App developers downloading big bucks

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

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When Ra.One the game was launched on Nokia Store (Ovi); avid gamers lapped it up with over 2.5 million downloads. Vodafone India's Beta app store (launched in December 2011) has crossed 2 million downloads and BlackBerry's App World has a weekly download of 43.5 million.

Penetration of smartphones and feature rich handsets has lured mobile application developers to come up with an “application for every occasion”. The big question, however, for the burgeoning $150-million ‘app' market (Rs 750 crore) is, are developers finally raking it in?

Market sources indicate a steady growth in such downloads across different platforms like Android (Google), iOS (Apple), Nokia Store and BlackBerry App World is now beginning to bring money to the developers.

Fair share

Moving from a mobile operator dominated ecosystem to handset makers platforms has ensured that application developers are getting a fair share of the revenue. Compared to just 30 per cent of the revenues earlier, developers are now getting as much as 70 per cent.

“Earlier app developers were at the mercy of mobile operators, but now you have your distribution channels through handset-makers. A national launch and a wider mileage for an ‘app' is much easier now,” Mr Vishal Godal, CEO UTV Indiagames – makers of popular games like Ra.One and IPL – said.

Downloads i.e. paper downloads have been the most profitable one for developers so far, followed by monetising advertisements. Earlier, tying up with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) for preloaded apps was the best option, but all that has now changed. For mobile app developers alternative streams have worked out well. “We have seen a near 100 per cent year-on-year growth. App development is a profitable venture now,” Mr Vaideeswaran Sethuraman, Divum Corporate Service – one of the developers on Nokia Store – told Business Line. The company has 35 plus applications on the Nokia Store.

Mr Jonathan Bill, Senior Vice-President – Innovation and Business Development, Vodafone India, maintains that majority of apps are free. But paid apps represent a small yet “profitable portion” of downloads. “Revenue streams like advertising and sale of virtual goods represent significant opportunities,” he said.

Alternative revenue streams

Mr Rajendran P.R., founder of Next Wave Multimedia – another content development company with Nokia Store – said that the company was looking actively for tapping alternative revenue streams. With nearly 25-30 per cent margins, the company is planning to have $500 per day revenues (Rs 25,000) through tweaking of content and ad-monetising.

Such is the potential of application market in India that foreign developers who have made it big in the $4-billion global market such as Evernote and OutFit7 are looking to join the party. “India is a big market and we have plans to bring localised apps that suits users here,” said Mr Narry Singh, Executive Chairman, Outfit7, Inc.

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Published on March 19, 2012
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