In a recent editorial we questioned if the more than 70 million Windows Phone users are enough to attract developers.
A recent article by developer Brandon Stecklein seems to answer in the affirmative.
He reports that his Microsoft pubCenter revenue have been slowly improving on a month to month basis, to the degree that he now felt that “developing for Microsoft’s Windows platforms might actually be turning into a viable business model.”
His pubCenter earnings increased from $200 per month last October to $750 per month in March, and he expects if this trend continues his Windows revenue will surpass his iOS revenue this summer.
Saying “My Windows business has been growing steadily this year, while my iOS business has been stagnating”, he notes this happened even while he was focussing his energies on growing his iOS business and brought several new apps to the iOS store.
He credits the improved revenue to better ad rates on pubCenter vs Google’s Admob
These are my eCPM stats from Google’s AdMob network, over the same period of time as the pubCenter chart I showed earlier. Last fall, my AdMob CPM’s were consistently in the $2 – $3 range, and sometimes higher. But ever since the new year, they have collapsed down to the $1 – $2 range. This is almost the exact opposite of the trend that I experienced on pubCenter. That said, the AdMob CPM’s for this time period are, on average, still better than the pubCenter CPM’s overall ($1.75 pubCenter vs $2.09 AdMob). It also appears that, in the last month, AdMob has been slowly crawling back up to a higher CPM level, although it is still largely under the $2 range.
At present his Windows+Windows Phone store earnings are around 10% of his Android app earnings, though the later has been on a slow decline, while his Windows earnings has been on the rise, giving him reason to invest more on the platform.
Everything is just easier on Windows right now. Writing the app is easier, and getting noticed on the app store is easier, as it is less crowded.Ultimately though, I am going to continue on my original plan of focusing on iOS this year, since one accidental breakout hit on iPhone would easily generate more revenue than all other platforms combined. That said, I am also going to continue to nurture my Windows business. With the sheer number of Windows tablets hitting the scene, and with the upcoming release of Windows 10, I believe that there is legitimate long term potential on this platform going forward.
As for Android, I am just going to kind of drift in maintenance mode for the time being. It has become more of a cash cow, but the platform’s revenue potential has been stagnating lately. There are also frequent policy changes to the Google Play store requiring massive and time consuming updates to all apps, and the policy changes are usually geared towards snuffing out all non-AdMob ad networks. I still love Android, but it really feels like a platform that is actually getting worse with each update.
At the end of the day though, I believe all cross-platform developers ought to take a serious (re)look at the Windows and Windows Phone platforms. In my opinion, it really seems like now might be the time to start thinking about getting in it to win it.
It seems, for a small developer facing intense competition on iOS and Android, the 70 million Windows Phone users may just be enough after all.
Read the full post here.