At some point most app developers will be faced with the question: ‘What’s the best way to monetize my app?’. There are many business models, but many don’t think about the additional opportunities to earn revenue from content they’ve already created. Izumi Artisan is a Japanese developer who’s been successful in earning money from his app, then using the content to create a website to earn additional income. We will explore his strategy in this post.

  • Maximize revenue from the web
  • Improve user experience
  • Expand business overseas
  • Monetize both website and app
  • Create an environment where the users can help each other to finish the game
  • 40% of the total revenue came from the website 
  •  Improved profitability and usability with low overhead

‘Old Offender was the very first app that we made’

At the time of building our first app, my brother and I didn’t have engineering skills. So I went to a local book store and bought "Java for the First Time", and taught myself how to make a mobile app. I chose to make escape games because the programming needed to build one was relatively simple. Also, there were not many other similar apps for smartphones in that category. So we worked together and published ‘Old Offender: Escape from Prison’ as our first gaming app.

‘Ads are better than a paid business model’

When considering the monetization method, we chose ads. At that time, paid apps were not that popular in Japan. Now, we’re using multiple ad networks using a mediation tool, and for foreign countries we’re only using AdMob.

‘We saw a 60% revenue increase by using Google AdSense’

After we launched the app we had feedback from users asking for hint-and-tips, so I immediately decided to take action. We chose to make a bulletin board website where users can interact with each other to find the answer to a challenge in the game. My brother designed the website and had it ready within a week. We also signed up for Google Adsense to post ads on the website. Signing up and implementing AdSense did not take more than 2 days and we were able to stat monetize our website with the least resource but high impact. Furthermore, we saw a 60% revenue increase by using Google AdSense and the web business is now 40% of the sales of the company.

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