What's Your Android Distribution Strategy?
Digital Innovation Gazette: Dollars & Distribution
By Tim Kridel for Digital Innovation Gazette
435,502. That’s how many Android apps were available on April 28, 2012. Depending on when you’re reading this, that number may have grown by at least 5,000.
Those numbers are good news for Android developers because a broad, deep and growing selection of apps helps attract more users to the platform. However, it can also be bad news -- or at least a challenge -- because the more apps there are, the more difficult it is to stand out from the pack.
How can you make sure your app gets noticed by Android users? Try these distribution strategies to overcome the challenge.
Play by Google’s Rules
Google Play’s online store and app both have an Editor’s Choice section on their opening page. Google doesn’t explain its selection criteria, but developers whose apps have made the cut say they’ve got a few hunches.
“As far as I could tell, Editor’s Choice and Staff Picks are exactly what they sound like: apps that people at Google happen to like,” says Sterling Udell, whose apps have been featured twice. “As with any other group of people, there’s no real way to predict what they’ll like, nor is there any published way of bringing potential candidates to their attention. It appears to be that they find apps just like anyone else, and they’ll feature those they like. And because the editors and staff are Googlers, apps that have geek appeal probably have a better chance.”
The editors and staff also seem to prefer apps that don’t play fast and loose with Google’s rules, particularly its terms of service. Quality also matters, including a user interface (UI) that looks great on any device.
Sell Through Amazon
Some developers say third-party stores such as Amazon’s are useful for making a sale, but not necessarily for getting on customers’ radar screens in the first place. “I’ve had a fair amount of sales from third-party stores -- enough to make them worth doing,” says Udell. “It’s generally quite hard to tell if they’re raising awareness of my apps, though.”