At the end of last month, Microsoft quietly announced that they would sunset their Ad Monetization Platform for UWP apps on June 1, 2020. It’s safe to say that the news took UWP developers by surprise, especially since Microsoft didn’t provide a decent alternative except for developers looking to monetize their apps with ads.
Well, Sam Kaufmann, developer and CEO of Random Salad Games is stepping up with the launch of his own ad network named Pubfinity. Kaufman has some expertise about app monetization through ads as his company published various ad-supported casual games on the Microsoft Store over the years such as the popular Simple Solitaire.
Speaking with CNBC, Kaufman explained that his company is already using Pubfinity for their in-house games. Moreover, Kaufman said that he saw it coming that Microsoft would soon shut down its Ad Monetization Platform for UWP apps due to a general lack of interest in the Microsoft Store. Work on the Pubfinity SDK started months ahead of Microsoft's announcement, Kaufmann said.
“My immediate need was to monetize my own apps,” said Kaufmann, adding that “the ultimate goal is to position Pubfinity as a replacement for the Microsoft SDK going away.” For now, Kaufmann is willing to let select developers of high-quality apps and games use Pubfinity before making the SDK accessible to all. “We’ll have a very strict review process,” he said. “We want it to be an improvement and make it a place where developers can make money but not sacrifice the quality of their offerings.”
It's worth reminding that app developers still have other ways to monetize their apps on the Microsoft Store, including in-app purchases and subscriptions. Most app developers apparently prefer these alternative solutions, which are said to be more effective than banner promotions.