Here's some good news for anyone who's created a weather app — eCPMs for weather apps are the highest of all the app categories on the Smaato platform. However, making money with a weather app doesn't happen automatically. To best monetize a weather app, there are some best practices to follow in order to maximize revenue potential.
Leverage Location Data to Maximize eCPMs
There are several effective ways to maximize revenues of a weather app, but this one is the absolute most important: make the most of user data.
The reason weather apps bring in such high eCPMs is that they usually provide valuable location-based information to potential advertisers. When a user checks the weather in their area, that information can be used by advertisers to provide relevant, localized ads. Advertisers highly value this location-based data, and the majority of advertisers say that they plan to boost their spending in this category in the future.
Due to the recently-implemented GDPR, apps with users in the EU need to have their users opt-in to data collection. Collecting location data isn't as simple as it used to be, but the effort is worthwhile. The weather apps that don't provide advertisers with location-based data are at a serious disadvantage. Furthermore, publishers caught unprepared for the GDPR by neglecting to have an opt-in option for users also missed out on revenue opportunities.
Deliver the Best User Experience
The fact that eCPMs for weather apps are so high helps greatly with monetization. Another important feature of weather apps is the fact that they have the highest retention rates out of all types of apps. When a user chooses a weather app they like, they tend to stick with it. That means that each acquired customer delivers a high lifetime value.
This is both a challenge and an opportunity. The downside is that users aren't likely to have multiple weather apps once they find one they like. That's a challenge for apps trying to expand to a larger audience. With such a high retention rate, weather apps need to deliver a top-notch user experience in order to become the app of choice. First impressions matter, as does a continued, reliable experience. By focusing on delivering a quality product, effective monetization will soon follow.
Experiment With Ad Formats
When a user opens up a weather app, odds are that they won't stick around for a long time within the app. That fact has little to do with the quality of the app and everything to do with users' expectations of a weather app. Most often, the user just wants to quickly check what the weather will be like for the day with the typical session lasting only 100 seconds.
Although the time spent in a weather app is significantly less than an engaging game, it's important to experiment with different types of ad formats. On the Smaato platform, weather apps monetize predominantly through display ads. This makes sense considering the limited time that users spend in-app when checking the weather.
However, despite the quick user sessions common with weather apps, interstitial video is gaining popularity and offers eCPMs more than 3X higher than image ads. This demonstrates how it's important it is to test out different formats and track what's working.
Find Quality Partners
Even the best weather apps need outside help. That's where monetization partners come in. The right partner helps you reach your goals, while the wrong one leads to unrealized revenue potential. Some of the things to consider are the ease of integration, the geographic availability of demand, and the quality of the advertisers.
Choosing a partner is a strategic decision, so look at all the available factors rather than the just the promise of high revenues.
The Weather App Monetization Plan
Weather apps have serious advantages over other app categories. The high eCPMs and stellar retention rates give these apps strong monetization opportunities. However, even a great weather app needs a monetization plan. Focus on the above-mentioned factors to maximize the revenue potential and make the most of weather apps.