Android’s many markets

When I built Kindergarten Math, I thought there was only one market – the android market run by google. Within the last few months, I have been finding more. I must have made it to some marketing list for App developers. I am starting to get invites to post Kindergarten Math to them recently. Here are the ones I have looked at so far.

Google’s Android Market
Is the only one I knew about when I started. It is low cost for a publisher- only $25/year and a publisher can publish as many apps as they want. They take a percentage for processing the order, same as all the other markets. About 1 in 20 orders on the google market fails because of some download error. And then customers are not able to re-try for 7 days. Google market has it’s serious flaws as far as commerce side is concerned.

However, it’s openness is admirable. Also, having put in so much into Android and making it free and freely available, google deserves to make money from it’s market.

Amazon’s Android Market
Amazon a serious contender as an android market, mostly because of amazon proven retail strategy. But, Android is a whole new beast. It wants freedom. If it wanted to live in a walled garden, wouldnt’ it just be an Apple instead. Amazon’s desire to control both it’s suppliers and it’s customers may not work here. We will have to see. Amazon had to backtrack and allow access to Google’s Android Market on Kindle Fire.

Amazon was offering $50 back per developer for publishing to it’s market back in Nov, 2011. It is also free to publish your app for the first year. Second year, it’s supposed to go up to $99/year. It is all evolving too fast to predict what will happen next.

HeyZap
HeyZap contacted me only a couple of weeks after posting Kindergarten Math lite. They are a games store with a social bent. I haven’t tried it …mostly because I am not a gamer or too social. It has some concept of checking-in when you are playing a game. We can broadcast to our friends what game we like by playing it. Game developers get some free viral advertising with it. But, social check-in is not suitable for little kids. So, not for Kindergarten Math.

Android Tapp
Recently launched their market. They used to do free reviews of apps. Now they want to get a share of selling them too. I think they only do paid apps. I am unsure of market share, and if there is a point posting Kindergarten math on it.

I think I submitted LocalByUs app to it to get a review at Android Tapp. But, it wasn’t reviewed. I dont’ blame them.

Barnes and Noble Nook Market
Barnes and Noble is trying to be Amazon. They are trying to outdo them in control. As a developer, I can’t even read their documentation unless I register first.

The Nook does not allow access to the Google’s Android Market. I think B&N hope that Nook sales will drive people to their market. From my point of view, their market is driving off Nook sales. We thought about buying a Nook, but, decided against it, primarily because it is so customized and restricted. Still, it does seem to have a lot of books available on it.

I am still debating whether to post Kindergarten Math to it or not. I am not sure if it’s worth the effort. But, who knows. Maybe I’ll just give it a try.

Cius Market
Is Cisco’s venture. They want to own the Enterprise App market. I am not sure why they invited me to put Kindergarten Math on it. Desperation? Cisco getting into it is a bit odd. I would’ve just thought it would make sense for them to build Enterprise Apps, not a market.

Seems like a lot of people want a piece of the android market. It makes it hard for a developer to figure out where to post the app. It may look fragmented for now. But, most likely only a few… I’d predict a maximum of 3 general purpose markets will survive. Some competition is good for publishers too.

Most of the markets come with their own Developer Kits to integrate with. Amazon has one, Nook another, Heyzap, cius, …all have their dev kits. It is hard for a developer to integrate with all of them.

It is not developers like me who will decide the success or failure of the markets. It is customers like me that will.

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