Friday, May 20, 2016

Get the most out of your ad units with the AppBrain Ad ID

As a publisher using the AppBrain SDK, you probably often ask yourself:

- How are my ad units performing?
- Am I leaving money on the table?
- Which ad units can I improve by adjusting them?

To answer these questions, you should know exactly what is happening in each ad unit that you show. With the AppBrain Ad ID you can track performance data, like impression volume, user clicks, install rate and eCPM per ad unit so you can better optimize your ad units and earn more money.

What is the AppBrain Ad ID? How can it help you?

The AppBrain Ad ID is a tag that is attached to the ad units in your app. For every ad unit with an Ad ID, you can get a separate ad report on the AppBrain dashboard. 

If an ad unit is generating little revenue, you can investigate the potential causes by looking at the ad unit’s data: Why are there so few clicks, is it about my ad unit’s visibility? Or how come that so many users have clicked on my ad unit but hardly anyone has installed an app? Did I position the ad unit where users might accidentally click on it?

After you’ve identified the ad units that perform poorly you should try to fix them. For example, if users do not click on the banner that you placed on the top of your app’s home screen, you could move the banner from the top to the bottom for testing. If the clickthrough rate increases after the change, you know that you are on the right track to optimizing your ad unit. 

How can you attach an AppBrain Ad ID to your ad unit?

You can use one of our predefined Ad IDs or you can create a custom ID.
Name Purpose
STARTUPFor ad units shown at startup of your app
PAUSEFor ad units shown at natural pauses in your app
EXITFor ad units shown before the user exits your app
LEVEL_STARTFor ad units shown before the user starts a new level in your app
LEVEL_COMPLETEFor ad units shown right after the user has completed a level in your app
LEADERBOARDSFor ad units shown around a game’s leaderboards
ACHIEVEMENTSFor ad units shown around a game’s achievements
STOREFor ads shown around a store or other place where the user can buy in-app products
DEFAULTFor ad units that don’t fit one of the previous categories

See the table for the predefined Ad IDs. After you’ve found the Ad ID that you want to use, you can add it into the following code snippet:
InterstitialBuilder.setAdId(AdId) or AppBrainBanner.setAdId(AdId)
Image 1: How to create a custom Ad ID on the AppBrain dashboard
1) Select the app in which you want to use the custom Ad ID.
2) Press ‘Add new id’.
3) Choose an ad type; are you attaching the Ad ID to banner or insterstitial ad?
4) Describe in a few words the ad unit you are attaching the Ad ID to.
5) Click on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the ‘Ad settings’ page to generate the custom ID and to save the ID to your dashboard. 

If none of our predefined Ad IDs fits your ad unit, then you can also use a custom ID. To create a custom ID, go to the AppBrain dashboard and follow the steps described in Image 1. After you’ve created the ID, add the ID string into:

InterstitialBuilder.setAdId(AdId.custom("your-custom-id")) or AppBrainBanner.setAdId(AdId.custom("your-custom-id"))

See the Ad ID javadoc for more details.

Using predefined Ad IDs is better than using custom IDs. With a predefined Ad ID, your ad unit benefits from the knowledge that AppBrain has gained from its thousands of other apps about which ads work well at different places in the app. To give you an example; if you attached AdId EXIT to the ad unit shown at exit, when you request an ad for the EXIT ad unit, then AppBrain will try to find you ads that are known to convert well in EXIT positions.

Feel free to share your questions and feedback about the AppBrain Ad ID with us.

The AppBrain Team

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More stats at a glance on the AppBrain app page

At AppBrain we think a lot about how we can help developers be more successful. We have shown information about Android apps on the AppBrain app pages since even before the Google Play website existed. We wanted to make these pages more useful for users, developers and industry watchers by adding interesting statistics. Today we’re launching a new version of our app page that integrates many statistics about an app in a simple and powerful way. If you want to look at an example immediately, check out the page about our game "Frog Match".

The new page consists of a number of stats that have been available for a while and a few completely new ones. They’re all presented in an attractive way so you get a lot of insight at a glance. Let’s walk through the new page.

Basic information
All basic information about an app is presented in colorful tiles at the top of the page:

Follow trends in your app’s rating
Google Play’s app rating includes every user rating since your app was launched, so after a while your overall rating will only change very slowly. The app rating graph on our app page shows the average rating within a certain time period, combined with an indication of when the app was updated. In this way, you can easily see if an update significantly impacts the user ratings.

Keywords in your app description 
An interesting and concise app description is essential to attract users and make your app discoverable on Google Play. Your app description should be an accurate description of your app while containing as many popular keywords users search for as possible. The app description section shows a keyword cloud that shows the most typical keywords in your app description. The size of the word is bigger when it frequently occurs in your description or when only few other apps use this word as well, which means it’s unique to your app. If you’re interested in the technical details, you can find more information on term frequency–inverse document frequency.

Common terms in your user comments
The information given in user comments is very helpful to improve your app. It reveals a lot about your app’s potential strengths and weaknesses. Our page shows you tag clouds for all user comments, and for positive comments and negative comments separately. These tag clouds can help you identify possible problems. For instance, in the example below it’s clear at a glance that users have a problem with ads and nag screens in the app.

