windows8What happened to the ads in those ad-supported Windows 8 apps?

That’s the question being asked by many developers of Windows 8 apps, who say they’ve seen significant declines in ad revenue as available advertising slots have increasingly gone unfilled by Microsoft’s pubCenter in-app advertising system — indicating low demand from advertisers. The problem has been a common target of complaints in the pubCenter support forum for several weeks.

As reported by ITworld this week, the ad spots in the past have frequently been filled by ads for Microsoft products, including Bing, but the company appears to have pulled back on some of its own in-house advertising inside Windows 8 apps.

Here’s the full statement from Microsoft on this topic.

Microsoft is committed to building strong monetization options for all Windows 8 developers and that includes delivering a vibrant ad supported app ecosystem. We have seen tremendous response to the launch of the App Network on Windows 8 both from advertisers and developers. As you know advertising is a seasonal business and its normal that there will be peaks and valleys. During the month of April, there were reports of low fill rates from some developers, this was within the expected norm of campaigns ending and new campaigns ramping. Ads continued to be served in the month of April.

That said, we are constantly making improvements for developers using our Advertising Platform and are always looking at ways to ensure that we can smooth out the natural peak & valleys associated with the advertising business. We welcome the feedback and thank our developers for being patient.

Also, to protect the user experience when no ad is served, we recommend implementing the solutions referenced in this blog on ad control error handling.

The company points to case studies on advertising in Windows 8 apps including Top Gear News, Shazam and others. Checking the Top Gear app in Windows 8 this morning, I was served ads for brands including Jeep, Vidal Sassoon and Zulily.

PreviouslyMicrosoft’s hits and misses: Insights from a prolific maker of Windows 8 apps

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Extended Results Inc

    Beside the large internet companies like Facebook, Yelp and maybe a few others. Do companies really make enough money on in-app-ads to sustain their companies operational costs and fund growth? Maybe less than 1% of companies are lucky if they do, but the other 99% are fallouts.

    Yelp had $46.1m in revenue today and only lost $4.8m. They are increasing revenue but still not making enough money. I guess they will make it up on mobile ads now… :o)

    Just saying…

  • Geek

    Timing is interesting – right about the time the remnants of Atlas
    actually became Facebook employees (remember GeekWire posted about FB
    buying them for a song), the Windows 8 app developers cease getting ads.
    Wonder if a really low yield in Win8 Apps caused them to be cut off once someone interested in profit took over for real?

  • Kav Latiolais

    I love that this is both completely normal and totally expected and yet the way to address it as a developer is to write error handling code for the null ad case. Someone isn’t telling the truth. Call me biased but I’m with the API designer.

  • Guest

    Hm, Google doesn’t seem to be affected as much by unfilled ad spots due to ‘seasonality’. How stupid does MS think we are? We’re not talking about farming here.

Job Listings on GeekWork