Getjar unfolded! - Interview with Patrick Mork

On the 14th of January, just a few days after CES, I interviewed Patrick Mork VP of Marketing at GetJar, talking about the appstore boom at CES, the notion of openness in the appstore world, and the latest developer portal Getjar are launching.  So here’s a quick summary in words… but also the overall interview is available as a podcast, this is the first time we’re experimenting with audio so let us know what you think of it!

Download the whole podcast: podcast2

WIP: CES has seen the launch of numerous appstores (as a reminder the AT&T AppCenter, Samsung Apps TV, Intel AppUp, YourAppshop) do you think the future of  appstores lies in an increasing number of them  in 2010?

Patrick Mork

Patrick: The future of appstores is a bit like throwing a rock in the air, it will likely come and crash down! There’s a rush towards appstores at the moment following the Apple success and the failure of operators in the content space. Runn

ing an appstore is difficult and I predict a majority of them will die in the coming 12 months. Major difficulties in running an appstore lie in the ability to source good content and the ability to control the quality of the content.

Getjar CEO Ilja Laurs predicted that the future of appstore

would be in openness(slide 14). Is this something you’re acting on already?

Openness is about offering consumers the best possible experience. It should be about offering the application that was developed by the person with the best capability to write the content, not necessarily  the company who own and control the appstores. An open ecosystem is about having no barriers in terms of what content gets uploaded on Getjar and not forbidding a browser to be uploaded because there’s already a browser there   :D . Having said that Getjar is very mindful of protecting brands and developers as well as ensuring decency and integrity of content for end users but we do not want to play the role of king makers amongst developers we want to give end-users the choice.

A few other things we do is we do not enforce signing, we do not limit the number of updates, fast and guarant

GetChart_Global_Dec09

eed submission time (48 hours)

Getjar recommendations are based on user recommendations and advertising, where does openness fit into this?

Openness can be seen in the fact that recommendations by end-users are the main drivers rather than a skewed recommendation based on a limited number of applications present in your store .

Obviously the recommendation algorithm, (based on reviews, downloads and rating) is not public, there are limit to openness. The second operating principle is advertising which is critical to give developers the chance to promote their apps, in this sense we’re unique not only because we allow promotion but also because the promotion is performance based on a pay per download basis.

So apps are free on GetJar today and on top of that I need to pay for advertising… so how I do I make money?

There’s a misconception in the market today that free means no money, there are quite a few examples there, Opera Mini (paid paid by Google for the search traffic they drive), Flirtomatic (virtual gifts) or games publishers putting free applications on GetJar and selling premium versions of their applications.

The paid for apps model we see as not being the most successful one. The statistics by Flurry  published a few month back shows that the average iPhone apps made $7500 on the appstore, it’s just not enough to make a living.

We shouldn’t forget that monetizing content on mobile is an industry challenge not just a challenge for GetJar. If you compare this with the Facebook economy there hasn’t been a single example in mobile of a developer growing to a multimillion dollar business and making an exit, when Playfish did.

Having said that Getjar will introduce paid for apps in the second half of the year in US and UK (interesting news!!)

Analytics and sharing of information seems to be key to allow developers to make the right development, pricing and distribution choices. How do you position yourself on Analytics?

GetJar developer portal

The new GetJar developer portal (I loved it!)

Analytics are a feature that Getjar provides increasingly more to developers through our new developer portal. Getjar now allows developer to see not only how many downloads you have per country, per device, per operating system but also to compare it with an average of all the applications on Getjar! Getjar also makes available trending on a per device basis and per operating system basis to allow developers to port their apps to new platforms. More importantly we provide opportunity mapping telling you the opportunity you could generate if you were present on certain handsets!You can also see top 20 apps per download per preceding day and week per country!

We believe this is pretty unique and we’d be glad to get feedback during the WIPJam session at MWC.

We will start organizing a weekly series of webinar Getjar to help developers access and use this functionality, and sharing our knowledge around using Getjar to promote your app.

What about malware? (this was recorded just after malware was reported on Android)

Smartphones are more associated with malware and with their current rise the the rise of malware is almost unavoidable.

Appstores are all about balance, ensuring fast approval AND quality insurance.. and this is a difficult balance to reach. At Getjar we guarantee that your app will be on Getjar 48 hours after submission (or at least to get a response) AND we try to maintain quality standards from this perspective we’re pretty unique among Android Market being fast (24 hours) and low quality on one side and Apple Appstore being slow (up to 7 months) and high quality on the other side.

Top countries for January 2010 downloads on Getjar

Country Current Period Previous Period Trend
Indonesia 14,454,167 13,736,562 5%
India 8,661,600 7,774,230 11%
United States 4,817,565 3,815,531 26%
United Kingdom 1,356,746 1,400,482 3%
Egypt 1,280,035 1,216,057 5%
South Africa 1,263,530 1,240,341 2%
Viet Nam 742,146 824,177 10%
Bangladesh 707,025 687,147 3%
Pakistan 691,005 632,533 9%
Turkey 659,932 455,913 45%

GetJar has traditionally been associated with Java devices is the rise of smartphones a bad thing for you?

GetJar stands for APPSOLUTELY EVERYTHING so we’re targeting all handsets wether Java platforms or smartphones.  Developers however shouldn’t forget that Java devices continue to be the majority of phones in the market and the only way for developers to be financially successful is to be cross-platform.

The positive news for developers with the increasing awareness of mobile apps is that it has had a hugely positive impact on the sales of apps on feature phones. As an example we now do about 50 M downloads a month compared to 14 M a year ago, with 50% of business still on Java phones. The US in particular has grown from nowhere on our top list to being number 3 in our download figures, developing markets like India and Indonesia have also grown 2 to 3 times faster than the US market. 25% of our North American consumers download content once a day, and globally the figure goes up to 36%.

Apps Apps Apps so what about the Mobile web, how does it play in your strategy?

Among Getjar users mobile usage we predicted the rise of the mobile web. In a survey done a year ago we saw that 65% of users were using their mobile more than their PC to access the web. We do encourage  mobile web development as we recognize it as a way to overcome platform fragmentation That’s why we introduced mobile  site shortcuts a year back, an icon that’s been downloaded onto the end-user phone and appears as an app even though it’s only a link back to a website. It allows developers to cut on developement costs. Mobile site shortcuts are now 10% of our traffic. Facebook for example  using this has 31M downloads on GetJar twice the amount of they’ve have done on iTunes!

PS: Obviously you’ll notice my somewhat hesitant pace… for my excuse I wasn’t drunk but just interviewing someone at 1AM my time after a flight ordeal…


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