Google Play doesn’t monetize? It does for free-to-play games that use carrier billing

Contrary to popular belief, Android isn’t brimming with freeloading tightwads. Purely relying on initial purchase revenue doesn’t paint the whole picture: take into account ad-based revenues, in-game purchases (of which there aren’t ominous platform-specific restrictions cough), and a multitude of app store sources, many of which aren’t counted in ‘official’ reports, and you can see how the results may have been skewed.

On a side note, I’m happy to purchase apps where possible, not because it’s relatively cheap, but because often, the developers are people just like you and me who deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. Plus there is a 15 minute window to try-before-you-buy apps on the Play Store. I know far more mobile app pirates using jailbroken iOS devices than Android devices – and they aren’t exactly poor either – go figure.

“Andreessen Horowitz-backed TinyCo released figures showing for every dollar its free-to-play game Tiny Village generates on iOS, it earns 65 cents on Google Play. Removing tablets from the equation, the number rises to 82 cents on the dollar. Overall, TinyCo’s Android earnings are much closer to Spry Fox’s than they are to what Flurry estimates the average Google Play ARPU is.

Glu Mobile is another company reporting Android revenues higher than analyst estimates. Although only 30 percent of Glu’s total free-to-play smartphone revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011 came from Android, both platforms deliver a similar ARPU according to the company’s SVP of sales and marketing, Adam Flanders. Glu is also seeing its Android conversion rate continually improve, something Flanders credits to Google Play bringing in more credit card through its store-wide sales and Google Check Out’s expansion of international carrier billing options.”

Google Play doesn’t monetize? It does for free-to-play games that use carrier billing


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