On Thursday at Boston’s AnDevCon, a prominent technical conference for software developers building Android apps, app developers from around the nation and world were out in full force… and with fuller wallets than usual.
“App developers are making more money than we’ve seen before,” Eric Dolsey, an account manager at Briar Mobile Apps, told Examiner this afternoon.
Dolsey expressed his view that the excitement surrounding this week’s convention underscores what he calls the “youth movement” in Android. Although app development is already thought of as a “young man’s” business, Dolsey says the rate of innovation in the Android ecosystem is fast fossilizing all developers, companies, and players that aren’t innovating fast enough.
This reality is perhaps most evident, the analyst asserts, in the realm of mobile advertising.
On Thursday, as the Networking Reception got underway at AnDevCon, legions of developers grabbed their drink tickets at the door and distributed business cards with an unbridled enthusiasm, Dolsey reveals.
“The people here not only want to make connections, they want to explore and learn about what’s working for other developers,” he admits. “Android developers are finally getting a taste of money. Now they want more. And they’re carefully considering all options, including straying from the familiar.”
By Dolsey’s admission, the “familiar” is practically code for “stale and increasingly less relevant.”
“Developers embracing the freemium model are especially interested in avoiding ad networks that are growing stale in this highly competitive and innovative environment,” Dolsey says, explaining that this week’s event compellingly demonstrated why the likes of Millennial Media, Airpush, and Tapjoy are believed to be eating away at AdMob’s once unflappably loyal developer base.
According to Dolsey, a fast-expanding segment of developers believe AdMob is more of mobile advertising’s past than its future.
“There are a lot of smart developers here,” confesses Dolsey. “They’re getting smarter because they don’t see see their work solely as a creative exercise. This is a business. Creating apps and monetizing them is a business. AnDevCon, for these individuals, represents an opportunity to do smarter business.”
As it turns out, ad networks are doing smarter business in Boston too this week.
Airpush, the aforementioned mobile ad network gaining steam in its industry, ventured to Beantown to announce its new SDK at AnDevCon today.
“They [developers] definitely came her to mix and mingle but also to see what’s hot and on the horizon. It was the perfect occasion for an ad network to show off what they are currently doing or planning to do,” Dolsey added.
Airpush was there to tout its new SDK 6.0 as the industry’s “most powerful app monetization solution” that provides developers with market-leading performance, top eCPMs, and free weekly payouts – which is of increasing importance to developers still miffed by Google’s widely panned recent revision to its developer payout schedule.
“This is really an incredible time in our industry,” Dolsey says. “There are now so many incredible app developers and apps within this ecosystem that ad networks are willing to fight, scratch, innovate, and do whatever they can to bring these talented developers and their creations to their network. It’s great for developers because ad networks have never had so much motivation to drive performance and boost profitability for users.”
Ultimately, Dolsey speculates, this aggressive drive toward innovation and effectiveness will supplant some of the longstanding big names in Android with today’s hottest young innovators.
“I don’t think today’s mobile ad landscape will be recognizable in another five years,” he asserts. “Today’s whippersnappers in mobile advertising will be the big kahunas. And they will have hopefully learned an important lesson that AdMob and others may be learning too late. That is, if you’re not consistently cutting-edge, your days of dominance will be limited.”