If you’re an Android developer and looking to make money from your app (from ad revenue or from app sales, or both) then you’re probably interested in what you can do to maximize your revenue. Otherwise you probably would have released the app for free and without ads.
Don’t Just Wait For Success
Success may come easily for some apps, but I don’t like to leave things to chance. I believe that it’s worth taking steps to make your Android app get seen and downloaded. That means a little more legwork than just uploading to the Android Market.
Android apps are still a different game from iPhone apps. Not just because there are multiple app stores available, but also because there are different ways for users to browse and discover apps. Don’t make the mistake of releasing your app and then doing nothing else to promote it.
A fellow developer prompted me to sign up for AndroidPIT. While it’s been on my radar, it hadn’t made it to the top of my list yet. However, his comment that he was making more from AndroidPit than from SlideMe made me reconsider.
As a developer, you’ll be interested in the AndroidPIT App-Center. This is their app browser, and the source of the app purchases/downloads that come directly from AndroidPit.
Here are some of the main points of interest about this app store that I found relevant given my evaluation criteria (in no particular order):
- Has a dedicated app browser which users can directly purchase through
- Supports payment through PayPal and Click&Buy (no country restrictions for purchasers)
- Site available in English and German (based in Germany)
- Payout is monthly if total is over $20
- Commission is 30% of sale (includes VAT taxes)
- Works in conjunction with the Android Market, so you don’t have to enter new marketing material. You just verify that you are the owner.
What These Features Mean To You
Here’s why these features are important to a developer.
1. The browser app is the portal that brings users to your app. This is important, as it means that users can not only browse for apps on the web, they can use a customized app to browse from their phone or other Android device.
2. The payment options are important – this is one of the main reasons that alternate markets sprang up in the first place. Due to country restrictions, users in some countries could not buy apps from the Android Market, which only uses Google Checkout as the payment processor. On the other hand, PayPal operates in a much larger set of countries. This means that buyers in “prohibited” countries can now buy Android apps! Some of them are hungry to do so, so you just need to give them the option to purchase!
3. Users might prefer to browse in an app that supports their native language, so supporting more than one language expands the user base of this market. For me, supporting English is a basic requirement (for now).
4. The payout threshold of $20 is pretty low, compared to some of the thresholds I’ve seen (up to $250!). That means you’ll get your money faster, and you’re not taking as much of a risk if sales are pretty slow on this site.
5. The 30% commission on sales is hardly the best – it’s one of the most common values that I’ve seen (and matches Google’s value exactly). However, it does include VAT taxes so purchases from European buyers will still net you the same amount.
6. The automatic population of the marketing material from the Android Market was definitely a welcome feature. I’ve filled out so many different description fields, formatted images to random and arbitrary sizes, and so forth for some of the markets out there. For AndroidPit, it was a breeze – they just verified that I was the authorized owner of the app by emailing a clickthrough link to the email address shown in the Android Market. Piece of cake!
As with every Android app market, there are a few details that are interesting but not on my priority list yet. For example. AndroidPIT has a configurable notification system when you get purchases. You can integrate this into whatever machinery you have running to track your orders and purchases, if your operation is that sophisticated. I just set it to send me an email that I can read.
This market also supports a social aspect. I created a developer and user account, but you can do just one or the other. I do suggest filling out the developer profile page, so people can decide if your operation looks interesting enough to buy from.
Additionally, you can pay AndroidPIT to review your app. I don’t have interest in that at this time, but the option is available.
I only put my free and paid app up a few days ago, so it’s a bit early to tell. So far I have a few downloads of the free app and one sale. That’s certainly a better free-to-paid ratio than on other markets, but I’ll be watching this market closely to see how it performs in the long run.
AndroidPIT is currently on my list as worth some attention. I suggest creating an account, setting up a developer profile, and adding your apps. If you have used this market, please share your experience.
UPDATE – I’ve been on AndroidPIT for over a year, and hardly sold any paid apps at all. There were a number of free app downloads, however. Since they automatically get their get their data from Google Play, AndroidPIT may be worth your time for your free Android apps.