Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alternative App Market Overview

This article has a good overview of non-Apple app markets, including the Android Market, Nokia's Ovi market, and GetJar. It's worth noting some of the key differences between app markets. The most important one is that developers are making far more money right now from the iOS app market than all of the other put together. That situation is something that annoys the hell out of non-Apple app markets, as you might expect, so they are working hard to change it.

The Android Market is planning to remedy its biggest failing, lack of in-app purchasing, "soon." This will be an important step, at least for those developers who have figured out how to take advantage of in-app purchases. Aside from that, the Android Market lacks the mysterious Apple approval process. You read the Android Market's guidelines, pay $25, and post your app (as long as you don't do something forbidden in the guidelines). Since the Android marketplace is growing even faster than iOS, this could be the biggest moneymaker for developers in the future. So it's definitely one to keep your eye on.

Nokia's still trying to get its Ovi market into competitive shape. They boast of a huge market of 675 million devices... of course, that's hundreds of different hardware platforms mooshed into one lump. Good luck getting your application working on a good fraction of that number. They have sales in 190 countries and are supporting 30 different languages. Which is great until you have to try and develop for that... it gives you a headache just thinking about it. Nokia's trying to make the Ovi store more attractive with a couple of ideas in closed beta testing now: In-app purchasing and in-app advertising. Meanwhile, Nokia does offer the option for carrier billing for purchases, as opposed to just credit-card billing (the way the iTunes store works).

The standard revenue share seems to be 70% for the developer, 30% for the store. But  GetJar has a very different approach. Anybody can put a game up there, as long as its free. So there's no revenue, and no revenue split. Developers can make money through in-app purchasing that they implement themselves, or advertising. GetJar makes its money by offering in-store advertising opportunities to developers. You want better placement for your game? Pay for it. This does offer a way out of the vast wasteland of the iTunes store or the Android Market, where your app could wander forever without seeing a buyer. Still, you'd better be pretty sure you can make money from your app if you're going to be spending money to advertise it. GetJar supports over 2300 smartphones, though only across open platforms (no Windows Phone 7 or PalmOS). They do list iOS games, though all you get is a link to the file on the iTunes store rather than the game itself (though they do host all of the information about the game).

GetJar's problem is getting people to know about GetJar. They do have deals with about 60 carriers globally to carry GetJar links. Really, though, they see GetJar as an additional distribution outlet to things like the Android Market or the App Store. It's easy and free to get listed on GetJar, so you might as well try it out.

I expect more distribution options will be forthcoming, especially for the Android Market. There's a huge business opportunity here for some company to make it easy to find apps. Imagine an Amazon-style recommendation engine, well-policed comments, ratings... hey, Amazon! Over here!

No comments:

Post a Comment