App Marketing Conversations: Is Google Play Catching up to the App Store in Monetization?
In this weeks App Marketing Conversation; Ryan Morel of GameHouse, Robi Ganguly of Apptentive, and Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ discuss recent data that suggests the Google Play Store may be catching up to the iOS App Store for Monetization.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below!
Ryan Morel: Good morning and welcome to another edition of App Marketing Conversations. I am Ryan Morel with GameHouse. As always, I am here with Ian Sefferman from MobileDevHQ and Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. How are we doing this morning?
Robi Ganguly: Well.
Ian Sefferman: Fantastic.
Ryan Morel: Good. So as Robi mentioned in his segment, we are at Casa de la Apptentive. A little change of scenery, it’s nice.
Robi Ganguly: It is nice.
Ryan Morel: So today, we are going to talk; we’ve talked to Kim Kardashian, we’ve talked to Amazon Fire. And now, we are going to talk Google Play monetization. So Robi, you’ve mentioned, and I think a lot of people probably saw that reportedly the monetization matrix for Google Play are substantially and maybe catching up with IOS. So maybe you can fill in some of the holes there and give your perspective on why you think that may be happening.
Robi Ganguly: Yeah. So remember according to a couple of reports maybe three to four weeks ago, say essentially that over the past 12 months monetization has doubled. The percentage of apps that are seeing revenue from Google Play is growing, but more importantly for the apps that are doing pretty well in Google Play, in app purchases and that sort of stuff. We’re seeing trends that indicate that they are making a lot more money this time per average paying customer than they were last year. So in general, I think the complaint has been that IOS customers actually pay for stuff, but way more Google Play customers are not paying, so that dynamic is shifting obviously makes that equation of market share more interesting.
Ryan Morel: Yep. What do you think?
Ian Sefferman: You know, anecdotally, I think there has definitely been a shift in consumer’s perception of Android. I think, three to four years ago, let’s take my parents as an example, my parents were like, “Why would ever get an Android when I could just get an iPhone? The iPhones are just so much better and Androids are just cheap little devices.” And now, my dad has a Nexus and when he went to go get that he was like, “Android looks like a really legit platform.” And my dad knows nothing about technology. So, just to see that sense in the world change, I think it does signal that consumers are shifting. The make up of the average Android user has gone up, people who will pay, people that have the disposable income, things like that. So I think that makes sense to me.
Ryan Morel: So, maybe there’s that aspect of it. It could also be just the inclusion of additional payment methods over the air billing or carrier billing, which probably didn’t exist. So, didn’t this have to happen at some point?
Robi Ganguly: Well, I think if they’d had any resources against it, it had to get better. It started out pretty poor, but it seems like they’ve understood for a while. There’s been a thrust internally to roll out more tools and more capabilities. And to give people easier options to make money in the ecosystem. So, it felt inevitable. It’s interesting because what I would love to know from the publisher’s perspective is if people are just seeing better monetization; or if they’re also seeing better organic adoption and acquisition because the tools that you have now as a developer in the Google Play marketplace are more sophisticated generally speaking, or they are in my eyes. I wonder how much that’s playing along.
Ian Sefferman: And Apple has no carrier billing anywhere in the world, is that right? I do wonder how much that impacts Google Play for the positive, and whether Apple needs to get something like that out.
Ryan Morel: Well, you don’t have to have a credit card, but I guess in the third world developing countries where there are no credit cards, Apple may be at a disadvantage. But do they care? I mean, because is there enough money in those countries to…?
Ian Sefferman: Yeah, that’s the question but it feels like we’re racing towards that inevitability.
Ryan Morel: Yeah, OK. Give a prediction for when you think Android will catch up monetization-wise.
Robi Ganguly: It’s 2014? I’d say four years.
Ryan Morel: Four years?
Ian Sefferman: I was going to halve that and go two.
Robi Ganguly: Two? Wow. Maybe, I guess. So maybe when you think about it, do you think about it in overall dollars it will catch up in two, or do you think in the average revenue?
Ian Sefferman: I was thinking the average revenue actually.
Robi Ganguly: Because that’s what I was thinking about it, and I think that dollars maybe .
Ian Sefferman: Yeah. The numbers are so much greater that it just kind of feels like the opportunity is there, and things happen a lot faster than we think they’re going to happen.
Ryan Morel: I’m going to go with Robi because I have a new theory that I just thought of. So if I’m Google and just the general Android community, I’m concerned about Samsung’s recent inability to make money and them getting undercut on the low end, or their ability to compete with Apple for the high end market. So, I wonder what sort of trickle down effect that has on the ecosystem as a whole, right? If good enough Android handsets become the norm. And there is no high end, then you would likely start to see another episode of the PC market where it’s they are just commodities people just don’t do much with them…
Ian Sefferman: That’s an interesting point.
Ryan Morel: That’s what I’d be worried about, so I’ll go with four. I don’t think the average revenue per user will ever catch up to Apple, but I think the sheer volume will. That’s my prediction. Anything else you want to add?
Ian Sefferman: No, I think it’s super interesting. We’re going to see if the future happens faster.
Robi Ganguly: It’s funny to think that the predictions we made two years ago; some of them could have been proven false. I don’t know if we’ve been right on them.
Ian Sefferman: Yeah. I would be dead wrong on almost everything.
Ryan Morel: Well, maybe what we should go back and check on our predictions.
Robi Ganguly: Oh, we did. We’re halfway through. We’ll have to go check in on that.
Ryan Morel: OK. Well, thanks for watching. Be sure to check out the other segments. Like this video, subscribe to our channel, and we’ll see you next time.