LeadBolt: is it worth to implement?

If you want very short answer I can tell you on the beginning on this post. Yes! It is definitely worth to implement LeadBolt on your Android apps! I was very afraid before done it and had a lot of doubts. I was afraid of reaction of my users. I was afraid of bad comments. I was afraid of loosing downloads. After some experimenting now I know that there is a bad and good way of doing it. Moreover at all I have tripled my daily income from ads.

How much can you make?

I have tripled my daily banner ads income by implementing two kind of ads provided by LeadBolt. And the best is that my banner ads are still making same revenue as those are totally independent. Since beginning of the year my income from banner ads has dropped to about ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... per day. Same time on LeadBolt I am generating ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... daily! So at all just from ADs on my free Android aps I am generating up to ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... per day!

Here is the latest screenshot from my earnings on LeadBolt:


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What type of ADs are profitable...?

I am using two kind of ads. Most profitable are push notification ads that I was most afraid of. But with a good way of implementing those are working very well. Another kind of ads provided by LeadBolt that are very profitable are App Icons. Push notification ads gives me about 60% of revenue and App Icons are another 40% of the pie. App Icon ads is just a simple shortcut that is being added on the user home screen. When he clicks it he gets a list of apps to download that are currently promoted. Such icon can be simply deleted by the user and it will not affect app usage.

Bad way of implementation...

I have done a big mistake on my first try of usage of push notification ads. When you configure those ads you may set it to be pushed "On Demand" or at given time frames. As I wanted to keep ads on the app running cycle I have set "On Demand". It have always been pushed in the same moment of the app usage. It was my mistake! I got tons of bad reviews saying that this app has virus, trojan etc. At lest the app has lost a lot of downloads and growing trend has been flipped.

Good way of implementation...

After that I have almost gave up implementing LeadBolt. Fortunately I have been contacted by LeadBolt representative via email. After exchanging a few emails I have been instructed to implement ads another way:

  1. Firstly I have clearly stated in the app description on Google Play (Android Market) that to keep app free I need to implement ads in the notification and as an icon that can be freely removed.
  2. I have set ads such way that those can be opt out by the user.
  3. And at least I have set those to be pushed first time 12 hours after first usage of the app and then each 24 hours.
Such way I am generating very nice revenue and still have good reviews. Someone that do not like such ads will not download my app (but I do not see any big difference in downloads). As usual some people do not read descriptions and I get about 1 bad review about those ads on 20 others. Anyway people looks to be more familiar with this kind of advertisement and they are not so offended  with those ads anymore.


At the beginning of mobile ads business people were offended even with banners. There were many reviews stating that they will not use app that eats their bandwidth with ads. But they got used to it. Notification and app icon ads is something new and people still don't know it. It is even better for those who use them as it makes a better CTR at the cost of a few bad reviews. But after almost a month with those ads implemented in my apps I am not going to look back! I want to eat as much of this cake as possible! And if you are in this business to make  some real money I can recommend you to do the same! Join the LeadBolt now before others and gest the most out of it! Triple your revenue just the way I did!

96 Responses to “LeadBolt: is it worth to implement?”

  • One question about App Icon. Are you adding it on user desktop only once as first start or every time when your application is started?

  • Thanks for sharing this, especially bad and good way of implementation.

  • That’s you !

    I was wondering which one of my downloaded app were pushing me ads and why did wired apps appear on my home !

    I didn’t know about leadbolt way to push notifications etc. After all this time, I got used to those ads …

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us, and as Bartek said : especially the good and the bad way to implement it.

    • Ups sorry for bothering you with my ADs… but you may see on yourself that people very fast get used to it… Thank you for your comment!

      • Hi again !

        After a week with adbolt, I got a lot of bad reviews because dr Web ( an antivirus app ) says that my app is a virus…

        Do you know how to bypass dr web ?

