This month we are releasing several new features to enhance your development experience: the lifetime Dev Center account, and the new Dev Center Benefits program. I’d like to encourage you to visit the Dev Center and take advantage of the new benefits available to you.
We also continue to invest in our advertising platform for apps, and I’d like to share several new features and capabilities, whose early results show that ad revenue in Windows Phone apps is increasing at a faster pace than before.
Lifetime Dev Center registration starts today
As we continue to execute on the vision to integrate the Windows and Windows Phone developer experiences, we have taken another step by moving to a one-time lifelong Dev Center registration fee.
Starting this week, Windows Dev Center requires only a one-time registration payment, which grants developers the ability to submit apps to both the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, with no annual renewal fee.
This change is effective immediately. Each of our 600,000+ registered developers will no longer need to pay any additional fees to maintain their account. It’s also a very good time for developers new to the platform to get a Dev Center account and start submitting apps.
Dev Center Benefits program for registered and new developers
We have also heard your feedback to add more capabilities that help you develop and promote your apps.
We listened and are very pleased to have launched two weeks ago the Dev Center Benefits program. The Dev Center Benefits program is designed to accelerate your success on our platform by helping you develop, improve and market your apps with a variety of offers and tools and is available to all registered developers worldwide of all experience levels and platforms.
There are three offer packages in the program, tailored by experience level:
- Explorer, gets you started quickly with design and architecture guidance and consulting help from a Microsoft expert, Gift Cards, and Dev Center registration fee.
- Expert, helps you reach more users faster with advertising offers, a publishing contract, and more.
- Master, unlocks VIP access to developer marketing and support, SDK early access and more.
Developers move from Explorer to Expert, then to Master as your apps get more downloads, higher revenue, better ratings, and improved app experiences. The offers help your app in each of these areas.
The program is open to all registered Windows developers, as well as developers that want to bring their apps to Windows or Windows Phone. Take advantage of the Dev Center Benefits program today.
Improved monetization and performance for ads in apps
Advertising in apps is a key source of revenue for many developers. We are working hard to increase the revenue that developers can earn from ads in their apps, and I want to share how some of this hard work will help you with your apps:
- Last month, pubCenter launched custom reports that developers can use to analyze their ad performance by market.
- Earlier this month, Microsoft Advertising released several systems improvements that allow Windows Phone ads to be matched better with apps. Initial results are very encouraging, with +50% higher total ad revenue for Windows Phone apps. In fact, last week we saw the highest total weekly Windows Phone Store ad revenue so far this year.
- Also in September, streamlined payout process, resulting in more than 50% faster payout. Any developer that has reached the payout threshold will receive payment earlier than in previous months.
- Yesterday, announced that Windows and Windows Phone Ads-in-Apps inventory is now available on the Microsoft Advertising Exchange in 10 markets. This opens up more screens for advertisers to run campaigns globally, helping to increase the fill rate in the future.
In order to take advantage of all the additional improvements, make sure your app is using the latest version of the Microsoft Ad SDK, and take a look at the latest guidance that Microsoft Advertising created to help improve app monetization.
We understand that developers often use multiple ad providers, so I also want to share that Smaato released a new ad SDK for Windows Phone 8.1 XAML, which supports Windows Runtime XAML. This is the first third party SDK developed exclusively for Windows Phone 8.1. Smaato now offers ad SDKs for all your Windows Phone projects.
So we encourage you to register for a developer account, enroll in the Dev Center Benefits program, and update your apps to the latest Microsoft Ad SDK.
We welcome your feedback.