When you’re looking to download an app, most of you will turn to the app charts on The App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store to find what you want. But it may surprise you to learn that there’s a big lucrative war being fought amongst developers to get enough downloads to establish themselves in the chart; a war that some companies are making real money out of.
That includes German based start up AppLift who announced this week a tidy $13 million investment from Prime Ventures. Founded in 2012 by Tim Koschella and Kaya Taner of the Hit Fox Group, AppLift have carved out a niche as mobile marketing and monetisation gurus; helping more than 80 game publishers and 500 media companies reach the top of the charts and make money on the way.
Now I know some of you will be scratching your heads: how can they make so much money from getting apps to the top of the chart? Well, it all spans from the fact app based gaming is at the forefront of the money making revolution. Rovio, developers of Angry Birds, cleared $195 million in profit last year while another Finnish company Supercell announced recently that they’ve been making $2.4 million every day; a staggering sum of money I’m sure you’ll agree.
But they’ve only been able to do this is by getting hold of enough users to top the chart and reaching the right users who’ll buy the in app extras to make the developers their money. With most people discovering their apps via the charts and an app needing 80,000 downloads in the U.S. alone reach the top ten of the free charts, advertising an app to as big and as relevant an audience as possible is really important for financial success.
This is where companies like AppLift come in. Essentially, they run a big advertising network found on mobile apps and the mobile internet for gaming apps to tap into. By adding a custom built bit of code into an app, the developer can support themselves in a number of ways.
They can either run ads in their app which promotes relevant services to users to earn money. Or they can advertise their app within other apps and, by paying a small cost of roughly a dollar for every install, they can take advantage of a risk free payment system that guarantees players before payment. This model is quite widespread across the industry and there are a number of companies who run networks like this, such as established industry players Tapjoy and Flurry.
What AppLift have managed to master, and what makes them such a great an investment prospect, is their track record of attracting the right kind of users to their clients apps by prioritising games. By focusing on targeting the right titles to the right fans, instead of random content generally seen in most affiliate advertising, the platform has had great success in matching high numbers of paying users to developers.
That list of clients includes King, makers addictive match three hit Candy Crush Saga. Shane Hornejj, Director of Performance marketing at the company, echoed that assessment of AppLift. “It’s great to see that AppLift has secured $13m in this round of funding. They have been a great partner in driving large volumes of installs across Android and iOS while maintaining high quality users.“
So, with the funds being used to hire 50 engineering staff and opening offices in Seoul and San Francisco, AppLift look like they could be well placed to use their investment to keep boosting developers up the app charts.