        • Hello. I am not bypassing anything. As wrote previously I got a few comments like that. But all have been covered by hundreds of new good reviews… So bad comments are just a little percent of all users feedback. It may not be good idea to integrate it with apps that just starts and have no reviews at all. I have added it to apps with a lot of users and comments and see no real impact on my new ratings.

          • Ok got it !
            Actually, I added leadbolt to 2 new apps and 1 old app.

            The new apps has no bad reviews, but the old one got about 10 bad reviews because of Dr Web.

            So I decided to write on the description explicit uses of permissions needed by the app. Hope it will calm down users !

            On my old app, I got about 10 $ the first day… wow :D

            Thank you again
            (btw, I sent you an email some days ago did you receive it ?)

  • Thanks for sharing this Kreci !!! I must say that i was afraid to move to LeadBolt, but with this great review i will make it a try for sure!

  • Are you still using Admob or just LeadBolt?

    • Using both. LeadBolt has no impact on my Admob revenue.

      • Hi Kreci!
        Is it allowed to use both ad provider in the same app at the same time?
        (Oh and before I forget: I’ve sent you a message with the contact form on this website which contained my paypal transaction ID (e-book) and I haven’t got a password yet.)

  • Thank you for shearing your experience with us!

  • There are already a bunch of applications that can scan your device and show you the apps that do shady things like this.

    I’m not sure the loss of reputation is worth the short term extra profit.

    I, for one would not implement stuff that would annoy me, if it was in an app I wanted to use/have.

    • It is not for everyone and for each app. But I have my apps on my phones and got ADs and it is not annoying for me anymore. Got used to it.

      • You might be right, but consider what Pork wrote below. It’s one thing that people get used to it (I think I never will), but it’s another that they have no idea where those ads come from, and usually don’t know how to remove them other than clicking and visiting the advertiser site (yes, some versions allow you to swipe the notification away, but not many users know about that).

        No offence, and I respect your position. This is just my personal opinion. :)

  • As a fellow developer who makes almost all my money on ads I firstly want to say thank you for your blog and your openness.

    Now don’t take anything I say as a personal attack or a rift, I’ll still follow you! Consider this just as friendly discourse.

    I just can’t see how unrelated and unconfigurable shortcuts and notifications are good for our users or industry.

    All notifications are configurable and deep link to the app that generated them. Ad notifications, the user has no way of understanding how they got that ad and how to remove it. And what other reaction could the user have other than the desire no to have the ad? But since they cannot identify the offending app, they are led to the only solution being a format! This is as bad as my parents windows xp machine that had to be formatted every few months.

    This makes Android look really bad compared to iOS. It makes the open system look bad.

    The same goes for homescreen changes. Changes to the homescreen are always user-driven and configurable. This is a strong violation of trust, but at least you are doing it only once.

    Anyway, at least the money is coming in! There is at least one developer I know of that really really are unsatisfied.

  • I’m serving LeadBolt ads since last week and I have 2 x eCPM than from AdMob, so it looks nice now. I’m using notification and 4 x banner ads + standard AdMob banner and I didn’t notice any ratings drops. Thanks KreCi for sharing your info!

  • Hi Kreci,
    Why did you chose leadbolt and not airpush? Do you know if leadbolt is more profitable than airpush?


  • It is amazing, how much money your are making from your apps.

    But there are things, I dont understand;

    Your apps are fine, but they are not frequent use apps, like how many times can I crack my screen or scan my hands? How do you keep your income stable like this with your apps? or is this the result of thousands of new users that joins android each day?

    By the way, you should make serious app/game, especially game, the owner of Robo Miner App earning around $7500 from single app.

    I would like see a nice game from you

    • My apps still have many daily installs. Moreover it looks that good prank apps are used quiet frequently if someone really like it. I am not a game developer and I am not trying to be. I am rather more addicted to tools and simple prank apps.

    • How do you know Robo Miner earns $7500? Do its owner shows somewhere income reports?

