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Ad-supported apps better monetization model than paid: developer

Advertising support is a better way to monetize applications compared to the paid model, according to a software developer that has created apps for several mobile operating systems.

As a part-time developer, Richard Foster wanted to find an easy, yet lucrative way to implement ads into his Windows Phone 7 Silverlight applications.Mr. Foster was once a DOS programmer, and he currently works for the family dry cleaning business and develops mobile applications part-time for his company Edgeway Software.

?Ease of development was really the spark that allowed me to develop so rapidly,? Mr. Foster said. ?I have used SDKs from Millennial and AdMob for Android and from a novice perspective, the Windows Phone 7 Ad SDK is far easier?really top notch.?

Paid vs. ad-supported model
Since the introduction of his first Windows Phone 7 app, Unit Converter, in November, Mr. Foster has now developed more than 14 apps with the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 for mobile.

Mr. Foster had developed paid apps for the Windows Mobile 6x platform, but since there are a huge number of free apps in the new marketplace for Windows Phone 7, he made the switch to ad-supported apps. His free, ad-supported apps include 3 Card Monte, Balloon Shooter, Rocket 21, Silly Soundboard and Tile Rush.

For Mr. Foster, the free/ad-supported model proved to be the most lucrative, according to Microsoft, which claims that Mr. Foster has made $28,882 in four months with his suite of apps.

?The big advantage of ad-supported apps is they are free to users, allowing a developer to maximize user reach and the potential revenue stream,? said Jonathan Tom, group product marketing manager at Microsoft, Redmond, WA. ?This often translates into more downloads and greater app adoption among consumers.

?With ad-funded apps, there is a lower barrier to entry, as users are more apt to download and try a free, ad-funded app instead of a paid app,? he said. ?We are seeing a lot of success with ad monetization with Windows Phone Marketplace.

?Once Richard Foster made the switch and implemented the new Silverlight Ad SDK, his revenue went through the roof.?

Microsoft launched its Marketplace platform a year ago, which it claims has generated 10,000 apps faster than anyone else, including Apple?s App Store and Google?s Android Market.

There are currently more than 11,500 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace. 

Mr. Tom said that there are now 1,100 apps that are generating developer revenue using the Microsoft Advertising Ad SDK.

?Even more impressive is the double-digit growth rate of new ad-funded apps that are being added to the Windows Phone Marketplace every month,? Mr. Tom said.

Final Take