Microsoft Pubcenter review

Reasons of using Microsoft Pubcenter

Microsoft Pubcenter is similar to Admob in nature.Admob is app monetization network by Google and Microsoft Pubcenter as the name itself suggests is by Microsoft.You can use it to make money from your Windows Mobile App as well as Windows store app.Microsoft has different app store for mobile apps and desktop apps.Recently I published few mobile apps for Android and Windows Phone.I used cross platform mobile development tool called Intel XDK for app development.After publishing the apps for mobile phones I wanted to publish them on Windows store.

I used Admob on my Android app as well as Windows phone app.The reason was simple Admob works best.My app targets India and for India the best fill rate is provided by Admob.But Admob can not be used for Windows store apps.For Windows store app I searched for Admob alternative.There are few alternatives available but I decided to go with Microsoft Pubcenter first.

There were few reasons of selecting Microsoft Pubcenter above other players

  • Backed by Microsoft – This was the major reason of selecting it.I will not have to worry about payments or incorrect reporting.The payment mode also was bank transfer.You also get the payment in INR.Seeing support for INR and payment to Bank account in INR I thought it will work well for Indian traffic.Microsoft Windows powered desktop and laptop is hugely popular in India.So support for Indian traffic will be there.Backed by these self thoughts I planned to use it in my Windows store apps
  • Easy Integration – From development point of view adding Microsoft pubcenter ads to your Windows store apps is very easy.You just have to add Microsoft Advertising SDk to your app and paste the ad code generated on Pubcenter.So adding it in my app was matter of minutes.I was able to get add and test the ad units in my app within minutes.

Honestly these two were the major reasons.I wanted to make some money out of the apps published on Windows store.It may not have overtook the revenue from Admob.But I was expecting around 50% of the revenue Admob generates for me.As Admob is market leader this was indeed fair expectation from me.But the performance of Pubcenter took me with surprise.

Microsoft Pubcenter performance

Below image shows the screen shot of my pubcenter dashboard.The data is for one month (30 days).I am producing the stats below (you can see the image as well)

  • Ad Requests – 116,501
  • Ad Impressions – 255
  • Fill rate – 0.22%
  • Clicks – 15
  • CTR – 5.88%
  • eCPM – 3.65 INR
  • Revenue – 0.93 INR

Microsoft Pubcenter dashboard

So for around 100 thousand ad requests I have not even 1 INR in revenue.The minimum payout amount is 2500 INR.So going by this rate I will not be able to get payment from Pubcenter in my life time despite having my impression in hundred thousand. To have 2500INR even if traffic gets 10 folds I will make only 10 INR.It means 250 months are required to get payment from Pubcenter.That is more than 20 years.So basically I will not get any payment.

So the very first reason for which I choose it above others is washed away. If you get above minimum payment threshold then comes question of getting paid.With Pubcenter you will not get above that level. So if it pays or not does not matter.So using Pubcenter in my app is not good decision if performance remains the same as shown above.Lets see some severe issues with Pubcenter

The fill rate is very very low.It is not showing ads for even 1% of the traffic.This means Pubcenter does not have advertisers from India to say the least.On my pubcenter dashboard below message is displayed

Promote Your App House ad campaigns are now available in your country/region. We are working on enabling Paid ad campaigns.

Based on the reports and above message displayed on top of my account I came to conclusion that Microsoft Pubcenter still does not have advertisers in India.This also explains the low fill rate and low eCPM value of ad units.Pubcenter has added support for India back in year 2012.So three years from now it still has not made any decent progress.So in future it is tough to say if things will improve.The way Microsoft is pushing Ad mediation it seems it has given hopes over Pubcenter.

Now lets talk about some positives.The CTR is good.Good CTR means that users have found the ads interesting and related to them.So they have clicked the ads. Also Windows store is a great platform.The amount of ad requests are good for newly launched app.It beats the Android and Windows mobile app views taken together.But it gets beaten on revenue front.So if we have a decent performance with Pubcenter then publishers will create apps for Windows store.

Conclusion

With above performance from Pubcenter I would be inclined to delete my apps from Windows store.It is not generating any revenue for me.The second option is to look for an alternative.I have tried other alternative and after sometime I will be publishing my results with that as well.So if you are targeting India you should not add Microsoft Pubcenter in your apps.The second statement will be if it takes some development time then there is no need to publish app for Windows store.You will not be able to earn money from it with ads.

The review above largely applicable for India.But it will be more or less same for countries other than USA.For US you might see better fill rate and eCPM.Having said that you cannot filter reports based on Geographic location.So I was not able to see if app received traffic from other countries.I do suspect there were some impression from US as well or other countries which have paid ad campaigns.As India does not have paid ad campaign the revenue (how small it is ) may be due to traffic from other countries.

If the revenue I made is due to impression from other countries then situation is more worse.IN that case it does not have advertisers for most of the countries including US as well.The eCPM rate is very low as well.Based on above thoughts I have decided to dump it and use other advertising network like Smaato.I will publish Smaato review in some days.

Have you used Pubcenter? Do share your thoughts on it.

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