      • I read one of the forums, not directly from his blog (It may not be %100 reliable). However, my own guess was around $5000 monthly because it is extremely frequent use app unlike other apps, but when I read $7500, I surprised.

  • Hey, KreCi
    Thanks for sharing!
    I was thinking too for push ads – AirPush. But their mass spam in my email, their offers and bla bla, affects me to still not use them. Anyway did you research them before integrate push ads or you go directly to LeadBolt?

    • I have replied in one of last comments. I have decided to try LeadBolt as I have heard some good opinions about it before. I can not say as much about Airpush (just heard it have been giving good ecpm at the beginning and not as good now… but can not confirm it).

      • What is your current eCPM for push ads on LeadBolt? I just want to compare my current ones on AirPush.

        It’s true they have dropped significantly on AirPush in recent 2 months, but not sure if it is worth switching to another network :-)

  • I am using Leadbolt, Airpush, Admob in same time for 5 months and what? I have great ratings, 10% less users and 1000% more cash.

  • Google will migrate the AdMob to AdSense in 1st of may 2012. Have you investigated this issue ?
    Are there any changes in the existing applications’ code reqiured ?

  • I love how supportive leadbolt is the one thing i noticed is that they really do make an efforto to help you where as admob is kind of just business straight to business. That being said i just started a developing games so i only made 10 cents lol….but that game was ment to be an expirement anyway…..

    P.S bought and read your book way to fast lol when is all that members only info rolling though? found out a couple of niffy things in the book though so looking forward to an update.

  • Hi Kreci,
    Thanks for the tip. I implemented LeadBolt and the first impression is great. Revenue is very satisfying, especially compared to Mobclix (I cannot use AdMob). I am also displaying their banners (their EPC is high so far). However, almost nobody seems to be using icons. I am considering getting rid of them, as they might result in bad reviews.
    Thanks again.

    • Hi Jacek. Icons takes a few days to start generating revenue. My eCPM from icons is about $12.00 and from notification ADs is “ONLY” about $5.00. So it is worth to keep those. Moreover I got not a single bad comment about the icon and got a few about notification.

    • Hi Jacek , one question , i see that you are using LeadBolt banners, so i wanted to ask you how are you satisfied with their banners compared to Mobclix bottom 320 x 50 banners ??
      I have one app with Mobclix banners , so i am thinking of switching with Leadbolt banners (classic bottom banner).


  • Hi Alek. Unfortunately, I cannot use AdMob (Google closed my account for unknown reason), so I cannot compare them directly. So far, banners generate much more money than banners from mobclix. Here are some numbers. I have 3 apps with LeadBolt ads and results for yesterday where following (banners only):
    1. ECPM: $8.13, EPC: $0.05, CTR: 15.45% (that’s a lot)
    2. ECPM: $0.97, EPC: $0.03, CTR: 3.45%
    3. ECPM: $3.81, EPC: $0.13, CTR: 2.96%

  • Thanks so much for this post Cris, I got your ebook and registered for an account here. I got leadbolt account, and I am going to implement your tips on the new puzzle app im coding at the moment now. I started to code this month from the 1st, but gave up after 4 days, got distracted by another affiliate project thats made $1500 this month till now. The app is almost ready, and now looking to use your advice as my first step in monetizing it. I got Eddie kim’s book but I should say yours is my favorite, and it speaks to me the frustration of not able to make a paid app, I am in India, and I truly understand the frustrations of apps being copied the lazy way. There are 10,000+ apps out there to get inspiration to develop to twisted version in a totally unique way. And don’t be afraid to try out new ideas. The market is the best place to try out ideas! It’s one of the platforms that can reach people like me to be a part of it. Spend time on the google play, try apps and see if you can fulfill people’s other needs.

