UWP apps to lose Microsoft Ad Monetization platform this June

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft will shut down the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for UWP apps on June 1, 2020.
  • Microsoft suggests developers begin the transition to other ad platforms.
  • Microsoft states that the program is "no longer viable."

Microsoft will shut down one of the ways that UWP developers monetize their apps later this year. The Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for UWP apps will shut down on June 1, 2020, according to a brief post by Microsoft. Microsoft states that the platform is "no longer viable for us to continue operating the product at the current levels." The company suggests developers begin the transition to other ad platforms.

The announcement sent developer communities into discussions on the web about the future of UWP app development and the viability of developing UWP apps. Some developers discussed stopping development of new UWP apps as a result of this change, though the vast majority that I've contacted are sticking with their current plans. Others expressed frustration regarding the decision, including the fact that rather than a full blog post, the change was announced in a brief forum update.

Ads are considered a necessary "evil" by many. Some pointed out within the UWP Community Discord Discord that ads can also be useful because they drive people towards purchasing the ad-free version of apps.

There are several options for monetizing UWP applications, including donation models, freemium models that lead to people paying to remove ads, and, for now, the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform. Developers have to weigh the value of each monetization method and determine which is best for their applications.

Microsoft's suggestion to developers to switch to another ad platform could prove difficult. MSPowerUser points out that many ad platforms lack SDKs for UWP apps. As a result, monetizing apps through ads following the cutoff in June could be difficult or impossible.

At this time, Microsoft has not issued a statement regarding which ad platforms it recommends or which will deliver similar functionality to the current program.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.