To Microsoft: Shutting down the Ad Monetization platform is a Catastrophic idea...!! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • It was really a big shock for us to read the public announcement of shutting down the Monetization Platform!

    We have been using any available Microsoft ads and follow a free (for the user) model for all our apps since it started the whole thing. Pubcenter, etc etc...

    Many many years ago, when we have started the whole individual developer approach, we always trusted Microsoft and we have follow the MS path, instead of switching to e.g iPhone development. This journey started at 2008 (yes, old days of Windows Mobile 5, 5.5 and 6.5)...

    After so many years, we focus onlyon Windows 10 apps, leaving outside any Google-related dev idea (and the whole jungle inside it) and the Microsoft based Monetization was the only source of revenue all these years. We didn't earn much, but is was good enough to encourage us to develop more and more apps, powerful, unique and with high-quality. 

    Now, instead of improving the Monetization Platform you abandoned it completely? Why?

    If you have “internally” a high cost for supporting the platform that runs on your own cloud system (I believe you probably use your Azure infrastructure for this), you have only operational costs. You said on your announcement that " is not viable for us to continue the support...".

    Even these costs, can be shared with the developers who really want to use the platform either by paying a fee or with a 80-20, or 70-30 split model. I'm sure that the numbers are high if you grab the whole picture and so as is the total revenue from your agreements. It's exactly the same model that you use when using Azure services (pay for what you get as service). And this can be done easily, covering every single cost of the platform, even the human work hours for supporting this. 

    Why do we say (and we strongly believe) that this is a catastrophic decision?

    To the point:

    You know better than us that there is no other ad network that we can use for monetization with banner ads.

    Let’s put the ad networks aside, one by one:

    Taboola and Outbrain (who are now the same company, since Sept of 2019) don’t provide a direct publisher agreement nor an SDK for us (I mean a W10 SDK).

    MSN content either not (behind Bing ads I guess).

    Appnexus and OpenX? The same...

    So, we don’t have any choice from now on.

    The only thing we can do is to make our apps paid! And only paid!

    All other ad networks that are mentioned around in other forum posts are based on app-promoting in other apps paid model.

    The source of any revenue is from other developers or companies, not from normal advertisers with content).

    And do you want to really understand why no other advertising network will ever survive?

    Because no target ads can be made without knowing the user advertising ID. And this one is kept in the MS SDK, among with the user choices who agree with it when installing Windows 10 for the first time.

    Please, allow me to make a small analysis for the whole picture in Windows 10 apps, as it is today.

    And please, the MS guys who are responsible for the forum forward this post to any official persons that take these decisions. You never know.

    Recently, Microsoft decided (correctly) to force old Win7 users to upgrade to the new and powerful Windows 10.

    This leads to a totally increasing user base.

    So, instead of things been better for MS developers, it seems that they are going worst!

    If you ever put yourself into a Windows’10 new user seat, that just bought his new laptop or desktop, the first apps that you will try to download and use is anything around from Bing/Google search. Expect the MS Office of course.

    So, the best option you have is to use Microsoft Store of course. But, it is not clear to the end user that the Store apps are the “only” apps that are secure!!!

    General purposes apps that anyone can download from Web Sites are at least dangerous. The user installs it by pressing yes, yes, I agree, next, yes, .....and he has no idea or no control what’s going on behind the scenes (background services,malware,etc). That's why he is forced to always use a firewall and always download/purchase a good antivirus program.

    In almost all other platforms that apps are controlled from the OS provider, if an app breaks any privacy rule or a security breach then immediately it is removed from any Store. You probably have read about several android security breaches and holes the last two years that affects millions of users. In all cases, the solution is to simply remove the malicious app from the Store, delete the developer and to fix any issues from the app with a simple upgrade on their OS, and that's it. So, controlling the source of the apps adds Quality and Security to the end user.

    On the other side, if you can't provide quality apps on your official Store or if the apps are all paid, then you force the users to download from everywhere, everything free and no such control can be done. Nobody from the Windows daily users will dig into security websites to read if he has an app that is dangerous. And even if he discover such thing he will never knwo how to react. 

