To Google Play or Not to Google Play? That is the Android App Store Question
How much thought have you put into deciding which app store you should publish your Android app in? If the answer is none, don’t panic; you are not alone.
Although many marketers are aware of alternative app stores, many don’t know the advantages of using these additional app stores. The vast amounts of app developers initially opt to publish their app in the largest and most popular app store, Google Play.
Google Play – The Two Sided Coin
With over 25 billion apps downloaded and more than 600,000 apps in the store, Google Play remains the most popular app store for Android apps. Its success is aided by the fact that all Android phones come with Google Play installed, giving consumers instant access to this portfolio of apps. Add the vast amount of choice of apps that the consumers get, and you have a recipe for success.
Well, there are two sides to this. You can look at consumer popularity and say that Google Play is the place to be, or you can look at the scope of competition and the likelihood that your app will be lost in a huge marketplace. Between February 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012 there were on average 828 apps released per day — these figures alone highlight the competition your app will face.
The success rate for an app on Google Play is extremely low, but we can overcome this by using other app stores to test and market your app before you submit to Google Play.
Did you know that Angry Birds did not debut on Google Play initially but debuted on a lesser known site called GetJar? There were two reasons behind this; firstly Google Play did not have a worldwide audience and secondly GetJar promotes free apps.
Angry Birds gained its reputation for the free app first, testing the market and learning from any mistakes it had made before releasing to Google Play. Strategically, that was a smart move; it prolonged the entrance into the wider marketplace, allowing the Angry Birds folks to perfect their product and built audience anticipation.
What Other App Stores Are There?
The number of app stores popping up is increasing. It’s not the perfect scenario for app users, but for app developers, the additional platforms for their apps provide sturdier foundations. And, if utilized correctly, these markets increase the opportunities for app success. Here are the app stores that I personally recommend to app developers.
Amazon App Store: Amazon is a favorite of mine because it not only regularly highlights apps — which is a great free advertising tool for you to utilize — but it also has a review process that encourages apps to be of high quality.
The process can prove daunting and somewhat annoying if you want your app released quickly; however, this will ensure that your app quality and description quality are high. Amazon’s interface is also connected to their online store which will bring up your app in searches there too.
SlideMe: This is the second most popular app store currently available to app developers. This site has a large user base and a smaller quantity of apps than Google Play, which increases your app’s visibility. There is a review process but it is not as stringent as Amazon’s.
Unlike some of the other app stores, you can offer your app for free or at a price and you can take up to 91% of the sales revenue home, compared to 70% with Google Play and Amazon App Store.
GetJar –The GetJar platform only allows app that are free. The advantage of this is that this store is known for having apps that were previously paid for and are now given away. People flock to this site for a bargain and, as Angry Birds has proven, developers can use GetJar for testing the market and building an audience before publishing to Google Play.
The downside to this Android app store is that the submission of apps is a long process and the site does have a lot of down time.
Mobango – This is an app store with a difference and one that should not be overlooked. A recent winner of the Red Herring Europe award, Mobango offers a free service to app publishers. This app store is hitting over one million downloads a day and it is definitely worth investigating.
AppsFire – This app store is an up-and-coming store in both the Android and iOS world. This store has over 7 million users and is growing in popularity. What is great about this app store is the number of ways it enhances the app developers’ tools to connect with potential users. In marketing terms, this store is the one to watch.
Competition in the app world is continuing to grow. Gone are the days when creating an app was enough to secure its success. The emerging, and somewhat fragmented, Android app market can be and should be utilized by app developers as a marketing and development tool for their app.
I would love to hear about the experiences you have had with alternate Android app markets.
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