Success Story

Indie game developer turns a hobby into income with AdMob

Indie game developer turns a hobby into income with AdMob

William Ferguson pours his passion into Xandar Mob, an independent game development company. His main app is Lexathon, a word puzzle game with a 4.5 star rating on Google Play. From a jumble of nine letters, users must create as many words as possible around a central letter. When he looked at how to best monetize Lexathon, Ferguson turned to Google AdMob. He configured the right type ads for his game content, used Admob mediation to reach a 95% fill rate, and now earns 15% of his income from Xandar Mob.

A passion for words

When he started developing Lexathon, he chose to focus on Android first due to its ubiquity.
The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times. And users are loyal - playing the game for at least four months and spending an average of 10 minutes per day on it. But even with such success, Ferguson still needed to find a way to turn his hobby into a sustainable income.

Picking the right ads from the right networks

William was impressed with AdMob SDK’s API, finding it well defined and clean. He uses the API to create custom events such as stitching in interstitials into his various ad networks. The ability to create custom events to form adapters for various ad networks is especially important because it lets him fine-tune and control the ad activity across each network from AdMob’s central dashboard. He also places banner ads at the bottom of the game, but users can pay to opt out of advertising or obtain helpful hints if they wish.

Ferguson also implemented AdMob mediation to coordinate between a number of different networks to help maximize his fill rate and increase revenues. AdMob mediation sends ad requests to multiple ad networks - including AdMob - so William finds the best available network to serve his ads. With AdMob he sees strong 95% fill rates, and a reliable cost per thousand impressions (CPM) value.

AdMob mediation is a great example of how easy the AdMob API is to use, Enabling AdMob mediation was the easiest thing in the world. I changed one single component and had suddenly made the leap into mediation.

William Ferguson, Owner, Xandar Mob

From day job to dream job

Lexathon is now translated in 19 different languages with people around the world sharing their scores on social networks and challenging each other. William’s first translations were made through Google Translate, available for free and integrated with AdMob.

Approximately 15% William’s income now comes from AdMob. The incremental revenue has helped him pay down loans and have extra spending cash in his pocket. Looking to the future, he hopes to become a full-time app developer. “I only need another four or five apps with the equivalent success of Lexathon and reliable ad platforms like AdMob to divert my full attention to app game development,” says Ferguson.

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