    This thing must be really clear to anyone using Windows 10....Be very careful, or use the official Microsoft Store.

    Moreover use Windows 10 S.

    I strongly believe that no user is really understand what is going on...

    But keeping the whole ecosystem as secure as you can, adds VALUE and QUALITY to the OS! And no human being can ever make a good metric for this....

    If you believe that this decision is good for someone, then I really don’t know what to think.

    There are solutions even for the high-cost platform ( I suggest one above and probably there would be another ideas).

    So, please, can someone official from Microsoft informs us (the developers) if there are any other options that MS can do or plans to do after? Any alternative? Even Bing?

    Remember, you control everything. You have the users. If you abandon the developers that work for you, the developers that add their efforts (their own apps, their own ideas, hardly coding from the scratch), the ones that add Quality to your System, it is a catastrophic decision.

    Best regards to all, and I will wait for an official answer...

    Mobility in life applications Team

    M.I.L. Apps

    Friday, January 31, 2020 9:57 AM

All replies

  • Don't trust MS.I have developed games and apps for MS platform for 10 years.From WM to Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 to UWP...

    There is only one lesson to be learned:DO NOT trust MS can help any developer.

    Listen to me:Just give up.

    Turn to another platform,just like MS,MS is a best develop on iOS and Android.

    I bet Microsoft will abandon the windows platform.

    A dark humor.

    Friday, January 31, 2020 5:59 PM
  • helpless, MS won't listen any one except it affect their benefit
    Saturday, February 1, 2020 2:41 AM
  • I'm so sorry to hear they're doing this to you developers. It's true that billionaires represent a policy failure. Every single one of them should be impaled on a stake and left to die under the sun.
    Saturday, February 1, 2020 2:57 AM

  • If MSFT was willing to dump Silverlight which was a far better and greater vision and software development paradigm, how much easier would it be to dump a subpar and underachieving "replacement" such as UWP?

    Remember how they bumped the payment structure to 90% of ad revenues?  No one does that unless they are desperate and at the edge of collapse.

    Don't touch anything MSFT unless it is open source and has an established, talented community around it.  That way, at the very least, if they do abandon it, it has a community that can take over.  This is why I myself am on the Blazor train these days.  It's not as pretty as Silverlight but it works and is part of ASP.NET which is the largest .NET community and product.

    The web is truly ubiquitous and there's certainly a charm of not having to be censored and controlled by any centralized store authority, let alone one as uninspired and confused as the Microsoft Store.

    Saturday, February 1, 2020 11:04 AM
  • Well, we don’t talk about the future of development languages and what is most high tech. We talk for a platform that many people depends on it as a source of income. MS states that it is not viable but there are many ideas that it could work with another schema. MS is expanding the whole advertising with Microsoft apps but only for web properties. I thought that other developers here should agree with us that it is not a good idea to abandon something. As for the Store you really don’t get it because you are a dev and not an average user who is first worry about the privacy and the safety. Please, if others devs are on the same boat with us and they are affected by this decision, write something simple.... and not an analysis for the MS strategy... Best regards, George Mobility in life applications

    M.I.L. Apps

    Saturday, February 1, 2020 12:03 PM
  • To be certain, I am a fan of the store for native apps for the reason you describe.  I even just yesterday had Windows Defender pipe up about a signed executable that I tried to install.  SIGNED!  It's only going to get worse from here and you know hackers will be exploiting downloads and Win32 installs to do some crazy things to your machine and make it a secret cryptominer while circumventing Windows Defender and other nefarious BS.   No one is going to want to install anything on their Windows machine.

    While stores do make for safer environments they do have censorship power which was my point.  On the web there is way less censorship (pretty much none unless your domain name registrar gets involved somehow) and it is already sandboxed with Firefox/Google (and MSFT by proxy since they are using Chrome) doing a good job of weening out abuses at the browser level within months of discovery.  There is no "install" but pages are requested, load, and run just like a native application for the most part.

