Apr 5, 2011 - mobile    No Comments

Creating a business from apps

There have been few but some really good success stories from the apps stores. So far, only 5% of app developers have reported revenues exceeding projections while 27% have reported meeting revenue expectations. Games, social networking and entertainment are the app categories that enjoy the most success on app stores.

When it comes to successful app, we all can’t help but think about Angry Birds which took the mobile gaming/app world by storm when it first launched in December 2009 on iOS. Since then Angry Birds have expanded to Android Market, Ovi Store, etc. with over 100 million downloads across all platforms. Priced at a modest $0.99 (£0.59), it was indeed the greatest sucess story the world had seen so far by using a long-tail business model (small prices/huge sales) as discussed in one of our previous posts on maximising revennue on the App Stores.

Capitalising on its success, it started selling its own plush toys for avid fans. Here’s the link if you fancy cuddling some Angry Birds. It even came out with a sequel Angry birds seasons. With the launch of the animated feature film Rio, Rovio partnered with 20th Century Fox to launch Angry Birds Rio. Without any doubt, this firmly sets Angry Birds as a business.

Leaving the games area, there are also other examples of apps who creating businesses out of apps. One such example is hipstamatic. The app is a great example of how you should monetise your app and make a business out of it. In a couple of previous versions, I remember that hipstamatic was selling Levi’s camera cases. Maybe it was a limited time offer as it is not in the current version anymore. Hipstamatic is gaining popularity with the analog photography enthusiasts and to improve their business offerings, they could sell Jessops flashes for the camera as an example. This would be a good way for Jessops to advertise their products and for hipstamatic to get additional income.

benefits of partnering with big brands

Brands gain as this is an advertisement opportunity for them while app makers get additional revenue. On a partnership level, when no money is involved, both brand and app gain since they are maximising their exposure, even more so for the app since their image increases when they are associated with brands.

When partnerships are forged with other big companies, that’s when you become a business. So I am expecting more apps to start following a similar approach in the future in app stores.