Monetize your Android traffic in CN

JANUARY 28, 2019

After time-consuming and efforts-taking development, marketing and optimization, your Android app finally got success in China and acquired millions of users. What should you do next? How to monetize these users and earn money into your bank account? The answer is the same as other parts of the planet: advertisement.

However, due to the blockade towards Facebook, Snapchat etc, the Chinese monetization ecosystem is vastly different from the western ones: less transparent and more dynamic, with more players in different levels, geos, rules and etc.

So, how exactly can you turn your Chinese Android users into money? Below are the monetization ways available and often employed by locals:

1. Direct advertisers. Their prices are usually the highest, however, the campaigns are not very stable, which means you need to pause or adjust the campaign due to advertiser’s campaign adjustment. And usually direct advertisers have strict KPIs and if you can’t hit them or they say you didn’t hit them, chances are very low that you can get payment from them.

2. Ad agencies. They usually have lower payouts than direct advertisers but they are more stable in campaigns themselves and payment as well.

3. DSP. Apps with huge number of users and have their own ADX can try DSP. And because DSP can work on the base of RTB, they usually have higher prices. Examples are Moji Weather and autohome.

4. Network/SSP. Easy to integrate but requires lots of optimization. App owners usually integrate dozens of networks and then optimize, if they ever work with networks. And as you can see, the trial-optimization process is also time consuming and money wasting.

5. Ad platforms. The big players in China like Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Weibo, ByteDance etc have their own ad platforms. They all can be integrated via SDK and sometimes also accept API and js. Due to the huge traffic volume of these big players, your ad filling rate will be very high most of the time but the efficiency is not correspondingly high. But still this is the most recommended and easiest way to start monetizing your Android users in China. And after you kicked the Chinese market, you can use the pyramid model to monetize your traffic with different sources.

Let’s have a closer look at Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, ByteDance and Weibo’s ad platform.

  • Tencent social ad platform.

Sociality is the characteristic of Tencent, owning the two most popular social apps in China: Wechat and QQ, with no close challengers. Tencent social ad platform is combined by all Tencent apps, most of them are very popular. They have very high DAU and stable traffic, which is good for brand exposion. And the users are also younger compared to the rest ad platforms. The disadvantage of Tencent social ad platform is that they have stricter rules on creative materials and the price is usually higher. Despite all of these, Tencent is the ad platform where most app owners will choose.

  • Baidu Alliance.

Baidu search engine is the most widely used search engine in China. With the advantage of its searching engine, it can help you reach most desktop and mobile users in China and it is quite targeted with its searching and keywords. Apart from the searching engine, Baidu also owns lots of other popular apps like iQIYI, Baidu map etc. Unfortunately, most people still only talk about SEM when they talk about Baidu monetization.

  • Alibaba (Alimama)

Alibaba’s ad platform is actually called Alimama. Backed by Alibaba, Alimama has huge traffic source and merged lots of other platform, which means its traffic is also very complicated. The users on Alimama have high percentage of in-app payment and are quite young. E-commerce apps are works best on Alimama.

  • Weibo (Fans-Connect Ad Platform)

Weibo is based on Fans Connection, with very active and relatively young users. The ability to @ , follow, like and forward the ads make it very popular among e-commerce apps. However, it’s relatively expensive and the traffic is less controllable on Weibo.

  • ByteDance (Pangolin Alliance)

ByteDance is the newest player among the five but it is growing really really fast, with flag products like tik tok, today’s headline etc. ByteDance also has a very strong AI database, which means your users will be more efficiently monetized. However, the users of ByteDance are a bit low-ended, mostly in Tier 2-3 cities. Lifestyle, games and financing apps works relatively better on ByteDance’s ad platform.

The above ad platforms have different efficiency monetizing on different apps. And the revenue share percentage is also various on these platforms. If you want to find out the best monetization model for your app, you gonna try it out by yourself!