On Why Google Doesn't Care About Paid Applications

Many developers, including myself, have wondered why Google doesn't put more emphasis on helping developers promote and sell their applications. At the launch of the Android Market, Google didn't launch with carrier-based-billing (they turned down this option, preferring to use their own Google Checkout at a later date). This decision forced many developers to give away their applications.

We all know Google would love to see more applications bought, driving in even more applications; but when it comes to backing this up with money and resources, Google seemingly falls short.

One problem I see is that there is no profit motive for Google to do so. They collect some small percentage with their Google checkout and then the carrier gets the lion share. So if sales of applications are poor, it doesn't affect Google's bottom line, it affects the carrier's.

We do, however, see a large number of free applications being downloaded. These developers are increasingly turning to solutions such as AdMob because sales of paid applications are so poor. And the more advertising banners that go into Android mobile applications, the more Google stands to gain, at the expense of the carriers. (The carriers get to pay for the network costs of the free downloads and embedded advertisements).

The next step is that the carriers will demand a percentage of the ad revenue and then everyone is now playing in Google's space. The problem we have now is that charging for applications is at odds with the expansion of mobile advertising. So why should Google put money and resources on something that is not in their long-term interest?

Services ?

The low hanging fruit may be for others to take. I am glad I found slideme.org, your signon process is dead easy. Thanks for filling this massive hole in Android.

Thanks, Fabian. We've worked

Thanks, Fabian. We've worked hard to fill the international niche that Google isn't addressing now. We are expanding out our site and adding more community features so that we can provide value, even after Google eventually moves into these other countries with the Android Market. Any ideas or suggestions for us, we definitely want to hear them.

Totally agreed

There's no monetary motivation for Google to promote Market, or support more payment options. They don't get 30% as Apple does. The Market, up to this date, is very disappointing. Coupled with weak DRM protection, I don't see many paid apps making money they should otherwise deserve. I've updated my apps to Free and use AdMob instead. It actually has more earning potential than my paid versions.

We've considered using AdMob

We've considered using AdMob for SAM but have some concerns that it will annoy users. Have you received any complaints about ads from your users?

No complaints for FREE apps so far

No complaints so far. I guess my apps are being used by only a few thousand people, and they are all FREE. That's the most I can provide at this moment: put in my time and energy to create apps that are selling for FREE, and hoping someday AdMob would make it back...

So far, I'm looking at 20cents to 40cents income a day for all my apps combined :(

Realised potential?

It is all very well having earning potential, but how much of it is actually realised. As I understand the model, users have to click through to the advertisers site for you to get any sort of credit, and then you have to accumulate enough credit before they have to pay you anything. So, while you may have thousands of active installations of your applications, how many will actually generate advertising revenue share for you? At only a few pennies a day (if that), is it worth the development effort? Has anyone got any hard numbers for how much money can be/has been earnt per thousand active installations?

What if i need to uninstall and reinstall?

Will there be an additional charge? Thanks in advance! Gene

Hi Gene, you can re-download

Hi Gene, you can re-download and install applications at no additional charge.

Promotional Versions


If I add a paid app to your market, how do I go about giving away a select number of promotional copies for free (I would like those copies to retain the slidelock DRM functionality to prevent forwarding).

Coupon System

Hi Keith,

This is part of the coupon system being implemented. As a registered developer of SlideME, you will be notified accordingly when this featured is implemented. This will also be part of SlideLock v2.x



Excellent! Any rough idea when we should expect that release? I have a lot of beta testers using my app, and I'll want to be able to give them coupons as soon as the app goes to the market.

Google stinks,< not exactly what I want to say.

Google purchased a building in Manhattan that set a muli-billion dollar record a land purchase in NYC!!!
Bought Motorola, wanted the patents didn't need the maintenance division resulting in large scale layoffs.
The management worships the DOLLAR and doesn't care about people they don't see. They need to pay more attention to the customers and less to to the investors, but that's not how a public company works.
If the company gets it's act together they will steamroll Verizon, ATT and any other threat
I predict that they will devour themselves internally with all levels of management devoting ALL their time to larger bonuses.
I wish the families of all those hard working Google employees good luck.