iPhone ads are an easy way to make money from your app, but they’re not going to do anything if you don’t have enough users.
Meanwhile, the big hits — 5% of the market — had more than 100,000 users. The biggest had more than 2 million, and it looks like about 11 apps had more than 1 million users. (See charts below.)
How much money is a 1,000-users-or-less app making on ads per month? Probably not enough to buy a sandwich.
We estimate that a low-end, ad-supported iPhone app can expect to make a net eCPM around $1-$2. Translation: For every 1,000 times an ad loads on your app, you’d get $1-$2 after sharing revenue with the ad network. Assuming a 1,000-active-user app actually gets 1,000 people to look at, say, 10 ads per month, that’s a mere $10-$20 in revenue. Assuming 500 users and 5 ads a month… you get the idea.
Premium apps with hundreds of thousands of users — and access to better ads — can expect much more, of course.
Standard disclaimer: This is only a representation of apps using AdMob’s ads — NOT necessarily a representation of the broader iPhone app market. These apps might not be loading AdMob ads, may have other ad plans, or other revenue generators in place.