    Thanks again Cris, you made my day :)


  • First of all thanks, KreCi for the post and all the tips :)
    I wonder, if it’s not just the history repeating itself… In late 90’s and early 2000’s there was a huge number of ad-supported apps on Windows. Users didn’t care for some time, as long as they could use the apps for free but it simply began to run out of control. Ppl began to be concerned about their privacy (the term ‘adware’ became closely conotated with ‘spyware’) and the ads poured out of every hole in your system. That’s when anti-spyware software emerged and became more important than all the anti-virus software, which did nothing but take a lot of CPU these days.

    As a beginner dev, with ad revenue still no higher than $1/day/app, I’m concerned about longer perspective, isn’t it really going to hurt my dowload rate? Any opinions?

    P.S. KreCI: Please don’t shout! :) It’s ‘ads’ as in ‘advertisement’ not ADs as in ‘Anno Domini’ :)

    • Currently LeadBolt is working good for me and it is why I can recommend it. If situation changes I am changing with it. Now is a good moment to make some good money. Some people will uninstall my apps because of it. But I do not see big drop of downloads (some apps have better downloads last days no matter of LB integrated).


    • You know your IP is logged, right? And I see that in your third comment it is still the same IP so it is just a one call to the DIALOG to get you traced… you know that?

  • #1 with one app I had 9$ in AdMob for the whole month. When I added LeadBolt to this app my income raised to 3-7$ but everyday.

    #2 I don’t understand users who prefer to rate 1 stars than just OptOut at LeadBolt page.

    #3 IMO for now LeadBolt is the best way for monetizing apps

  • A few comments after a week of running LeadBolt ads.
    1. It finally made my apps profitable. I make ~$40 a day.
    2. ~90% of income comes from notifications in one app (the most popular – ~85k downloads). The rest of them make ~$1day, which is terrible.
    3. ECPM of banner ads dropped significantly. It is between $0.01 and $0.08, which is even worse than terrible.
    4. Icons are not effective in my case, nearly no income. I turned them off not to piss of my users.
    5. I get bad reviews, but I am still getting 5 stars, so it is not that bad.

    I am launching a new app this weekend (and some spin-offs soon) and will try different sizes of banners (depending on screen width). I will share the experience.

    • Thanks for your feedback. It looks that notification ADs are most profitable for most apps. Other kind of ADs are profitable only in some cases.

  • Hi Kreci,

    one question about the mixture of banner & push ads:
    Are you using both types in your apps, or always only one of them?

    I’m thinking of adding push ads to some of my apps, as the banners make the ‘usable’ screen of the application always too small. But on the other hand i don’t want to loose the ‘static’ income by my banner ads.

    Have you already experimented with different pushing frequencies (more often than 24h?)
    What about the eCPM, is is stable?

    thx for your opinion.

    • Hello. I am using both kind of ADs at once. I am not disabling my banners. I have experimented with different frequencies and best working for me is as described (12h first and then 24h).

      eCPM for notification ADs is stable. Icons are not as stable but still profitable.

  • Hi KreCi,

    I’m very happy to see that the leadbolt is working out. I’m using Startapp and it also gives me around 50-60$ with a EULA now so users can opt out for the icon. I’ll definitly try the push notifications as I see you are happy with it.

    I always said people would sooner or later get used to it.
    By the way, I see you are struggling to pump up your downloads with your new apps. Contact me as we can share some more tips, I have a great trick to boost your downloads as I am using that trick ;).

    • Lordraider, please share your ideas. I would really appreciate it.

    • +1 for sharing.

      Of course only as long as sharing your method doesn’t affect your own apps in a negative way ;)

      btw check out Samsung Apps store. They give me quite a few downloads a day (1000 – 2000). Not enough for a serious income with banner ads, but good enough with notification ads.

  • Hi Kreci been following your blog for some time now, i started to develop my first android app about 3 weeks ago. I recall you saying that google checkout wasn’t available in Poland (your country right?)
    But according to this site it is: http://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=150324

    As well as my country which is Portugal :)

  • Hey so I have been following you and I bough your book, great book and great blog. Sorry people janked your ideas and you hand to go private but I understand. Keep on working though we appreciate the work you do.

