iAd Workbench (for the Little Guys)

I recently tried using iAd workbench for my app, You Doodle Pro. After my last terrible experience with Google AdMob, I was very skeptical that this would work, but maybe Apple has something here that Google doesn’t. Maybe there is a new avenue for small app developers to have a chance of actually getting their app downloaded in a very crowded and gamed app store.

For You Doodle Pro, I did a manual campaign targeting only women since 80% of my users are female. I had an initial budget of 200 USD and a daily spend of 10 USD.

To be blunt, as of 2013-06-24, Apple’s iAd workbench is a mess. It is extremely buggy. For example, many times the pages don’t load and instead spew forth Apache server errors and for some reason all my campaigns suddenly stopped getting impressions – even with a 1 USD CPA (cost per acquisition) bid. CPA and CPC (cost per click) don’t appear to work right either, you get billed if you are doing CPA and not CPC and have zero downloads.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.15.58 AM

My campaigns ended up with about 360,000 impressions and 2 downloads after about 11.5 USD spent after the first couple of days, but then my impressions just stopped. I suppose it’s possible that everybody suddenly increased their minimum bids, but that seems unlikely.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.01.01 AM

I am hopeful that eventually iAd will be a viable avenue for us indie developers, but for now all campaigns are paused until Apple can sort this out. Until Apple discards accidental clicks and provides more insight into conversions, iAd is not a viable way to generate installs for mobile apps.

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Raymond Law
10 years ago

You spent $11.50 to get 2 downloads, and you app is priced at $1.99 (before subtracting Apple’s 30% cut). It certainly doesn’t seem like a viable option to increase revenue. But it is still better than my campaign that got me 0 downloads after I spent $74.66 with a budget of $100 and daily spend goal of $12.5 over one week.

Unless things dramatically improve, I won’t touch iAd Workbench again. Ads, by both Google and Apple, simply aren’t effective anymore.