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Using AdMob
by Tony Yotes on 12/12/13 01:06:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.



     Releasing apps for free would be very painful if it weren't for ads. Considering how the app store pricing is a race to the bottom, if I want to stand a chance my games should be free. But how do you get ads in your game? There's all kinds of services out there. I needed one that worked on all platforms. Something easy to keep track of. I settled on AdMob, an ad service by Google. I already use AdSense by Google so why not keep things in one place?




Yeah. I'm not rolling in dough just yet.

     I like AdMob because of how easy it is to use. I spent a lot of time fumbling with iAds (Apple's ad service) for Fish Feaster. I could not get it working without error for about a month before giving up on it entirely. I tried AdMob and had everything going smoothly within two days. I updated Fish Feaster and was finally making what I call micro-change.


     For my other games, I needed to find a plugin for Unity that made using AdMob simpler. I found such a thing on the Plato Evolved website and had ads in TriGrid within a few hours. I could have gotten a similar plugin at a more popular source like Prime31 or NeatPlug, but Plato's did the same thing for much cheaper ($8 vs. $50). Plato's plugins also had a much more honest feel to them. It's a one-man show. He makes videos demonstrating how to use and install his plugins, he offers refunds, talks with customers who leave comments, and just has the indie vibe I love so much. Also I liked saving 40 bucks. 



     All the Yotes Games with ads are in one place. It's easy to keep track of how they're all doing. AdMob even works with App Annie automatically, so I can track them there too. Whenever you want to link an ad banner you made, you can search for it and connect right here in this menu.


Easy peasy

     You can also see data from anytime since you started. It probably looks a lot more interesting with a more popular set of apps. What I really like about checking AdMob is seeing the the different rates and predictions. 






You can even see where your results are coming from.



      With simple interfaces, connectivity with just about everything, and plenty of tutorials, AdMob is just a dream to work with. You get ads to monetize your game and split the revenue 70/30. As far as taxes go, you're on your own, but Ad implementation doesn't get much easier than this. If you ever wanted to know a good place to start, this is my recommendation. 

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tony oakden
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IMO unless you have an active install base in the order of 100,000s, advertising is a waste of time and effort. Most indie developers are unlikely to recoup the cost of the plug in let alone the many hours of work required in integrating it into their apps and setting it up properly. On top of that there are compatability issues to consider and the fact that users, particularly reviewers can be turned off by adverts there by hurting your install base numbers. Also choosing adverts and placement is a real art which few developers understand and are unlikely to get right.

So my advise to indie devs would be to not even thing about adverts initially, instead concentrate on making a good quality app and more importantly how you are going to get your user base up to a decent level, e.g. a 100K installs at least. Then put the adds in a later release of the product once everything else is good and even then be very careful of negative feedback.

Sadly for most indies the sort of install base required to generate a decent advertising income is completely unattainable