Q&A: Chupamobile’s Paolo De Santis on the State of Indie Mobile App Monetization

We caught up with Chupamobile EVP Paolo De Santis to discuss what the company’s partnership with Fyber means for Chupamobile’s marketplace (and the long tail overall):


Paolo De Santis on app monetization

How can indie developers and publishers work with Chupamobile?

We are a two-sided marketplace. Mobile developers can create app templates and list their source codes for sale, and mobile publishers come to our marketplace in search of the templates to base their projects on.

Developers make money by licensing their apps and templates through Chupamobile on a non­exclusive basis, which allows mobile publishers to launch apps at a fraction of the cost compared to in­-house development or contracting outside firms.

Once a publisher chooses and builds their mobile app or game, we also offer distribution and promotion services for the App Store and Google Play Store.


What were you looking for in terms of mobile app monetization partner?

We wanted to give our developers a competitive advantage in the marketplace – and make their mobile apps and templates more appealing to publishers.

We also wanted to give publishers the option of adding and managing as many mobile ad networks as possible from a single, user-friendly dashboard. At the same time, we were looking for a long-term partnership with a solid, established company.


What’s most challenging about app monetization for small developers and publishers?

It’s a very fragmented market that doesn’t cater to small developers and publishers yet. For example, to earn the highest revenue, most app and game templates need to support inclusion of at least three ad networks. Mobile ad network mediation solves this — but integration can be tricky and time-consuming.

For developers, the problem is all the work involved in having to integrate every ad network separately into the source code. With publishers, they can sometimes have to go in and adjust a template they’ve purchased if it doesn’t support the ad networks they want to work with.

There is also the issue of reliability. Any error on the developer or publisher side with SDK integration can cause apps to crash, so having one ad network mediation provider like Fyber reduces this risk — making the process fast, clean and efficient.


Why did you choose to partner with Fyber?

The Fyber SDK features are great and inclusive of the widest variety of developers. The dashboard is user friendly, there are a variety of ad units to choose from, and it’s compatible with so many different coding languages (Cocos2d, Unity, iOS, etc.).

On the other end, we find that publishers can use Fyber to manage all their inventory from a single dashboard, leading to an optimized monetization process that drives more revenue.

We consulted with our most trusted top authors, some of which had already been using the Fyber Ad Monetization platform, and the feedback from our community was consistently positive.


What is the biggest trend that you think will impact long-tail developers in 2016?

It’s hard to choose just one trend for the year, but I can narrow it down to three!

  • More partnerships  

Increased competition means developing a great mobile game or app is not enough — you need a great distribution strategy to match. For some indie mobile developers, that means finding a publisher or other company to partner with.

Think about Color Switch, the last hit that broke up the App Store charts. It was built by an indie developer in a week, but a distribution strategy with Fortafy Games, a publishing company, helped them climb to the top of the charts. We think this year many indie developers will partner with publishers, brands, and even celebrities, to help find audiences that can be monetized in a different way.

  • Developers as marketers

Indie developers are becoming better marketers as a result of competition, too. And as marketing platforms and tools get more sophisticated, so do the marketing strategies behind mobile games and apps. Push notifications, deep linking, and sophisticated rating systems are just a few of the more advanced tactics that indie mobile developers are using, and I think we’ll see more growth of developers as marketers this year.

  • New platforms

Indie developers are often early adopters and innovators when it comes to new technology, and they’re always searching for new opportunities to experiment and monetize. I think that will lead to exploration and app development for new platforms lik Apple TV and VR this year.

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