Permissions your app requires
Users generally don’t like to download apps that require many permissions, especially if it’s unclear why the app needs those permissions. The permission overview makes it easy to evaluate which permissions your app asks for and to compare this with competing apps. Removing app permissions that are not absolutely necessary can positively impact your app’s downloads.

Google Play rankings from different countries and top charts
How your app ranks on Google Play’s top charts is a good indicator of how well your app is doing. On the AppBrain app page you can see your app’s current rankings in a number of important countries across different lists, such as “Top Grossing” or “Top Free”. We determine where your app is best ranked and show the ranking history chart of the past 30 days in that country. More extensive data on your app’s current rankings and ranking history is available for free on the AppBrain dashboard.

List of ad networks, social libraries and android development tools
The libraries section reveals which ad networks, social libraries and development tools are present in the app. A click on a library brings you to the details page of that library.

We hope you will find our new app page useful. Do not hesitate to share your questions and feedback with us in the comments.

Happy holidays,

The AppBrain team

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Better integration of interstitials into your app

Starting with release 11 of the AppBrain SDK (, our interstitial ad units will fit better into your app.

Previous versions of the SDK showed interstitials fullscreen, which was great to show right before users back out of your app. However, the full screen may not be ideal to use within the app, for instance between two levels of a game, because the users might think that they're leaving your app.

In the current SDK version, the interstitials pop up as a dialog box on top of your activity, so it’s clear to your users that they are still in your app. In many cases, the interstitial also immediately shows the list of promoted apps, leading to more clicks and installs and thus more money for you.

You can control what the interstitial dialog looks like to some extent.

By default there’s no border around the dialog. You can set a colored border to fit your app’s theme in one of two ways:

  1. By adding configuration values in your AndroidManifest.xml (within the <application> tag):
<meta-data android:name="appbrain.border_size" android:value="medium" />
<meta-data android:name="appbrain.border_color" android:value="#afd334" />
  1. By setting the color programmatically in Java code:
AppBrain.getAds().setPopupBorder(Color.parseColor("#afd334"), BorderSize.MEDIUM);

The border sizes that are supported are small, medium and large.

If you don’t want the interstitial or offerwall to show up as a dialog, you can use setScreenType(ScreenType.FULLSCREEN) on an AdOptions object that you pass in to showInterstitial(). This is also possible if you’re using Admob medation to show AppBrain ads: set the “Parameter” in the admob interface to {"screentype":"fullscreen"}.

In early tests our new interstitial has performed quite well, especially when used within the app. If you’re using Admob mediation, it only takes a few clicks to add the AppBrain interstitial to your mediation setup as described on

If you're new to the AppBrain SDK, use the following link to sign up and generate revenue with your Android app.

Best regards,
the AppBrain team

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Refer others to AppBrain and make money

The AppBrain app promotion system is one of the best ways to promote your Android app or make money with your app as a publisher. Recently we’ve been thinking about ways to let even more developers experience the efficiency and power of this system. As there are a lot of successful advertisers and publishers on the the AppBrain app promotion system already, we’d like to reward them for spreading the word to fellow app developers.
Starting today, if you’re on the AppBrain dashboard you can get a personal affiliate link through which you can refer others. When another developer signs up with AppBrain through your link, we’ll pay you 50% of whatever that developer spends or earns on our system during his first 30 days.

Screenshot of the affiliate page in the AppBrain Dashboard
So let’s take an example: you know somebody who’s just about to launch her new Android game and wants to promote her app around the launch for $1,000. If you’re the one who refers her to AppBrain, you will get $500 added to your earnings payout at the beginning of the next month.
Similarly, suppose you refer a friend who has created a couple of apps and you’re telling him about the AppBrain AppLift interstitials and banners. When he signs up through your affiliate link, and he earns $500 in his first month, you will get $250 too.

Note that the affiliate program has no impact on the costs or earnings of the people you refer, all the extra money comes fully out of AppBrain’s pocket!

If you're signed up at our dashboard already, you can find your personal affiliate link at the following page:
If you want to learn more about the AppBrain services for developers go to or

Happy holidays,

AppBrain Team

Friday, July 25, 2014

Send messages with AppBrain Cloud Alerts

Being able to quickly and easily send a message to your users helps to create a dynamic app experience.

To optimize the app experience for your users, we've just launched a new feature in the AppBrain AppLift SDK: AppBrain Cloud Alerts.


A cloud alert is a message that you configure on the AppBrain Developer dashboard and that will then be sent through the cloud to your app's users. They will receive it the next time they open your app.

With cloud alerts, you can easily send a message to all users of your app in 4 different formats: a dialog popup, a full screen interstitial, a subtle slide-in bar or a taskbar notification. Because the message only gets shown upon opening your app, there’s no annoying push notifications and no impact on battery use.

We’ve successfully used these notifications to
  • Notify users of our “Word Hunt” app that we’ve launched a new, similar game called “Word Snake” with a high conversion rate.
  • Ask users in a subtle way (using the slide in bar) to give us a rating and leave a comment on Google Play.
  • Give an explanation of a new feature that was added in the latest app update.
Of course there are many other possibilities.

