Android Income Report 2011

How getting featured on Google Play increased our revenue by 10x.

runstar screenshot

What is runstar?

The runstar™ application can best be described as a running application for Android with a focus on simplicity and nice graphics. You can get more details about the app here.

The app was coded by me, in my company Bitbetter, and designed by my friends over at Color Monkey. We launched the free version at the end of 2009, then we took a short break, and launched the paid version with more features early 2011.

The free version has had 330 000 downloads with 23% active users. The free version has no income streams, but I still included it to show the amount of downloads, since they convert over to the paid app. Currently the conversion rate is 2.3%. However, that number is actually too low, since the free version has been downloading for more than a year more.

The paid version has had 8 000 downloads with 73% active users. It is priced at $4.99 and we have not changed the price during this time.

During 2011 we made $24 800 in revenue.

Earnings in 2011

The chart shows the accumulated revenue for the paid version of the runstar™ app.

If you look closely, you see a few distinct places where the the line bends up or down. Those places coincide with certain events that proved to have a large impact on sales.

runstar revenue 2011

Integrated with RunKeeper and Dailymile - June 23

On June 23, runstar™ released a new version of the paid app that supported logging into and uploading all runs from the runstar™ app to RunKeeper and Dailymile. This was also mentioned in a blog post here. And it was also twittered about here.

RunKeeper has a great iPhone and Android app. RunKeeper also built a platform to hold data, which they later opened up for third party users, like runstar™. Dailymile is another great looking and easy-to-use open running platform that has been around for a while.

Uploading runs online was a very requested feature that we did not have the time to develop ourselves. So when this was released, we saw a 100% increase in sales, and looking at the chart you will see that the line is a bit steeper (=increased daily sales) after June 23.

I’m pretty sure that the boost we saw was not only from just adding new features, but also hooking into the Dailymile and RunKeeper networks.

Featured on Android Market - October 8

On October 8 I found runstar™ featured on Android Market. Amazing! We saw an immediate surge in downloads and it is pretty obvious on the chart when that happened. Our revenue increased with 1000% that first week.

Yep, you heard me right. One. Thousand. Percent.

If you are interested in the details then read my other post on getting featured on Android Market.

Drops off Android Market top 25 list - November 17

As with all good things, they come to an end. Also the crazy runstar™ sales. On November 17 runstar™ dropped off the top 25 list in the health category on Android Market, which brought the sales back to pre-getting-featured-on-Android-Market-levels.

If I was a bit more prepared here, we could have done a sale or something to keep us up there, but we will save that for later.

Lessons Learned

Launching the paid version of runstar™ has taught me a few things:

An app is not a company. If you want to make a living from mobile apps, either build a platform and service with an app promoting it. Or build multiple apps. One app is not enough for me to live on, anyway.

Apps don’t sell themselves. Well, they actually do, but not as fast as they could. So any activity that exposes your app to new people, e.g. hooking it into Facebook or getting featured in an app store, was super important for me.

Next Steps

Even though it did not make me rich, I’m happy with runstar™’s first year. It made $24 800 in nine months, got featured in Android Market, and received tons of positive feedback from users.

But for 2012 I want to step it up a notch. My goal is to reach $50 000 for the year. It probably means some extra marketing activities. And possibly adding some features. And most likely introducing ads in some way.

I never thought ads could be a good source of revenue, but is seems to be working for Droid-Blog, KreCi and Making Money With Android. Very inspired by those guys, and I’ll try it out for runstar™.

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