The mobile advertising industry is constantly changing—revenues from in-app ads can rise and drop from day to day without much explanation or reason. These dips and changes are normal and they can happen to every publisher of every size.
However, sometimes publishers can see a very sudden drop in their revenues, or they may notice their revenues have been decreasing steadily over time. Luckily, there is usually a reason for the drop, and there are ways to get your earnings back to normal.
Here are the top reasons why we see a publisher’s earnings drop:
1) Have you made changes to your app?
Often when publishers make updates to their apps, they can affect their StartApp earnings even though they didn’t intend to. When updating your app, keep track of the changes you make that could have an effect on ad revenue (i.e. changing ad placements, adding or removing screens, adjusting the app flow, etc.). If earnings drop, you can then go back to see what change had the biggest impact and make adjustments from there.
Also, if you have added additional ad networks to your app, be sure to check the “waterfall” (the order in which ad network ads are shown). If StartApp used to be #1 on your ad waterfall and you moved it to #3, you will see a decrease in earnings on your StartApp account.
2) Have you updated your SDKs?
If your earnings have been steadily decreasing over time, check to see which SDK version(s) you are using. StartApp's newest SDKs not only add new ad units designed to increase user engagement, but we also fix bugs and optimize data on the back-end to make sure that the right ads are reaching your users. Though it’s time-consuming to update SDKs, especially if you have a lot of apps, it will pay off in the end.
3) Which countries have you targeted?
In the world of mobile advertising, advertisers typically pay more per click and per install for “high-tier” countries. This include countries like the US and many EU countries because they have a lot of mobile users with a lot of money to spend on goods and services. So, publishers that publish their apps in these countries typically see higher revenues than publishers who exclusively publish locally.
To increase revenues, we always advise publishers to try to add users from these “high tier” countries. But, we understand that a lot of developers are unable to do this. In that case, we simply recommend increasing your daily active users (DAUs) as much as possible, and to publish apps that have a low content rating (as they attract the most advertisers).
We are also working on our end to add advertisers from across the globe every day, so that you can more effectively monetize your local users.
4) Which ad types are you using?
Banner ads seem like a natural choice for most apps because they fit easily within the app’s interface. But, banner ads have low engagement rates when compared to other ad units like interstitial ads. Interstitials allow advertisers to be more creative when it comes to design, and the bigger ads grab user attention much quicker than banner ads.
If your earnings with banner ads are low, try interstitials! For even better performance, test out our Splash Ads (interstitials that are shown when the app is opened)
5) Did a big holiday just end?
During a holiday season, advertisers pay even more for advertising because they are competing for customers who will be spending money during the holiday season. Additionally, a lot of new users enter the market because people receive new smartphones as gifts, meaning that a lot of users are searching for and installing new apps.
Once the holiday season ends, the earnings for publishers typically drop pretty quickly as the industry gets back to normal. Though it can be a shock for publishers for a few weeks, earnings will stabilize pretty quickly.
6) Have your DAUs dropped?
Sometimes, publishers may experience a drop in daily active users (DAUs) with very little explanation. This drop can affect advertising revenue because less users are seeing advertisements in your app.
If you are experiencing a drop in revenue, take a look at your app analytics to see if there is a drop in users. Once the DAUs increase, you should your revenue begin to increase as well.
7) Is there no data on the StartApp portal?
Are you seeing absolutely no data on the portal (for example, every number is 0)? This could be a sign of a technical issue.
First, check your integration using our integration manuals to make sure your SDK is integrated correctly with the correct devID and appIDs.
If you are certain that your integration is correct, it could be an issue on our end. Email our support team and they will be able to check if the portal is down for maintenance or if there is an issue with your account