Well, a lot has happened with my Android app development in the past couple of weeks. In the first few days of release, my paid Spades version ($2.99) was selling about 40 copies a day. That slacked off to 22 the 4th day, and then 15 the 5th. I had considered releasing a free version with ads, hoping that would bring in a little ad revenue, but mostly lead to conversions to the paid version (for people who find ads annoying). So about a week ago I released a free version with Admob ads displaying in dialog boxes between each hand.
Apparently people would rather click away an ad between each hand than pay a couple of bucks. Sales for the paid version flatlined to 0-2 sales per day after the release of the free version. The good news is that the free version has risen to #3 on the Most Popular Card and Casino games ranking, and #27 in games overall. As of today I've had 12,374 downloads of the game, with 10,464 active installs (84% retention rate). I'm averaging about 1,500 new installations per day.
Here are the Admob stats:
4/3 ads shown: 44,198 clicks: 239 ctr (click-through rate): 0.54%
4/4 ads shown: 76,896 clicks: 318 ctr: 0.41%
4/5 ads shown: 102,529 clicks: 343 ctr: 0.33%
4/6 ads shown: 126,582 clicks: 409 ctr: 0.32%
4/7 ads shown: 171,409 clicks: 509 ctr: 0.29%
4/8 ads shown: 177,829 clicks: 393 ctr: 0.22%
4/9 ads shown: 184,770 clicks: 409 ctr: 0.22%
For now, this is earning me about $20/day. Looking at the numbers, what it looks like is that the click-through rate is falling, probably due to people getting used to automatically dismissing the ad. It would be nice if the numbers continued to climb, so that even with low ctrs I'd still be able to generate a fair amount of ad revenue.
I'll probably be releasing Hearts next week, and I'm thinking of simultaneously releasing an ad version and a $0.99 version. There's already a Hearts app on the market for $1.99 (and the same company released Spades for $1.99 last week, which probably didn't help my paid app sales). I'm debating on whether or not to continue with Admob, or try Google Adsense. I figured out how to embed Adsense ads into my games using a webview. It displays as a banner either at the top or bottom of the screen, and is present at all times. I could have both forms of ads, but that would probably be overdoing it. Although, I haven't gotten a single complaint about the ads in Spades Free yet. I'll decide what to do when the app gets closer to being finished.