    Ok so onto leadbolt.

    I read your blog about implementing it and so I did. Well wow what a pleasant shock!

    I used admob for a long time now and barely made 1/4 the required amount to get the funds transferred to my bank.

    In 3 weeks I made almost 40% of what I made using admob for a very long time.

    I implemented the techniques exactly as you said and I get new money from games that don’t even get played anymore. Just to let you guys know my apps get less than 20 users total per day. I usually have 45-80% conversion ratio in leadbolt.

    Next app bye bye admob, full blown leadbolt, no more admob banners making $0.01 per day. Least amount I made from leadbolt? $0.70 per successful click.

    • That is great that it worked for you. It is really a great way to make good revenue. And it may be another reason that people would buy your paid app version (to get rid of all ADs).

  • Hello everyone,

    Some time ago I’ve changed my mobile advertising network from AdMob to Leadbolt. I like checking my revenue several times a day but logging into account via its mobile site is very painful and takes too much time. There were no apps for Leadbolt statistics (there are plenty of them for AdMob) so I decided to create one – you can check all the important numbers in a matter of seconds.

    You can download it for free from Google Play (of course, it contains leadbolt ads ;)): http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lazybutpure.leadbolt .

    I hople KreCi will not consider this comment as spam and the app will be useful for someone.

    • Thanks for your app. I am using browser to access stats (2-3 times a day) and it is ok for me. But if someone prefer an app this one looks pretty nice.

  • Kreci, how are your leadbolt and app install perform so far ? I saw that your x ray scanner rating goes down, does this effect to daily install and leadbolt daily earning ?


    • My daily installs for X-Ray Scanner are growing – same with total user base. Most people do not get the idea of using this app (they expect real x-ray as you read comments). It makes lower ratings.

  • I also have experienced a rise in 1 star ratings soon after implementing the ad notification with leadbolt. It’s sad really, how some of this users do not understand that we, developers, could really use their support. Anyway if you’re interested, please ready my review about the situation.


    I don’t comment much on here but I do read your stuff time to time =D I even have you added on my twitter. As always good luck and great job with what you have done so far!

    • Thanks for your comment. You are right about users. I hope that some day they will get used to those ads as for any other. Meanwhile as this kind of ADs is still pretty new it makes a better revenue than others. So it looks that some negative reviews are the cost we need to pay for it…

    • I have to disagree.

      These ads are the cancer of the Android OS. I hope people will stay angry about it (I know I will).

      I really wish Google would come to their senses and yank the apps that use push notifications – it really gives Android a bad name.

      Guys, money is not everything. I bet it will dry up sooner or later… This model is just WRONG.

      • Hello. Thank you for your comment. I used to have similar point of view until learning more about those ads. Those are just a little notification than can be removed with one touch! It consumes less bandwidth for users than banners in the apps! It is just a short text title with url! And I am not getting unsatisfied user reviews any more. It looks that people get used to it already. It is pity you have not signed your comment with real name/nickname.

      • Google should increase the AdMob ECPM.
        It it the best way to stop people use leadbolt.

      • @Someone “money is not everything” that is a really big statement to say. Some developers rely on monetized apps to pay for their rent and put food in their mouth. To say “money is not everything” to us devs is just plain idiotic.

        People say we are greedy because we put ads on our apps. But the truth is, it is users like you who are greedy. You want a totally free app that is convenient for you that satisfies only you but are SO cheap to pay even cents on an app. Do you really expect developers to just devote most of their time to develop for you while not getting something in return?

        Just think about it, if you pay for apps then you will not get the ads… it’s that easy. We try our best to balance satisfaction for both ends but it’s greedy and cheap users like you who are never satisfied.

