I first heard about the notorious app called “Make it Rain: The Love of Money” by Space Inch, LLC, while blithely scrolling through my email and seeing a headline from Business Insider about the app making $50,000 per day in ad revenue and in-app purchases. Several days later, I’d see it in action, in the hands of a 5th-grade student as I chaperoned a school trip to Cincinnati.
Bingo! Once I see apps in the hands of children who like to play them, I know the apps are a hit. Being around kids quite a bit and learning their likes and dislikes is like having your own little personal focus group. (Note to self: Figure out how much that app called “Heads Up!” is pulling down from the iTunes app store, because I’ve seen plenty of kids playing that put-your-phone-on-your-forehead-and-have-your-friends-guess-the-words-on-the-screen game lately. And it’s quite a hoot listening to 11-year-olds trying to figure out songs from my heyday. And can I mention how cool it is to have the video-recording feature of your friends’ reactions?)
Anyway, back to making it rain.
“Do you know that app makes $50,000 per day?” I asked the young girl, as I watched her swiping and swiping and swiping away digital cash in a rapid motion. Even when I repeated the app’s earnings to my husband, I had to second guess myself.
Was it really making $50,000 per day? Or was it a more reasonable sounding $50,000 per month?
No, turns out the earnings are reportedly $50,000 per day – not bad for an app that just launched in April and cost $10,000 to develop, plus another $1,000 spent in marketing in order to acquire players. (Heck, that might be worth charging 11 grand on a credit card or using other financial sources in order to gain the funding – since you’d be able to pay it back in full as soon as the cash flows in.)
By watching the child I saw playing “Make it Rain” in action, coupled with a review of the customer reviews of the app on iTunes, it seems the success of the app is right in front of our faces.
First off, the updated app encourages plenty of clicks via rapid screen swipes, which would inevitably increase the click-through ad rate.
“I remember when I could just look away from my screen and swipe without the worry of pop up ads exiting me from the game. But now I feel like I have to be glued to the screen to avoid touching an ad,” wrote one reviewer, and looking at the game from my Internet guru marketing lens, I see that’s a big reason why this game is earning so much in ad revenue.
Secondly, it amazes me that people pay actual money for fake money – and I don’t even think they have a pride-inducing leaderboard!
That logic, of course, coupled with the addictive nature of the game seems to be a winning strategy – plus a boss-butt marketing strategy. Everybody knows the “make it rain” terminology, and savvy folks know that it changed from the basic throwing-cash-in-the-air motion to a more recent swipe-cash-off-my-phat-stacks strategy that’s perfect for a gaming motion.
Now, let me begin brainstorming any other real-life motions that would translate well to the app world. Adieu.
Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics.
Fill out our 5-minute survey
, and we'll share the data with you.