A problem that led to Windows Phone app developers seeing declining ad revenue from Google’s AdMob ad network has now been resolved, says Google. Earlier this week, news emerged that a number of Windows Phone developers had seen their ad fill rates drop by a significant amount during the month, which greatly impacted their ability to generate revenue using Google’s ads in their apps.
One developer reported their ad fill rates went from 99 percent to just 7 percent in a day, while another says their AdMob revenue was down by 80 percent, for example.
The developers were discussing the issue on a Google Mobile Ads forum hosted by Google Groups, and those posts were later picked up by a blog WMPoweruser.com. That site also put forth a conspiracy theory that alleged the change could be related to Google “getting ready to starve Windows Phone developers into submission.” (Their words, not mine.)
The blog’s suspicions in the matter were related to the recent news that Microsoft was rolling out new tools that would allows developers to port their Android and iOS apps to Windows 10. They saw the changes to AdMob fill rates as Google’s calculated response to Microsoft’s announcement.
As it turns out, it was just a bug.
Following the news coverage regarding the problem, Google’s AdMob account tweeted that it was an aware of “fill rate issues for Windows Phone” and was “actively investigating and working to fix this,” according to its update.
We’re aware of fill rate issues for Windows Phone in AdMob. We’re actively investigating and working to fix this, more details soon.
— Google AdMob (@admob) May 18, 2015
Today that fix has gone live. Google now says that it has fixed the issue which had been causing the fill rates to drop and developers should things return to normal.
Last night we fixed the Windows Phone issue in AdMob and fill rates should be back to normal. Thanks for bearing with us.
— Google AdMob (@admob) May 20, 2015
While the issue may not be the grand conspiracy theory that some Windows Phone developers were imagining, it did help to bring to light the challenges those developers were facing in receiving timely customer support from AdMob.
Many of the developers said they had submitted complaints to AdMob support and had yet to hear back in a week’s time or even longer, in some cases. Several had also tweeted their frustrations to AdMob’s Twitter account. But AdMob didn’t respond to the situation until after the various news reports, including those on smaller Windows blogs and a more heavily trafficked story on Business Insider, went live.
Unfortunately for the affected developers, the delayed response and resolution meant they lost some portion of their ad revenue during the month while they waited for the issue to be addressed. Google did not detail what caused the problem, but confirms the fix is live.