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Mobile app monetization with SDK

johnston616 profile image Johnston616 ・3 min read

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First of all, if you are not aware of what SDK is, in this case, it’s a software development kit, or a set of software development tools, that you can add to the application you are developing, to give it certain actions or information. In most cases, SDKs are made to help developers fix some kind of bugs, or implement specific actions to their apps. But, same as in every field, it can be made to help you earn money.

App monetization of 3rd party SDK is usually created to help collect non-personal data about user or provide analytic data about application’s activity. Every SDK that you add to your app, must be described in your Terms of Services and it needs to have a user consent action available, so he/she would be aware what kind of data you are collecting about them, and just in case, could refuse it.
As a basic user, probably everyone has encountered some kind of SDK in their life - pop-up ads, videos that play for certain amount of time, even some payment processors. There are some SDKs, that you don’t see, but they might be running in the background of the application that you are using. The basic non-personal parameters that SDKs usually gather include:
Device type;
Device version;
Screen size;
Mobile Operator;
Network type;
CPU Core number;
RAM, ROM;
Country;
IP address.
So depending on your goal, and what kind of information you need, you can access these main points of application users.

I have chosen some of the most popular app monetization models with SDK, that you have probably encountered while using different apps, and will check what kind of features they offer for developers.

GlobalHop
One of the least demanding monetization SDK, that is not annoying for app users. When a device with embedded GlobalHop SDK application is in an idle state and connected to WiFi, HTTP requests are being routed through the user’s device to various websites to extract public data. It doesn’t slow down user’s device or drain its battery. Works on Android devices.

Google AdWords/Google Ads
It is an advertising channel that helps marketers or advertisers set their products on the top of Google search results. That way, users would be able to see your product anytime they are looking for something you are offering. You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad to visit your product page.

UNITY ADS
It was launched by Unity Technologies in 2014 and it is a popular platform for games that allows developers to improve their monetization by offering in-app purchases displayed in videos (that could be rewarded or not) to players. As for the audience targeting, this ad network allows to target the ads to players that are most likely to be interested in playing a certain game. In addition, there is no need to integrate an additional ad SDK. It works on both Android and iOS, and supports several display formats.

LIFTOFF
This SDK specializes in user retention as they analyze their behavior and create profiles taking into account age, gender, mobile behavior and other most used apps. In that way they help you build app campaigns that will drive you high quality installs. Works on both Android and iOS devices.

SafeDK
One of the more interesting products, as it’s an SDK, that monitors other SDKs, that are implemented in your application. It identifies SDKs that slow down your app, crash it or excessively consume device’s resources. Also, it allows to instantly turn them off with no need for a version update. You can know each SDK’s contribution to your app’s start time, network consumption, latency, location access and more. This SDK is available on both Android and iOS devices.

Mobile app monetization requires minimal to zero efforts and time investment. As long as the application user agrees to share the data, you will keep getting payments from the data collectors. Keep your app UX friendly and remember, that ads and SDKs are one of the many monetization options.

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Discussion

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Have you tried any of these? I knew most of them, except for SafeDK, which seems pretty interesting one. On the other hand, really like that GlobalHop lets you calculate estimated revenue on their page, as you can see how many downloads and users your app needs to have, for you to consider if its worth getting in touch with them. 🤔

 

Hey @johnston616

If you're open to new suggestions for your list, I'd recommend taking at peek at Tutela. Similar to GlobalHop, Tutela's SDK is an option for ad-free monetization.

We work with telecom companies to measure and improve mobile network quality worldwide. The SDK collects only anonymous mobile network analytics, like signal strength.

Quick stats on the Tutela SDK:

  • Ad-free and collects no personal data
  • Fully GDPR compliant
  • Integrated into 2000+ unique apps
  • Virtually zero impact on user experience (less than 1% impact on battery or CPU, no ads, only 200kb)
  • Pays monthly based on DAUs

More info here: tutela.com/app-developers

Cheers!
Devan