Todd Brix posted some information today about “policy shifts” on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. There’s a lot of info here, but it’s nothing earth-shattering from what I can see:
We’re seeing strong results across several fronts; from the number of available apps and popularity of our tools, to more tangible developer benefits stemming from monetization opportunities that drive downloads and sales.
Windows Phone Marketplace currently offers more than 9,000 quality apps and games and enjoys a base of over 32,000 registered developers, delivering an average of 100 new apps every day. The Windows Phone Developer Tools have now been downloaded more than one million times, and we recently announced an update to let developers take advantage of OS updates such as the addition of copy and paste functionality.
We’ve been doing some analysis that we wanted to share with the Windows Phone developer community around trial use and ad monetization to incorporate into your new app or app update plans.
The Windows Phone platform enables developers to easily add a configurable Trial capability to their application. Our theory when building this capability was that more users would consider and buy apps if they could try the app out first to see if they like it.
- Users like trials. Paid apps that include trial functionality are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps that don’t include trial functionality, expanding the number of potential customers to purchase the full paid version.
- Trials result in higher sales. Nearly 1 out of 10 trial apps downloaded convert to a purchase and
- generate 10 times more revenue, on average, than paid apps that don’t include trial functionality.
- Trial downloads convert to paid downloads quickly. More than half of trial downloads that convert to a sale do so within one day, and most of those within 2 hours.
Of course some apps do much better, and some worse, depending on the quality and nature of the app, but the trial functionality grows customer exposure and revenue substantially for most developers.
While it is still early days, we are also seeing some exciting results from developers taking advantage of theAd Control. Since the release of our Ad Control for Windows Phone 7 last September, developers have been increasingly enjoying success building ad supported Windows Phone 7 apps, for example:
- Roughly ¼ of all registered U.S. WP7 developers have downloaded the free Ad SDK for Silverlight and XNA
- Of ad funded apps in the Marketplace, over 95 percent use the free Microsoft Advertising Ad Control
- Monthly impressions from our Ad Exchange has continued to grow by double digits – impressions increased by nearly 400 percent just since January
To ensure app developers are getting the most out of advertising and the Ad Control, the first wave of “How Do I” videos are now available on MSDN.
Global Publisher Program
As Windows Phone 7 continues to evolve as a platform, we will continue to expand the opportunities for developers. One area of focus for us is reaching developers in more countries and regions around the world. To that end, I’m pleased to announce today a new Global Publisher Program. This program will enable developers worldwide to work with a Global Publisher to submit apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Developers from countries and regions all over the world can now submit apps and games to the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Finally, we’ve been revisiting a few of our Marketplace policies based on feedback from developers to reduce friction and cost:
1. We have raised the limit on the number of certifications that can be performed for FREE apps at no cost to the registered developer from five to 100. This was a common request from developers which we are glad to implement after building alternate methods to ensure that users can find and download high quality apps.
2. We have converted policy 5.6 – related to the inclusion of contact information for support – from a mandatory to an optional policy. This is still a strongly recommended best practice, but we recognized and responded to developer feedback that this policy was creating excessive drag on the certification process for developers without commensurate user benefit for all apps.
3. We also understand the desire for clarification with regard to our policy on applications distributed under open source licenses. The Marketplace Application Provider Agreement (APA) already permits applications under the BSD, MIT, Apache Software License 2.0 and Microsoft Public License. We plan to update the APA shortly to clarify that we also permit applications under the Eclipse Public License, the Mozilla Public License and other, similar licenses and we continue to explore the possibility of accommodating additional OSS licenses.