Monetizing Google Play Free Games with Access to the Operator’s Billing

Monetizing Google Play Free Games with Access to the Operator’s Billing
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Google Play has an undeserved reputation as a platform, which is not bringing the money – but there are a number of developers of free games that don’t think so. 

Such companies as TinyCo, Spry Fox and the Robot Invader argue that the profit from Android is comparable and sometimes superior to profit from iOS-devices.

What is difficult?

Difficulties with obtaining money in Google Play are widely known. According to research by Distimo and Flurry, Google Play gets one eighth of the profits of Apple iTunes App Store and its average revenue per user is only 23% of revenue from iOS user. However, since the reports of Distimo and Flurry are based on a very large averaging, not all designers agree with them.

Major developers are also finding a lot of solvent users in Google Play. Andreessen Horowitz from TinyCo published the same data last week – for every dollar earned with free Tiny Village in the iOS, there are 65 cents in Android. This figure rises to 82 cents for the dollar, excluding tablets. Thus the parameters of TinyCo earnings are very close to the parameters of Spry Fox, and not to the data of Flurry.

People say

The head of Spry Fox, David Edery recently published in Twitter the information about the income of company on Android. According to Edery, for every dollar earned by a popular game Triple Town in the iOS, there are 67 cents earned in Android. 

He also noted that this is not a question of much larger, but just less profitable customer base for Android – the number of users in iOS and Android versions of the Triple Town virtually the same as the conversion rate. Although the game shows a greater ARPU in iTunes, than in Google Play, Edery still believes in the future of Google platform, saying that Google Play is “a very good source of profit”.

Game Wind-Up Knight of the Robot Invader gets 60% of the profits from Google Play, due to operator ‘accounts – says its co-founder Chris Pruet.

Android actually has some unique features that make it very profitable,” – he explains. “One of the key features is integration with billing systems of operators world widely. In some regions (particularly in Japan and some European countries), no one buys anything in the phone by credit card – everybody to make purchase from a mobile account”

Glu Mobile is another company, which says about bigger earnings than analysts show. Although only 30% of the profits from the free-to-play games from Glu in last quarter accounted for smartphones with Android. Both platforms are showing approximately equal ARPU, says vice president of sales and marketing, Adam Flanders. Glu is seeing that the conversion of users from the Android is constantly improving. This is due to more extensive adaptation of purchases with credit cards in the store and the expansion of Google Check Out on the international telecom operators.

Major developers are also finding a lot of solvent users in Google Play. Andreessen Horowitz from TinyCo published the same data last week – for every dollar earned with free Tiny Village in the iOS, there are 65 cents in Android. This figure rises to 82 cents for the dollar, excluding tablets. Thus the parameters of TinyCo earnings are very close to the parameters of Spry Fox, and not to the data of Flurry.

Access to the billing statements are extremely important tool for Android developers with free games, because it allows a user without a credit card to make purchases of digital goods, thus increasing the conversion of free users into paid one and the level of monetization.

In general, the history of large and small application developers shows that it is able to make money from Google Play. But the most successful companies make free applications for games, which connect to the billing of international operators.

The article’s author, Andrew Smith, works as PR Manager at BugHuntress QA Lab – QA and software testing outsourcing.

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