GetJar is a real hero of the people for app developers and end-users. Launched in 2004 by Ilja Laurs as an independent app store for Java, BlackBerry and Symbian, GetJar was originally conceived as a tool for mobile developers to beta test their software on a variety of handsets. Laurs' brainchild quickly became the world's largest independent app distribution platform, always free, and when Android's open architecture began to gain traction, GetJar started getting some serious attention.
But how big of a deal is GetJar really? Well, if figures like the 3 million downloads it gets every day, or the fact that it's ranked as #3 app store in the world (with Apple App Store and Google Play holding their lead by a margin), maybe this will dilate your pupils a bit: When Angry Birds came out in 2010, guess who got the exclusive initial distribution rights? Here's your hint: It's a company not named after a fruit and it rhymes with wet-bar.
In April 2012, Laurs stepped down as GetJar CEO (taking instead the role of Executive Chairman) and let Chris Dury, the company's Stateside COO take the helm. Chris has a wealth of experience in mobile startups and has been instrumental in growing the company's innovative monetization system, GetJar Gold. And that's where the company's real genius has been getting alot of attention recently.
GetJar Gold started as a system where users can get premium paid apps for free, licenses being funded by advertising money (kind of like how TV or radio licensing works). Then, in February 2012, this was overhauled. What GetJar Gold became instead was a monetization system where users get this virtual currency by doing things like downloading apps or looking at ads. They can then spend their virtual currency on paid apps, or in-app purchases (like new levels, power-ups, premium currency etc. in games). Things that you would normally have to put on your credit card. The virtual currency goes to the developers, who can then cash it in for real currency that they can spend on groceries and college tuitions and haircuts and things. This is turning heads.
Monetization on mobile– especially on Android– is a pie that everybody wants a slice of. The problem is, there are too many meat cleavers and butter knives making a mess of the whole thing and making paid content look like a little bit of a gooey mess to the average consumer. But Chris Dury may have the pie knife that will make playing the Android development game not only more profitable, but more presentable.
Skeptical? Dictionary.com, Weather LIVE and Runtastic Pro are already on board. Gaming giant Halfbrick is working with GetJar to integrate Gold into Fruit Ninja. GetJar's website boasts the potential for 10x growth, which is atypical, but many developers have seen both their download count and their cashflow increase by 2-4x. And it's a super low-risk way for developers to reach something to the tune of 50 million GetJar Gold users, so what's not to like?
Chris Dury will be giving a talk entitled “Monetizing on Android” at this year's GMGC 2013 conference. He is going to drop some serious wisdom bombs, so get your seat early and bring a notebook. In Chris' own words:
“2013 is the break-out year for Android. The number of Android devices will reach nearly 1 billion, hitting that milestone in about 5 years since the commercial availability of the first phone. This growth is truly remarkable as it's unmatched by any technology ever created. For developers, this means that Android will have a much bigger audience than iOS. But how do you make money?”
Chris will review the strategies of several developers that have cracked the code for making money on Android. As someone who has grown businesses from inception to millions of users, not to mention helped to drive the largest independent app store in the world to the international mainstream, Chris is a guy who knows what he is talking about. If you want an idea of where the future of profitable business in Android is headed, do not miss this talk.