You can choose to add an action to your cloud alert. If there's no action, the alert will have just one button for the user to dismiss it. With a configured action, there will be a cancel button to dismiss and an ok button to perform the action. The action can be opening a link in the browser or forwarding the user to an app in the play store. 

The developer dashboard shows you a preview of your alert while you’re configuring it.

Try it now
If you’re a user of AppBrain AppLift already, you can directly configure your alerts on the AppBrain developer dashboard.
If you’re not using our SDK yet, you can get started on our info page.

To use cloud alerts, you need to initialize the AppBrain AppLift SDK in the onCreate() of your activity with “AppBrain.init(this);”.
Cloud alerts are available if your app has AppBrain SDK version 10.1 or later.

How would you use AppBrain cloud alerts?

Mathijs for the AppBrain team.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

AppBrain reports the monthly top downloaded Android apps

Which Android apps got the most downloads last month? Which apps got the best ratings?

We are happy to announce a new section to the AppBrain stats pages: The AppBrain monthly top apps.

This new page gives you a monthly overview of interesting things happening in the Android ecosystem. New apps and existing apps are ranked by download numbers during the given month. Additionally, we reveal the apps that gathered the best and worst Google Play ratings in the given period. You can change the selection of the data by changing filters at the top of the page. You can filter on application category (all apps vs. games vs. non-games) or on language (all apps vs. apps with English description only).

These monthly summary pages help you find the interesting movements and events around the world of Android. They are available starting from April 2014 until now, and a new list will be added on the first day of every month.

Let’s look at some insights from top apps in the last months (April, May, and June 2014):

  • Google’s dominance: Google dominates the ‘most downloaded overall’, as well as the ‘most downloaded developers’ lists. Moreover, two apps recently launched by Google made it into the corresponding ‘most downloaded new apps’ lists: Google camera (April 2014) and Email (June 2014). These observations underline the market power of Google at the time of writing.

  • App removal: Music downloading apps are extremely popular - there are such apps in all three most-downloaded-new lists. However these apps are frequently no longer available on Google Play, presumably due to copyright issues. Also, many apps from the April’s least loved new apps list are no longer available on Google Play now, because either the developer or Google removed it from the market.

  • App quality: The least-loved category is not reserved to novice developers. Once in a while we encounter an app by a well-respected organization there, such as QuizToWin by Microsoft (May 2014), Going Abroad by the European Commission (June 2014), or Air Canada (Beta) by Air Canada (April 2014, non-games, English).

  • External events: The April list nicely showcases how an external event such as the heartbleed bug can affect what apps are getting popular on Google Play. Also, the two soccer related apps in the June 2014 most downloaded list might indicate a relation to the FIFA World Cup 2014 (carried out in June and July 2014). Moreover, note how the Google I/O 2014 app made it into the most loved apps list in June 2014.

  • Rating outliers: Selecting the top rated apps over a month sometimes leads to somewhat puzzling results. For instance the best rated app for June, a Chinese Casino app: has 50,000 - 100,000 downloads, but also more than 50,000 ratings, which are all 5 stars! It’s hard to imagine how this is possible apart from methods that are not allowed by Google Play (like incentivizing your users to rate, or using bots). Apparently Google doesn’t detect or take action against gaming of ratings in all cases.

We’d be glad to read how you interpret this data, and hope you can gain valuable insights from this new feature on our stats pages!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AppBrain SDK for advertisers

Today AppBrain launches a new SDK for Android apps: the AppBrain Advertiser SDK.
This is an SDK that provides analytics and conversion tracking for Android apps.

Over 30,000 apps currently use the AppBrain AppLift SDK for monetization to great success. Apart from powerful monetization, the AppBrain AppLift SDK also provides compelling analytics. These include new and returning users, app versions in use, countries and languages of visitors and more.
Today we're making these powerful analytics available for advertisers too. The AppBrain Advertiser SDK includes all the analytics of the AppBrain AppLift SDK, but leaves out the monetization functionality so your app stays as small as possible. A new addition to both SDKs is the conversion tracking service.

The primary focus of advertising is generating installs for your Android app. Yet, generating installs is usually not the actual goal, it's usually something that the user does within your app. With conversion event tracking, you can know exactly when a user completes an important action in your app. This can for instance be an in-app payment, signing up for a user account on your service, or sharing a piece of content within your app.
The AppBrain developer dashboard reports the level of engagement of your users, measured by your conversion events. Soon we will attach the campaign source (referrer tracking) to this data as well, so you can see which sources of traffic deliver the highest quality users.
For those of you who are already using the AppBrain promoted app system to promote your app, using conversion events has even more benefits. Our targeting systems will use the conversion data from your app to optimize the type of users your app is promoted to. In this way the quality of your promoted installs will increase.

More information on the AppBrain Advertiser SDK and how to integrate the conversion tracking is available on our SDK info page.

Happy conversion tracking,

Mathijs for the AppBrain team.