莫克曾就职于Glu Mobile公司，见证了该公司手机游戏的鼎盛时期，所以对App Store之前被迫中断的运营模式颇有研究。他认为，“苹果对这一行业做出了不少贡献，但也摧毁了应用定价，引起了竞相杀价……越多人打价格战，应用品牌价值就流失得越快。开发商要注意的是，强大的产品或品牌确实物有所值，而且这个价值是通过价格反映出来的。”
GetJar’s Patrick Mork explains THAT Angry Birds deal
As mobile entertainment coups go, bagging an exclusive on the free, ad-supported version of Angry Birds for Android takes some beating.
That’s what GetJar did today, having struck a deal with developer Rovio to launch its smash-hit game for Google-powered handsets.
GetJar’s site has been manfully struggling to cope with the load ever since – more than 90,000 people downloaded the game in a matter of seconds when it first went live.
ME talked to Patrick Mork, chief marketing officer at GetJar, to find out how the deal came about, and how it fits with the independent app store’s strategy going forward.
“As we’ve always said, downloads of content should be free,” says Mork.
“You can’t expect consumers to pay for content before they download it. The industry is still too new for this, and consumers don’t know what they are paying for. That said, we realise premium publishers still need to monetise games.”
It’s a dilemma for GetJar. On the one hand, it’s keen to offer more premium games and (paid) apps through its store, yet on the other, it doesn’t currently have a billing platform, and judging by Mork’s comments, is philosophically opposed to the idea of having one.
“We’ve made a fundamental change in our strategy on billing,” he continues. “We won’t develop a billing platform of our own or offer billing directly on GetJar.com. Instead, we will let any developer choose any billing provider they like and integrate it into their game.”
In other words, developers can offer their games for free through GetJar, and then use any payment provider they like to sell content in-game – Mork stresses that they will then keep 100% of the revenues (less whatever cut the payment provider takes, obviously).
Instead, GetJar will continue with its ‘pay-per-download’ advertising business model, where developers pay the company for placement on its portal.
“Premium content is our next big push, and we’ll be announcing partnerships in the near future for developers to team up with the right people to be able to sell their content directly on GetJar,” he says.
Naturally, Mork doesn’t name names, but ME wonders if PayPal could be in the frame for this kind of partnership, having already signified its intentions in the mobile content sector with a deal with Scoreloop.
What does the Angry Birds deal say about ad-supported business models, though? It seems like a big vote of confidence from Rovio that Google/AdMob ads will make it plenty of money on Android.
“Payments outside iPhone simply don’t cut it, and this is hurting developers’ ability to monetise their content,” says Mork.
He says GetJar believes that currently, paying for games and apps on non-iOS platforms is too fragmented, complex and difficult for consumers, and while these problems will eventually be solved, advertising is a tempting option right now.
“Ad-supported helps consumers download for free, which is the easiest way to generate adoption of content,” he says.
“It’s clearly starting to be a viable business model for developers who are fed up of waiting for silver-bullet billing solution to arrive.”
However, he points out that the smarter developers will use a combination of different business models to make money from their games, with advertising just one of those.
“The trick is to get enough scale in distribution so developers can make real money from the CPMs,” he says.
With GetJar having generated tens of millions of downloads from non-game apps like eBuddy and Nimbuzz, clearly scale is one of its key selling points.
Free Angry Birds on Android is undeniably appealing for consumers, but is there a danger that this kind of offer could be harmful to the wider premium games market?
After all, if people can get a game as addictive as Angry Birds for free, won’t they seek out more free games, and be more resistant to paying?
“The truth is that in many cases, publishers have been their own worst enemies,” says Mork.
“If you look at the App Store, you see top branded games now going for 99 cents. This is driven by a relentless focus on topline revenue numbers by some publishers, but does erode brand value.”
Mork’s previous job was at Glu Mobile in its branded mobile games heyday, so he had a good view of the pre App Store models, which have since been heavily disrupted.
“For all the good Apple has done the industry, it has also destroyed pricing and created a race to the bottom,” he says.
“As more people compete on price, even brands lose value. What developers need to understand is that a strong product and/or brand does have value, and that value should be reflected in the price.”
It’s a nuanced argument: GetJar will not be offering its own billing platform, but Mork thinks publishers need to stand up for the value of their premium games – and its upcoming partnerships will presumably help them do it on GetJar.
“Smart publishers are already making episodic content or downloadable levels that allow them to monetise in small pieces but over a longer period of time,” he says.
“We think this is the future. Games should be like TV series: episodic. Combine that with a solid third-party billing solution and global distribution, and there is reason to be bullish on the future of the mobile games business.”（source:mobile-ent）