Appflood Brings Commission-Free Cross Promotion for Mobile Games and Apps

James Cooper | January 20, 2013


Appflood is the latest hot mobile advertising platform and and it’s emerged from the crew over at mobile developer platforms company Papaya Mobile.  Appflood is based on a cross promotion platform that allows users to discover new apps and games and provides the developer with free downloads or monetization in return. This is a model that’s increasingly challenging the mobile ad industry, as app promotion networks like Appflood capture more developer SDK installs and advertiser spend. For a while, this trend was held back by the issues some of the earlier players had with relying on incentivised installations but now new players are emerging with new models. Appflood is non-incentivised and works on a cost per install (CPI) based business model that delivers quality downloads and users not fake clicks. Appflood reported some amazing stats in October including:

  • Click through rates as high as 45%
  • install rates of up to 37%
  • seven day user retention rate of 30%
  • average non incent CPI (cost per install) $0.40 7-% lower than the avearage CPI for Android of $1.86

The other big disruption the app promotion networks are bringing is a commission free business model that enables the buying and selling of traffic without paying a mobile ad network, ad server or other middle-man.  This can mean a big revenue uplift considering that most mobile ad platforms can take up to 40% of sales as rev share.
Mobile App Marketing Case Studies 
inoXapps eCPM: Averaging $4.50
inoXapps is a mobile app publishing startup that got off the ground with just a $5k investment and had some early appstore success with a photo effects app.  Using appflood they found a way to make more money from their app without affecting the overall UX.

  • Interstitial Ads on startup and close-down were integrated, keeping interruption to a minimum and delivering CTRs of 45%
  • Revenues of $0.6k were delivered with eCPM averaging a massive $4.50 off a base of 1000 DAUs vs the Android average of $0.88
  • Appflood took zero commission which was a key factor delivering the high net eCPM to inoXapps
X6 Game’s Dragon Kingdom: Acquires 37,000 Free Installs
X6 Game are a major Chinese games publisher who released one of the most popular Android Strategy games in the Chinese market.  They were seeking an additional marketing channel to boost their user-base for their launch in Western markets.  They integrated an interstitial ad to promote other apps and then received installs back in exchange.

  • 37k free app downloads delivered
  • Appstore rankings increased with a net impact on DAU of 385% in 3 months

Boyaa Texas Poker Acquires Users with 10X Higher Retention
Boyaa is one of Asia’s top online card and board game publishers with over 100m players.  They needed a strong user-acquisition channel that could deliver a large volume of loyal users for its new poker app.   Appflood’s mobile ad platform managed their ad placements to deliver higher conversion rates by showing on the apps where installs where highest.

  • 1 in 3 impressions produced a click
  • Appflood delivered 20k installs at just $0.40 each
  • Day 7 retention was 12% – 10X higher than average

How does cross promotion work? 

App cross promotion services allow app developers to place installs into a networked pool where they are exchanged with other developers based on an algorithm.  This is way more efficient than negotiating swaps or direct deals with other developers and gives developers a free alternative to investing in paid-for installs or ads.  The key is having the right data and matching functionality to ensure that the system is both fair and effective.  For example, users will need to be presented ads for relevant games which they might like to download in order to keep conversions/ install-rates high.  Developers who are providing quality traffic and lots of installs for other apps or games need to be rewarded with similar high value traffic.  All this depends on having the right platform and weeding out fraud and abuse by developers looking to hack the system by using bots or sending low quality clicks.  Appflood is basing its model around pure performance/ CPX with a cost-per-install based exchange that gets around the problem of click-fraud and low quality traffic.

How effective are cross-promotion exchanges for developers ?

Whilst you wouldn’t want to rely on it completely for your marketing efforts, cross promotion is a key tool for mobile app promotion.  By exchanging  Yes it really does! Whenever you share a user with another app developer, you receive a new user for your app as well – 1 for 1. By joining a mobile ad exchange traffic on AppFlood both developers will receive additional users completely free.Try for yourself for free

What type of mobile ad units are used?

Most of the cross promotion networks have tended to use either Interstitial or ‘offer-wall’ ad formats in addition to the standard banners.  Interstitial ads perform much better than banners in games for example, where they can naturally be used on startup, between levels or at the end of the game.  Appflood for example are claiming click-throughs for interstitials of 25% which is way higher than for banners which are typically below 1% click through.

Integration of ad units and impact on retention 

Showing ads at the right time is a big trend in the mobile ad industry with players like Kiip focusing strongly on their ability to show an ad when a app user or gamer is most receptive.  What the app promotion networks are pioneering is integrating app and game discovery within the normal usage cycle of a mobile service.  For example an interstitial ad can appear at the end of a game for example, when the user might be thinking about closing the game anyway.  This means that the developer can generate revenue or additional installs without impacting their own retention rates or usage profiles.

Publisher benefits

For publishers Appflood is offering a range of different ad formats, customisable with a skin or theme to match the native design of the app or game, fully optimized ad serving with CPMs of up to $10 and the ability to block competitor apps.  Developers can also ‘bank’ installs and save them up in order to support a new launch for example, or to focus promotion around a specific app but using installs from others.

Advertiser Benefits

For advertisers Appflood provides full control over budgets and campaign details as well as the ability to set maximum bid caps on a cost per install (CPI) basis.  This is great for advertisers that have very tight CPI collars and need to get ROI from their spend.   Targeting covers devices, OS and app categories and multiple international markets and languages.  The platform allows unlimited campaigns and also provides some A/B testing tools for optimizing campaign creatives and targeting.  As well as commercial advertisers, Appflood is ideal for developers with limited or no acquisition budgets or for those who want to compliment other types of promotional channels.
The chart below sets out some of the key data points:

Getting Started

Appflood is currently available as Android and Unity SDKs but has iOS coming shortly we hear. So if you’re an app developer, publisher or mobile advertiser it’s well worth checking out Appflood and seeing what the fuss is all about.

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