After spending a few months evaluating different alternate Android markets to see where I should deploy my apps, I came up with a few criteria that helped me decide if a site was worth investigating further. I used that criteria in my report on the markets.
Given that there are dozens of markets out there, it’s helpful to have a strategy to decide which one to pursue. I have seen lots of very pretty and flashy sites that look like they’d be winners, but the numbers showed that I wouldn’t get much traffic from them. Some are actually dead, and submitting your app puts it into a black hole!
So, there is obviously a need to focus your time and energy on the app markets that will get you the most return. That can be more downloads, or possibly downloads in a market that you aren’t reaching already. Some of the markets that I have reviewed show a very different demographic than the main Android Market.
Now, your own criteria may differ from mine – particularly if you speak another language or have staff that can handle activities that require being multi-lingual.
My current criteria to evaluate and Android app market
- Language – If the site doesn’t have an English version, I can’t currently use it.
- Download counts: High app download counts indicate an active market. If download counts are unavailable, I can’t measure how my app is doing – it’s like a black hole. Furthermore I can’t estimate if the market is active or not.
- Fees to deploy an app are a bad sign. So far, only the Google Android Market has proven itself to be worth the fees, but the Amazon market looks like a strong contender.
- Separation by Android version is a good thing, as it makes for a better user experience and ensures that the right version gets to the right customers.
- Difficulty in deploying an app is also a bad sign – it indicates that the market is not yet mature. Unless I already have an indication that the market is strong, I will bail if I can’t figure out how to deploy my app in a relatively short amount of time. Most markets take only minutes.
- Payout thresholds can make it undesirable to sell paid apps – you fragment your sales into many markets that may never pay you rather than concentrating in a few to make it past the threshold. This doesn’t apply to free apps (which can link to different markets).
There were also a few secondary criteria that were related, but not my primary consideration
- What countries can access this market?
- What payment methods are accepted?
Part of a Larger Strategy
My list is hardly a comprehensive evaluation strategy, but hopefully it helps you understand some of the thinking that goes into deciding if a market is worth looking into. I ended up noting the unique or standout features of each of the markets, but those features were so varied that I haven’t refined them into criteria to evaluate all markets against.
On that subject, some markets were of interest to me for other reasons than the base criteria — the base criteria is just the gateway, not a ranking system. For example, any site not available in English is not on my radar at this time.
Go ahead and comment what other criteria that you use in making these decisions. And, if you are looking to see the results of my research on alternate Android app markets, check out the Android Alternate Markets report.