        @Kreci, yes you are right. Despite having these vocal minority who are to cheap to support the devs, there are a lot out there who is willing to give support. I also am not getting much negative reviews about leadbolt (compared to before). But you know these kinds of users will always exist.

        • I am a fellow developer, and I still think there are acceptable ways of advertising (unobtrusive banners within the app, for example), and there are unethical ways of advertising (like pushing notifications 12 hours after the user actually used your program, so they don’t know which app is sending them).

          Well, anyway the new Content Policy will hopefully take care of this.

  • I had more than 2 great months with leadbolt, but now their ECPM is falling down rapidly (~$1.20). I am thinking about switching to Airpush or other ad provider now.

  • Hie,I earned $21 with Leadbolt content unlockers on my website and it seems they have a high CTR,almost always above 30%.If you have a lot of daily traffic,you can really make money with Leadbolt.

    • It is not looking quite like that. Still waiting for clarification from Google but their policy says about ads that looks like “System Notifications”. So you can not make ADs saying “You have new message”, “Updates available” etc. It does not say about ADs in notification area. Same with AD icons. It just should be clearly stated what app does generate it and should be possible to be removed. All that is not yet compilant will be added with new LeadBolt SDK.

  • I recently implemented Leadbolt, and have been very disappointed, to be honest. I only wanted banner ads, so I just added though. But the clicks I get aren’t giving me any money! I’ve had around 50 clicks, and for some reason only 3 registered, giving me a grand total of $0.30! I’m really upset about this, because nothing has changed even after three months of emails between me and my leadbolt representative!

    Do you have any advice on what’s going on? I need html5 ads (I’m using phonegap) and I don’t think I have anywhere else to turn!

  • Hey Kreci, first to thank you. You are very helpful and inspirative!!

    Now i need to ask you something :)

    Do you have advertiser chargebacks on leadbolt and how high are they if you have?

    I for example earned 100$ and that is shown on my dashbord as a lifteme..
    When i go my account pannel Current Account Balance is 49$ in the early payment window. :S

    Even when i go to the bottom to check Acconut History For Date Lifetime i have 49$ too.

    I don’t get it..

  • Hi KreCi, did you noticed that leadbolt eCPM is lower than usual?
    Now it’s below 4$ and dropping as i can see..
    What is yours eCMP now and what do you think about this..
    you have some alternative, other adnetwork maybe?

  • Leadbolt isn’t bad, but why anyone would choose it over Airpush after sdk 5.0 came out isn’t something I can easily understand. Do a split test and see for yourself. Over the long haul, you can’t make the type of money with leadbolt that you will with airpush – period. Some of your mention ad format diversity in your comments above without mentioning Airpush, which is absurd because of what Airpush’s smartwall offers, both in terms of cool attributes and advantages of Leadbolt. Worth checking out.

    • Yea but problem here with earnings can be territorial coverage..
      It’s hard to know in which countries lead pushes more ads and in which airpush..

  • Just had 2 apps rejected due to LeadBolt ad integration. The app store in question used TrustGo which considers LeadBolt and RevMob security/privacy risks. I tested a free version of TrustGo on my tablet to see what it says and indeed it recommended removing all my apps with LeadBolt and/or RevMob integration.

  • I hate Leadbolt right now.

    They take your money as a deposit ($50 minimum) without showing you what ads look like.

    They claim they sold me over 800 clicks in 2 hours on a “click to call” basis. These clicks did not happen on my end, neither did the calls. I got three calls, very low class.

    I hate people that take your money, hide their address, can’t keep their word. Click to call is supposed to generate calls, period. Just my opinion. Leadbolt is not my cup of tea.

    There are advertisers online complaining that their advertising account got suspended unexpectedly and they are not getting told why or paid.

    • I do not have much expirience with LeadBolt on the advertiser side. I hope that they can solve your problems. Try to contact their support. They are very responsive!

  • i am just fresh user for leadbolt.tell me this ads network is going to work in any platform?

    And i want help which ads should i prefer in my app?

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