Computerworld this week regarding mobile application revenue generation, and this time, it's not an iPhone success story - it's just the opposite. JR Raphael takes a look at one development firm that's actually earning more revenue via its Android application, a popular mobile game called Pocket Legends, than it is on iOS.There's an interesting case study over on
Not only is the game more profitable on the Android platform, its makers say, the Android users are more engaged, too. They play the game more often and click on more ads.
According the article, Spacetime Studios, the development firm behind Pocket Legends, a 3D MMO with hints of "World of Warcraft," says that its daily user activity on Android is more than twice that on iOS. It sees more downloads per day on Android (9,000 vs. 3,000-4,000 on iOS) and is used around three times more on Android compared with iOS.
The end result is that the game earns - get this! - 30-50% more revenue on Android than on iOS.
That's certainly a story you don't hear very much.
How? In-app Purchases, Virtual Goods, Ads
The game itself is free, as many Android titles are. The revenue it generates comes from in-app purchases and virtual goods, as well as mobile ads.
We already know that in-app purchases are a better form of monetization than mobile ads for mobile social networking and social gaming applications. And we know that in-app purchases are on a huge growth trend this year - expected to grow over 600% in 2011, to account for nearly 30% of all mobile app payments. So is it any surprise, really, to hear that such monetization is working? No.
What is surprising is to hear that the game's in-app purchases are higher on Android than iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), especially because iOS has had official support for in-app purchases for some time, while official support from Google for Android apps has still yet to launch. (It's expected this quarter). That means developers are currently using third-party services to fill their needs in this area for now.
Another factor in Spacetime's monetization scheme, it should be noted, is ads. Here, the trend it sees is higher clickthough on Android than iOS - again, up to three times as many clicks as on iOS. Comptuterworld quotes Spacetime CEO as saying: "this led us to stop advertising on Apple and throw all of our marketing dollars onto Android. It really just makes sense from a financial point of view."
Nope, that's not something you hear much either.
Outlier or Trend? You Tell Us
Of course, one case study, while interesting, does not make a trend. But this has to at least pique your interest. It certainly did ours.
Are you a mobile developer seeing similar revenue trends on Android vs. iOS? I'd like to know. Get in touch.