Developers can make money on software one of two ways: they can sell the title directly, or they can put ads in the app, and make money by delivering ad impressions. Which road to take is a tricky choice, as either can be a hard way to make money for a struggling software dev.
Many indie devs that put software into the new Windows 8 Store have taken the second path, and until now, it’s worked out pretty well. Now, however, the ad revenue is drying up and Microsoft isn’t doing very much to appease the parties involved.
The main problem seems to be that apps are made using Microsoft-delivered ads – and there aren’t any ads appearing. Many of the ads in recent months have been wholly Microsoft owned and purchased, like for products such as Bing or Office 365. But Microsoft has recently dialed back on these ad purchases substantially, which means that ad-driven apps can’t make any money.
So far, devs are upset, but not quite ready to jump ship. Many are trying to hold out for Windows 8.1, which is expected to be released or at least shown off at the Build conference in June; it’s widely expected to drum up public support for the struggling operating system. If more people come, more companies will buy ads within the Windows 8 apps.
If they don’t come soon, however, developers are likely to start looking to more lucrative platforms, such as Android and iOS, to focus their efforts.