Monetization of Mobile Applications
This session was a group interactive discussion on the topic “Monetization of mobile applications”. The session was moderated by Mr. Nikhil Pahwa, editor and publisher, Medianama. The panelists were Mr. Ashay Padwal; co-founder of Vserve, Mr. Dev Khare; Light Speed VenturePartners, Mr. Rajiv Kumar; founder Rocketalk, Mr. Jonathan Bill; SVP Vodafone India and Dr. Abhinav Mathur from Spice Labs. Mr. Pahwa requested each of the panelists to introduce themselves and tell how they were monetizing on their apps.
First panelist to introduce himself was Mr. Ashay Padwal, Co-Founder Vserve. He introduced Vserve as an ad-network thatworks with developers and helps them monetize their application. This is done via two networks: firstlythrough inbuilt ad network and secondly through post app download purchases. Theybelieve that a developer can have revenues from two sources, namely end user and advertiser.
When asked about how he is making money from his campaign, Mr. Padwal replied that when they run an advertising campaign for someone, they keep a percentage of profit in the ratio of 60-40 in favor of the developer. Also when there are try and buy campaigns or subscriptions for their apps, they keep a certain percentage for themselves. In simple words, if developer makes more money, they make more money.
Next panelist to introduce himself was Dr. Abhinav from Spice Labs, a company that is basically into developing casual apps. He said that the company though has longer history. They started with an idea of developing a platform for the developers to create apps but later on converged to developing an app store of their own with some custom apps for their customers. Initially they started developing apps for various platforms but then at one point of time narrowed down to the Blackberry app store. The main reason for this action was the freshness and potential of the blackberry app store.
For a long time they have received good support from blackberry users. They haverecently started developing apps android market and the I-phone market. Their main source of revenue has been through blackberry apps especially at the time when it was much more acceptable. Another revenue model, other than the ones described, is of the sponsored ads, shared Dr. Abhinav. Some brands even pay if you can drive some downloads.
Third speaker was Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Founder, Rocketalk. As had been told by Mr. Rajiv in the earlier sessions, it is a cloud based service that provides social media apps. With over 7 million users, Rocketalk could certainly boast of numbers. They provide rich user generated content to their users via voice, videos and photos etc.
Their monetization concept is a bit unique. They usually have their revenues from companies that use them to run competitions on Rocketalk platform. Also since they come preloaded on a variety of devices, they get a certain percentage on the per device sold basis. Also running ad campaigns is a certain revenue generator.
Our fourth panelist was Mr. Jonathan Bill, SVP-Innovation, Vodafone India. He has been in India since two years, before which he was in Egypt with Vodafone itself. Prior to that he was running a sale and advertising company. He was then asked on to share his view on the overall app market for India and the world and are there any numbers he would like to mention.
Mr. Bill replied to this by saying that U.S. and Europe might be largest market for smart phone apps, but as far as free Java app market is concerned, India is certainly a leader and thus has huge opportunity. It is also noteworthy, according to him that it is not only important to monetize your apps but to also create a sustainable valuation for your business.
Last panelist to introduce himself was Mr. Dev Khare, Light Speed Venture funds. It’s a global venture fund with offices in Silicon Valley, China, Israel and few other countries. They have a pool of over 700 million to invest in and have invested in 10 ventures so far in India. A mobile entrepreneur from background himself, Dev has been investing in the mobile enterprises since then.
He shared that when it comes to monetization, there are two layers. First one is how do you pay for an app and there are very few options to that. Second aspect is who pays: it can range from companies paying on consumer per month basis to a normal end user. These combinations can create a lot of different models for revenue of mobile applications.