    Plus there is the fact that web audience is going up while Windows audience is going down... and you can bet even more down now due to the absurdity of the store than before.  I'd love to see MSFT continue with the Store but they simply do not have the competence or political will to continue to make it happen, unfortunately.

    I know you all have a lot invested in this.  I invested five years of my life into Silverlight and was about to launch an application myself when the rumblings of its demise started to rain down in 2011, so believe me I can relate.  I can say from that experience it has made me a better developer from a business perspective and to better account for risk along with understanding market climate much better now than I was before that disaster struck.  I am hoping for the same for everyone here from this experience, as well.


    Saturday, February 1, 2020 3:16 PM
  • I agree: no more income = We completely stop developing applications for Windows (it is no longer viable for us either). Thank you Microsoft for helping us migrate very quickly to Android (maybe that's the reason)
    Sunday, February 2, 2020 9:01 AM
  • I totally agree - shame on Microsoft.
    "... no longer viable for us ..." - to sad for me to pe printed on a t-shirt. Current Microsoft Managers should remember Steve B.'s idea behind "Developers Developers Developers"...
    Well as being a developer for long years, starting with Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6.x, I am proud to say:

    "Good luck Microsoft, it might be a hard way for you without us developers..."    

    Wednesday, February 5, 2020 6:11 PM
  • One more thing that I can’t explain and it is tide to the Monetization of the apps is that we have plans to expand everything with Azure.

    Right now we have an Azure subscription that costs us around 300$ per month and we paid it from the ads revenue.

    We didn’t bother much about the cost because the benefits are pretty good and the services too.

    Now, without income or revenue from our apps, how we could afford the Azure subscription? The answer is that we can’t.

    We are not (yet) a large company who we can invest in something.

    How we can afford to buy one new Surface Neo (the one with the double screen) and start developing for this?

    The “revenue” we get from ads was returning to MS.

    But we are forced now to break this.

    Furthermore, how do you expect from indie developers to start anything in Azure when there is no profit for them in the future?

    Sooner or later, this will affect the ecosystem.

    Many devs that I know, have followed Google or iPhones because they could earn revenue from these platforms.

    So, we will abandon the Azure because it’s not viable for us either, and we will stop any plans we have to make some new Azure services run with our apps.

    Honestly, our nearby-future plans was to start somehow games for Xbox that will use Azure databases for synchronization, for multiplaying, , etc etc.. This cost a lot.

    I really don’t know about the future. Maybe we will try to develop new apps that will run on all devices.... I don’t know if React or WPA will be good for this.

    And another thing: If you search carefully in the Web about monetization, every serious Ad Network has a label:

    All screens, all platforms, all sizes, all types, everywhere, even on connected TV....

    But, for most of them, that loose the whole picture, when they come to apps, they don’t support Windows apps through an SDK! And that’s why Outbrain and Taboola support ads in UWP apps. Because they are serious company.

    I expect from them in the near future, to make an SDK after MS and maybe support video ads. They can do it and they will fill a gap I the whole market. And MS should help them with this.

    M.I.L. Apps

    Friday, February 7, 2020 7:45 AM
  • Nice idea, but do they(Outbrain,Taboola) hear us?
    and this time, what do we must do to live?
    Friday, February 7, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Nice idea, but do they(Outbrain,Taboola) hear us?
    and this time, what do we must do to live?

    I really have no idea if they listen to us. Here we are a developer community and a 'closed' forum. If someone from here is interesting, send an email or try to contact with one of their representatives.

    They have people who talk with the Web publishers.

    Although they might not have a clear idea about apps and monetization or the company's plans, they will forward any message to the appropriate manager inside the company. 

    I'm sure that they will probably know about the ad monetization platform and these 'great' news...because they run a business that participate in the Platform. And I guess, they will have a contract with MS the last years for participating.

    I hope that they will provide an SDK because, as I said before, they are a very serious Ad Network company (they are together, Outbrain and Taboola since Sept. 2019 as one) and a SERIOUS business company that wants to succeed in the field he is acting, never leaves opportunities behind. But it's my guess and my hope all these. 

