A Little iAd Experiment

23 Mar 2014

I love reading other developers’ breakdowns of app stats, so here goes an attempt to be open about one of my apps, Tides US.

I released Tides US over one year ago (on the 9th January 2013) and it’s time I actually showed it some love.

Tides US has not done anywhere near as well as the other three (NZ, AUS and UK) so I’m going to take the opportunity to experiment. I’ve just finished the version 2 update, which is a new iOS7 re-write that brings it up to the same standard as my other app, Tides NZ.

Currently Tides US is bringing in about $1 NZD a day. I don’t have any analytics, but here’s the graph of profit since it’s release.

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As you can see, it’s been fairly consistent at around $2-3 a day over the summer (Q2 to Q4). I raised the price from $0.99 to $1.99 around Q5 point - half the sales, similar amount of profit.

The brief dip at the start where there was no profit was the week I made Tides US free. Look at that download spike!

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48.5% of all downloads happened 7 days, while it was free.

Having 325 downloads in a day got me to rank 110th in the US Navigation. 110th! I didn’t even get into the top 100 Navigation apps! Other apps must be getting a lot of downloads.

I’ve decided that I’m going to make it free, and try iAd.

The US market has proven itself a lot harder to break into as a paid app than Australia or New Zealand. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have any contacts that could promote it to the right people - I’ve never run any ad campaigns, or have a network over there - yet.

Being an app that seems to have a high retention, with people who keep opening the app every day (people who are into boating, fishing, water sports or even anyone who likes to walk on the beach) this may lend itself to be a good fit for an ad supported model.

Of course it’s all good me saying this, but I have no idea, hence the experiment. It may turn out to be a massive failure, and make no money - at the end of the day, the purpose of this experiment it to get Tides US into more hands and see how iAd performs on what I think will be relatively small userbase.


I’m still not 100% happy with the new icon, but hopefully the target market like it.

I’m @vfxguynz on twitter, follow me to get notified when I write the followup of this experiment.