September Insights Report

Insights & Best Practices

September 28, 2012


min read

We know our advertisers can always use more insight into how much they should be paying in each country. In the spirit of transparency, we gathered data from our network and direct deals to give you an overview of how bidding behavior varies by bid type, country, and platform. These are the top 4 things that jumped out at us:

  • The highest CPI bids are in Canada and Australia, which are also the two most popular countries for ?soft? app launches. At first glance it might be surprising that test markets are more expensive, but upon closer inspection it makes sense: larger developers with more resources are in the habit of soft launching in english-speaking countries, especially Canada and Australia, and they?re willing to burn a little bit of cash to get enough users for their internal testing to be significant. Some might consider soft launch bids to be more of a development cost than a user acquisition cost, so they aren?t bounded by quite the same economics.
  • CPI bids are considerably lower in Japan, China, Korea and other secondary markets than in the US and Europe. We frequently see that large campaigns don?t even attempt to target these smaller markets because it?s assumed that they ?won?t monetize.? That is, of course, an enormous generalization. There is almost certainly an opportunity here for developers willing to put in the elbow grease to do some ARPU testing and take advantage of these low bids.
  • CPI bids vary more across countries than CPC bids do. Our best guess to explain this behavior is that CPI campaigns are being priced based on ARPU in each country. That is to say, advertisers are willing to pay as much for users in each country as they expect to make off of them. In theory advertisers could do this same pricing with CPC campaigns based on their effective cost per install (eCPI, calculated based on average actual cost per install even when running a CPC campaign), but that doesn?t appear to be the norm. Instead, advertisers are using CPC campaigns to do more aggressive campaigns that are more geared towards volume than on having a positive return on investment for each user.
  • Android bids are about 80% of iOS bids overall, presumably due to the lower potential ARPU on Android. Interestingly, the difference between platforms is bigger on CPC campaigns than on CPI campaigns. This could mean that aggressive CPC campaigns are less prevalent on the Android platform, or that advertisers think Android clicks won?t convert as well to installs as iOS clicks (but we?ll save that question for another infographic).

So what does this mean for you? Here are some of the top takeaways for advertisers and publishers.


  • Consider using alternative test markets. We have seen more advertisers turning to markets like Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
  • Pay attention to your ARPU in second-tier countries, and double down on the ones where you can see a positive ROI (especially considering the lower bids in these areas). If you’re aggressive, you can own the market. If you have the resources, you may also want to consider language localization.
  • Be sure to use geographical targeting to make sure you aren’t overbidding in some countries while competing in primary markets.


  • Be careful with price floors on our platform, or you might affect your fill rate in lower-bid countries. For example, a $1.00 CPI price floor might sound like an attractive option but that could limit the inventory available to you in China.

Look forward to a new Chartboost Insights report, coming every month!