    M.I.L. Apps

    Friday, February 7, 2020 10:11 AM
  • Whoever made the decision to cancel Microsoft's ad monetization did not think this through.  It's a huge cascading effect for Microsoft.  No ads -> not enough money for Azure cloud services -> no reason to develop for UWP.  Instead of closing ad monetization, they should have given the SDK, Dev Center, and anything tied to ads to a company with high development standards rather than trying to cut costs by outsourcing it to bad developers.  The constant issues with Dev Center, Visual Studio, and other development components which have been outsourced are ridiculous.  Here's just a few issues that constantly seem to occur which is completely different from the state things when Windows 8 was released and components were actually developed by Microsoft in the USA:

    1)  App notifications are broken multiple times per month and devs cannot send out any notifications
    2)  Dev Center reporting is often behind by days or even weeks
    3)  Can't load XAML pages in Visual Studio and dev support always claims the next update fixes the issue, but the issues with Dev Studio still persist, get fixed, then come back in later updates
    4)  It often takes two tries to build UWP app packages with the first giving an error about the appxmanifest
    5)  Dev Center payments are sometimes delayed and we are still waiting for December 2019 advertisement payouts nearly two months later

    I won't even bother to list the issues with the Ad SDK since it's being closed down.  As someone who has been a Microsoft developer for over 20 years, the quality of Microsoft's software across all their dev components has noticeably gone down in the past few years.  UWP may be a fairly new development environment for Microsoft, but developing web sites, XAML, and Visual Studio are not.  There seems to be zero integration and regression testing these days, which is unfortunate because I loved Microsoft's development environment before all the issues started creeping in.

    • Edited by GameFace.LLC Friday, February 7, 2020 1:24 PM ...
    Friday, February 7, 2020 1:07 PM
  • Microsoft shovels more dirt on UWP apps, leaving Win32 apps as the future once again.

    I think this statement is correct.
    Maybe we should leave this platform as soon as possible.

    Friday, February 7, 2020 1:19 PM
  • There is AdDeals :

    AdDeals supports both Interstitials & Rewarded videos via Windows native SDK & Unity SDK, including of course UWP apps & games since contrary to other ad networks AdDeals focused on the Windows Platform and Store 1st.

    It supports Unity games with a native SDK that has been updated to support Visual Studio 2019, the latest Unity versions, IL2CPP and pass Microsoft WACK tests when submitting apps or games.

    From the publishers working with AdDeals, the integration has been made very easy with new SDKs released even in late 2019. 

    So we can just invite Windows game / apps publishers to try and see if this works for their apps. We have had some publishers earning large revenues in some of their apps. It may not work for some publishers as we cannot guarantee this but it works for some. 

    I hope this message can help the community here and some publishers to find alternate solutions to Microsoft ads.


    Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:56 PM
  • I highly don't recommend using AdDeals network, no fill rate and no transparency in the earnings and broken reporting system with many BUGS (same situation with their plugins). Rather be on the old SDK than use weird AdDeals and their weird ads. When you integrate their ad unit, their system splits income and you get few dollars and they receive a much higher commission for registration on affilatate sites in your app(s) and you get nothing (affilate such as Wargaming and others). By the way, they get this commission even a year after when your users click on the ad. And you as a developer? You get nothing! This is called "Ponzi Scheme" in the advertising terms...

    Money maker machine for their company ahead-solutions which obviously covers the loss and lives from the earnings of the kind developers who jumped into "lies" about fill rate and how much can earn...  I recommend stay away and don't fall into their affiliate ad network with no clear earnings from ad clicks.. Truth is true.

    I highly don't recommend using AdDeals network! Btw. Other developers has same bad experience on this forum...

    • Edited by UWP_APP Thursday, February 13, 2020 10:39 PM
    Thursday, February 13, 2020 10:34 PM
  • Actually they didn't wait until June - Fill rate dropped down below 1%... Thank you guys.
    Friday, February 28, 2020 9:01 AM