In this uncertain age of free-to-play, making money with an app is a tricky job. Not only do developers have to stand out in a sea of competition, but they also have to find the right balance between offering free content, in order to grab some attention, while also actually making some money.
StartApp noticed developers were struggling and stormed into the marketplace looking to establish some stability. So far, theyâ€™ve helped thousands of developers expose their app, and we spoke to Boaz Gilon, from the marketing team at StartApp, to find out how.
First of all, could you please explain what StartApp is, and what it aims to achieve?
Founded in 2010, StartAppâ€™s core business deals with the two main parts of the mobile industry today: the monetization of free apps and app distribution. Since Android is a â€˜freeâ€™ ecosystem, only a small number of Android developers are able to generate real revenue from charging for their applications. Other monetization options, which were on the market before the creation of StartApp, were not delivering substantial revenue and negatively affected the user experience.
One of the ways to ensure that developers are making money from their applications no matter who the users are or where they are from in the world is the revolutionary pay-per-download (PPD) method. The PPD method essentially brings the payment to the beginning of the process, placing the risk of returning the investment on StartApp itself. According to this model, StartApp pays the developer a fixed price for every download when the download is generated. This way, the developer does not need to worry about collecting penny by penny during the lifetime of the application, but has rather already made their bounty revenue up front.
Have developers been willing to embrace your new approach to monetizing apps?
You canâ€™t argue with the numbers – we currently partner with 30,000 applications having generated over 850 million SDK downloads to date. This partnership allows us to offer advertisers over 3 billion monthly ad impressions. So it is more than safe to say we are well known and loved by Android developers. However, we always stay innovative and looking for new â€˜out of the boxâ€™ ways to monetize apps so stay tuned for our latest updates.
And how has the response been from the Android users themselves?
Android users love our model as they now have the option to install free apps without any banners inside the app that interfere with the user experience. We keep our monetization outside of the app making sure not to interrupt the userâ€™s experience.
Why do you think StartApp has been so successful?
We offer any developer the chance to generate great revenue from their free apps and the ability to make an honest living, whether itâ€™s a big company with 50 employees or a single developer who works from home. Weâ€™ve had many success stories of people from the USA, Germany, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and more.
For the first time, StartApp has found a way to provide even the smallest Android developers with a way to generate substantial revenue from their free applications, without having to worry about where their apps are being generated or even percentage of active users.
Are there any particular success stories you are proud of?
StartApp has found ways to be innovative even when using products or technologies which already exist. For example, taking the classic banner ad which disturbs the user while using an applications, and presenting it only at the end of the use â€“ when the user is exiting the application. Also, StartApp has found a way to take this one step further, by showing the ad upon exiting through the â€˜homeâ€™ button too â€“ which substantially increases the number of impressions generated for the developers and thus increasing his revenue.
Is there anything you think you can improve on, like ensuring transparency with users?
StartApp is 100% transparent with our users and developers while following Google guidelines.
How do you plan to expand in future, maybe even to new platforms?
We have many plans for the near and far future, as mentioned, new ad types and variety of interesting monetization models are about to launch. We are also looking to expand into the Windows platform and iOS as well, so we are very excited about whatâ€™s to come.
Click here to find out more about StartApp and get involved as a developer or advertiser.