For this review, I’m going to cover the SlideMe Android app market. This is one of my favorite Android markets for a number of reasons, including ease of use and popularity. More importantly, I think it is an important source of revenue for Android apps and games.
Also check out the previous review for AndroidPIT, as well as my previous post on Android app market evaluation criteria. The full collection of research on the Android app markets can be obtained here.
I currently put SlideMe in my tier-1 category. I use the concept of tiers to decide which app markets deserve the most attention. I check the stats more often and am sure to update my apps first in Tier 1 app stores. I also sell my paid app (Droid Secret Tips Pro) on SlideMe – it is one of only four Android app stores that I put my paid app onto so far.
SlideMe App Store Revenue
I’ll cut to the chase. One of the best features of SlideMe is that it pays better than most Android app markets. In fact, it doesn’t really charge a fee. Your app price is reduced by the payment processor fee, and sometimes a VAT. That’s it. This means that my payout is up to 91% sometimes on my $1.99 app.
The amount of the sales price you keep varies, but no matter what I’ve always seen it to be as good or better than any other store. A simple example for a $1.99 app:
The Android Market keeps 30% and pays you the remaining 70%. That’s $1.39 to take home.
For the same sale on SlideMe, the payment fee may be as low as $0.17, so the take home is $1.82.
The result is 31% higher ($1.82/$1.39) in this case than from the Android Market. As I mentioned, it varies based on the payment method and country that the purchaser is in.
Note that while the income per app sale is much higher, you’ll still need to reach the payout threshold before you get your money (see below).
Some other factors that I used to evaluate SlideMe include:
- Many purchase payment options. No country restrictions.
- $100 minimum payout. Must request payout. Avail ~60 days after purchases.
- Many payout options to receive your earnings.
- Much higher payment percentage than Android Market – it depends on the payment method used, but can be about 30% higher payout. My most recent sale was 91%.
- Only payment processing fees and VAT are charged.
- Reasonably high download counts
- Some popular apps have over 250k dl, so there is some traffic
- Has a dedicated app browser which users can directly purchase through
- Get market app to test at http://slideme.org/sam
- Developer site is reasonably sophisticated and allows uploading new app versions. Images are automatically resized which can save time.
- SlideMe has their own copy protection, called SlideLock.
What This Means To You
Here’s why these features are important to a developer.
1. One big reason alternate Android markets exist is that some countries still can’t purchase from Google’s Android Market. Having payment options and no country restrictions widens who can buy your app, but more importantly provides a purchase channel for those who are otherwise locked out of buying apps.
2. The $100 payout threshold is middle of the road. Small developers may have to wait a while to get their payment, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you intend to keep selling Android apps for a while.
3. The payment percentage is a huge factor, as I described above. Keeping more of your sale price releases much of the frustration people have with the common practice app markets have of skimming 30% off the top of your revenues.
4. Download counts for existing apps can be an indicator if there is enough traffic to mean that your app will get downloads too.
5. The dedicated app browser is a significant part of driving traffic to download apps from a market, and the SlideMe browser is reasonably sophisticated.
6. The ease of uploading a newer version is a significant part of how much I like an app store, and is becoming more so as I have more markets to update with new app versions. A few Tier-3 app stores aren’t getting updates very often because the low download counts don’t justify the effort it takes to jump through the hoops to update apps.
For SlideMe, the automatic image resize is very nice. There is an ever-growing set of non-standard image sizes required by the smaller/less mature players, and it’s frankly a pain to have to generate a dozen sizes of each image every time you update it. Thanks, SlideMe.
7. While I haven’t tried it, the copy protection looks pretty mature and can be important if you are particularly worried about app piracy.
SlideMe has treated me fairly well. While the free app downloads have been about 6% of those from the main Android Market, that’s likely a little lower than it should be for two reasons.
- I didn’t release to SlideMe for a while after my app was already available on the Android Market.
- I don’t market much to the SlideMe market – most of my links and promotions go directly to Google’s Android Market.
Paid app sales, however, have been a different matter. My ratio of paid apps between the Android Market and SlideMe is closer to 12%. I think a 12% increase in income from my Android app is definitely worth the time to upload to SlideMe, particularly because they make it fairly painless.
SlideMe is on my list as definitely worthwhile. I keep it on tier-1 of my list of Android app markets to use.
If you have used SlideMe for your free or paid apps (or games), please share your experience.