Top 5 Independent App Stores to Publish Your App On
Image courtesy of getjar.com
This is a guest post by Jimmy Wentz, a tech writer and gaming enthusiast from London. More about him at the bottom of this post.
So you have an idea for a great new app. You research your audience, get a team to design and code it, and then set your sights on Apple or Google for distribution. “Surely, success and sales are soon to follow” you say to yourself. Getting an app shipped is no easy feat in itself, but as you will soon realize, the work is not yet over. Learning a few app store optimization techniques and how to improve your app rating is essential to maximize your app’s discoverability.
However, you need not limit yourself to just Apple and Google, Blackberry or Microsoft’s official app markets. Delve a little deeper and you will find that there is an excellent selection of legitimate, third party app stores and directories that will aid you in the task of raising your app’s profile and getting it noticed by a wider audience.
Benefits of Publishing on Independent App Stores
These independent app stores can help you target specific audiences or markets in different parts of the world. Some can offer a better deal than the standard 70/30% split that is offered in official app stores like iTunes. Some will allow you to offer your app as a white label item. And some simply offer you a less cluttered space for your app to stand out.
Most of these indie app stores offer very good monetization options to entice more publishers towards their service. Case studies for apps like Guitar Solo, Go SMS, and Hungry Sharks Free can show the real world benefits of publishing on indie app stores. Others, like Amazon’s app store, offer in-app purchasing and an easy 1-click payment scheme that helps reduces friction in deriving more app revenues from users. We all know how app users can easily be turned off by long-drawn, multi-step actions that could have otherwise lead to a quick buying decision.
Then there is of course, the benefit of scale. Simply put, the more channels you put your app on, the higher the likelihood of it being discovered by your intended audience.
Hopefully by now you are already convinced of the huge potential of indie app stores in helping you get more revenues and downloads for your app. Below is my top-five pick for indie app stores to publish on (and one app distributor that ‘could-have-been’, just because).
Top 5 Independent App Stores
GetJar App Store
With more than 2 billion downloads to date and around 395,000 registered app developers and publishers, GetJar is the largest independent app store on the Internet today. Its substantial Android app offering alone (around 350,000 apps) can easily rival that on the Google Play market. These figures should give publishers a good idea of how effective GetJar is as an app distribution platform.
GetJar features a reward and virtual currency system known as GetJar Reward and GetJar Gold respectively. GetJar rewards allow users to earn reward points for personally recommending apps. These rewards can be used to purchase app upgrades, themes, and unlocks. The more users are rewarded, the more they will recommend your app to other users. GetJar Gold (earned every time a user downloads a new app) is a virtual currency that can be used to purchase premium apps. These reward systems, along with GetJar’s cross-platform compatibility, make it a top choice when looking for indie app stores to publish apps on.
The Amazon app store offers apps exclusively for Android and is a nicely presented site that features many of the most popular Android apps, including Angry Birds, Twitter, Fruit Ninja, Shazam, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to name but a few. It offers in total over 4,000 apps. As of March 2012, Amazon’s App store has overtaken Google Play and claimed the no. 2 spot in app store revenue generation (bested only by the iTunes store)
Most apps in the Amazon store are also available on the Android market, but Amazon provides access to another very large market of users. The Amazon App Store is easy to browse with simple access to ratings, reviews and screenshots by way of an Android handset simulator. One feature that sets this webstore head and shoulders above the rest is it offers a try-before-you-buy scheme, allowing your app to be tried out for size before purchasing by your prospective customers, a great way to ensure sales!
Image courtesy of androiddudes.com
The AndSpot App Store is an independent mobile application store that utilises social network sites to help users find apps that they really are interested in. AndSpot provides social networking features like activity feeds, profiles and recommendations so users can find apps based on what their friends like instead of searching through endless categories. Established in July 2010, AndSpot also offers a discussion board where users can discuss apps and features excellent privacy settings, allowing users to choose whether they want to share their apps or not, depending on which category they come under. It also offers a very competitive eighty percent of the revenue from their apps sold through its app store and developers don’t have to do anything additional to publish their apps on AndSpot.
Appolicious is an app store that allows the user to discover and share the latest and best iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android apps through social recommendations as well as user reviews and extra input from the Appolicious editorial team. The team posts ten new app articles per day with two video reviews. The site will make suggestions based on the apps that the user currently owns and the apps that the users followers own. Appolicious are a completely independent company, founded in 2009 and are not affiliated in any way with any mobile provider or app developer, ensuring an unbiased recommendation is always made.
CrackBerry deals exclusively with apps for the Blackberry market and is geared toward BlackBerry “users and abusers”. The site includes a "crack team” of bloggers who provide BlackBerry news, rumours, tips and reviews. With an almost slavish approach to the brand, the store even lists celebrity sightings of the mobile device. The site also offers software, games, ringtone and other downloads for BlackBerry users, and the user can even order accessories like Bluetooth headsets, carrying cases and replacement batteries.
In the CrackBerry Connect area of the store, members can create a CrackBerry profile, search other member profiles and swap BlackBerry PINs. New BlackBerry owners can access help forums and a beginner’s guide on the site. And, yes, there is even a rehab section that provides cures for “CrackBerry Thumb” and other woes that stem from an addiction to BlackBerries!
Chomp App Store – and one that got away
Image courtesy of wired.co.uk
I include this one more as a testimony of what could have been…Chomp is an app store built around a clever search engine that promises to find the user the apps they want. Chomp’s proprietary algorithm system learns the functions and topics of apps, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they’re called. Try searching for “puzzle games”, “kids games”, “expense trackers”, “tip calculators” or “chat” to start finding great apps. It gives the user the option to write reviews on the apps they have purchased and see a live stream of opinion from friends and expert “App Celebrities”. It also makes recommendations based on your reviews. Unfortunately, it was so good that Apple acquired it.
How are you currently distributing your app? Have you tried an independent app store?
About The Author
Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and the social media world.