Facebook App Revenue: Squint Hard, And You Can See It

Last week we talked to the head of one of the most successful Facebook app companies — we won’t disclose his name or product, but he’s got millions of users. How’s business? Great. How’s revenue? Not really focusing on that yet.

OK, fair enough. But say you were focusing on revenue. What would that look like? Well, said our candid CEO, it wouldn’t be huge right now: Though the Facebook third-party app platform is nearly a year old, there isn’t really an established ad market for app developers yet. CPMs, said our unnamed CEO, were hovering around the 50-cent mark — in other words, the same crummy rates that most social networks see.

Inside Facebook polls its readers and gets similar results: With the exception of two outliers, respondents say they’re saying CPMs of 50 cents and less for their app inventory, which are sold by networks (not clear whether we’re seeing gross cpms or the app-makers’ take, after the network has taken its cut):

  • tspree15 is making $0.60 CPM with Social Media
  • cbovis is making $1.50 CPM with VideoEgg, but they can’t cover all his inventory (the rest runs on RockYou)
  • sweetsteve is making $0.27 CPM with Cubics, down from $0.43 earlier this month
  • ejono is seeing a $0.40 CPM with Cubics
  • cory is making a $4.78 eCPM with Social Media (???)
  • mzeitler is making a $0.50 CPM each with AdSense, FB Exchange, Social Media, and RockYou (and by combining 2 units on a page is making $1.00 CPM)
  • saintseiya is making $0.125 CPM with Lookery ($0.25 with 2 ads above the fold)
  • markdoub is seeing $0.10 CPM with Cubics, down from $0.43
  • ersingencturk is seeing $0.04 CPM with AdSense

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