This World Cup will be remembered most of all for the hideously aggravating vuvuzela. The buzzing, throbbing sound of the South African horn has dominated televisions all over the world… and now it dominates iPhones as well. Vuvuzela 2010 has hit the top of the free download charts in over 50 countries.
What’s the story?
The free app has a very simple function. It replicates the sound of the vuvuzela. That’s it. It’s sole purpose is to annoy people – and it is so popular that the developers claim they are making tens of thousands in ad revenue through Google’s AdMob network.
So stupid, it’s awesome
This app is on the top 5 free downloads in a ridiculous number of countries. It is the perfect example of jumping on the bandwagon quickly. The developers, Amsterdam-based maal4, got their timing just right and released the app at the moment when the vuvuzela was foremost in the public conscious. An iPhone user called Dr. Fatpants left the following comment on the under the app: “annoying, loud, useless, perfect”
What’s the REAL story?
The real story here is advertising revenue. Maal4 have just earned their salaries for the next few months by releasing a single, simple application. They use the AdMob network to place ads on that application – and they get a tiny slice of revenue every time one of those ads is seen by a user. So many people are using the app to annoy one another that maal4 say they’ve earned multiple tens of thousands. The shelf life of this application will be brief – I doubt it will be loaded more than once or twice once the World Cup is over.
And as such it really is the ultimate expression of how ad-supported apps can make you money. This app can’t have taken long to put together. It’s a basic graphical overlay with a sound file attached to it – there are no particularly complex functions going on. By making something popular and distributing it for free, maal4 have pulled in a great chunk of revenue for what was effectively a quicky side-project.
Of course, now that Apple is banning AdMob ads on apps, that revenue stream could be cut off very abruptly.
Spotted over on memeburn