The first mobile app game that I recall hearing about from everyone, everywhere was Angry Birds on the iPhone. It is still one of the hottest games on mobile, and when Rovio released it in the Android Market for free, it didn’t take long before the app topped the million downloads mark back in Oct 2010. More recently, Rovio released Angry Birds Seasons, further deepening their massive following on Android. With these latest versions of the free game, the CEO of Rovio, Peter Vesterbacka, has said, “By end of year, we project earnings of over $1 million per month with the ad-supported version of Angry Birds.” Google is getting a piece of that revenue pie because the ads in Angry Birds are provided by Google-owned Admob.
I’ve played the game (ok, I’ve really played the game ALOT, as in every extra minute spent waiting somewhere) on my Samsung Galaxy S G4, and even at the 4.0 screen size, I didn’t find the ads to be overly intrusive in something I’m spending a total of many hours playing for free. I also have yet to click an ad, but I’ve been in Advertising/Marketing for about 20 years … I don’t click a lot of ads other than to see what the campaign might look like.
Angry Birds is a HUGE success. With the expected expansion of both Android and tablets, ad revenue still has massive room to grow. So just to ask, is anyone still wondering if the free/ad-supported model can work?