of Fingersoft apps. By placing ads across all Fingersoft apps, the team saw a big spike in number of new downloads.
AdMob is a solid platform that is exceptionally easy to use. The AdMob income, which is substantial, started coming in right away. I was very surprised and pleased, especially because our marketing budget is zero today.
Founder and CEO, Fingersoft,
For Fingerroos, scaling with AdMob made sense because it is the biggest ad network for mobile apps, with millions of advertisers around the world looking to connect with users across all platforms. Although Fingersoft uses other ad networks, the company considers AdMob a cornerstone. “AdMob has a fill rate reaching close to 100% and great eCPM, so AdMob is really a necessity for us in making money on our free apps,” says Fingerroos.
Keeping users engaged
To keep users satisfied, Fingersoft keeps a pulse on their comments on social channels as well as on app marketplaces such as Google Play, and then adjust code for the game accordingly. Users also can share their results from playing the game on social media networks, and this, in turn, drives new downloads. After implementing AdMob house ads to cross-promote, Hill Climb Racing crossed the 500 million download mark, and the income from coin purchases and advertising allows the Fingersoft team to develop new apps and games.
The sequel, Hill Climb Racing 2, has crossed 100 million downloads, and Fingersoft continues to use AdMob to build on their global success and is working to develop more games to entertain its users around the world.
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