Ansca Mobile is announcing today that the company is partnering with global mobile ad provider inneractive in a move that will bring over 100 ad networks to Ansca's Corona SDK app-builder toolkit. When it comes to app makers and ad networks, this is one of the biggest moves we have seen in the latter half of 2011 and should help Ansca monetize developer efforts as well as it own tools.
Especially on the Android platform, the ability to monetize apps has been one of the subplots of 2011. We predicted in the middle of the year that if better tools for monetization do not come out or user behavior changes, the middle class of developers could dry up. Ansca's partnership with inneractive does not solve the monetization problem, but it is a good step to give mobile developers options.
The inneractive platform tries to make sure that the most appropriate ads are shown at the right times within apps to maximize engagement and conversion rates. That is why inneractive has so many ad networks in its fold, so as to be able to parse the right ones at the right time. The goal is to be able to serve the appropriate ad anywhere in the world and target it to a specific demographic, if that type of information is available (which, as we have seen, it nearly always is).
One of the big trends to watch in 2012 in how developers monetize their efforts is what Ansca co-founder Carlos Icaza calls "rise of the tablets." In particular, rise of the cheap tablets, such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Kindle Fire.
"Well, the biggest change is coming from the new 'Rise of the Tablets' (like Terminator!) like the Kindle Fire and NOOK," Icaza said in an email to ReadWriteMobile. "Those customers are accustomed to paying for stuff, especially with the Kindle Fire's one-touch purchasing feature. Since a lot of tablet users tend to have more disposable income to spare, they tend to not think twice about handing over a buck or two for a new app or eBook."
Icaza said that Android users are prone to get things for free, because that is the way they are used to it. Hence, ad revenue is going to more important for the Android ecosystem than it will be for Windows Phone or iOS, which currently have higher paid rates and click-through rates in mobile.
"Also, in some regions and countries, smartphone users just don't make purchases as much as people do in the States -- and that's why it's important for app developers to have an ad-driven revenue model, where you can give away the app for free and monetize from clicks (the "freemium" model)," Icaza said.
Ansca was started after Icaza left Adobe because of the company's foot dragging when it came to recognizing the importance of developing mobile Flash. He then split off to create the Corona SDK with Ansca and has been working to build tools for mobile developers, and help them get paid, for the last couple of years.
"Basically, as any of our developers will tell you, we're 'part of their team' with the advice and the answers we provide on our blog and forums, and with tools like our LaunchPad analytics platform that we provide to all developers to help them build better apps and better help them to succeed," Icaza said. "Our approach as a company is very communally-oriented: Our developers' success is our success. So, many of the decisions we make are focused on how to help our developers succeed in the app space -- which may seem a little odd since we don't make any extra money off their app sales or ad revenue."