Microsoft provides Windows Phone Marketplace status update

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.

Trial Use

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.

Results?

  • 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.

Ad Control

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.

Policies

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.

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8 Responses to Microsoft provides Windows Phone Marketplace status update

  1. Say what we will about the slow-moving update process from Microsoft, but they do seem to “get” developers in ways that Apple clearly does not. Apple has the advantage of lock-in with developer support, but Microsoft is clearly catering in many ways to assist developers with this platform. I think Apple could learn a few things from MS when it comes to the treatment of developers.

  2. kabukin0 says:

    I am really interested to see how the Microsoft app-model will fair against apple and google, for two primary reasons :

    1. Microsoft has always been an ecosystem, not of users, but of corporations. This is a totally different approach from apple and google, who have no inbetween layer between themselves and the user. One could say the google and apple model has no mid-level leadership, while microsoft seems to be better at collaborating with other brandnames. One example is facebook, another ciao, and I think we will see more. Another important example is how successful xbox was against wii and playstation, -my guess is that the reason for that is better business know-how.

    2. Ballmer has always stated that the browser is an important part of the phone, so one can expect the browser to do a lot of the job that is performed by apps on ios and android. I would assume the future holds a HTML5 appstore as part of live or xbox brands.

    • kabukin0 says:

      I’ll add something to this ;

      By offering trial apps Windows marketplace can do better in not serving “trash” apps to it’s customers. I haven’t got a count as to how many shit applications I’ve downloaded on my iOs device, paid for them, only to find them so shit I’ve uninstalled them. That does affect the statistics.

      Trial apps might not help Microsoft increase revenue due to users wondering weather or not to buy an app, and pherhaps choosing not to if it ain’t no good, -BUT it will in the long run probably help the ecosystem to not be crowded with 80% totally waste applications like on iOs. Bad applications simply won’t survive.

  3. lzandman says:

    I guess a lot of those trial downloads are converted into purchased ones, because the update mechanism still doesn’t work for trial apps. :-)

  4. masukuma says:

    I don’t understand what the problem is since its seems Microsoft is unable or unwilling to allow developers from some parts of Asia and Africa. (please note that this is the case with Azure) why not use existing frameworks? e.g. Paypal? – enable us to register via paypal not through some middleman who charges “credits” for each app publishing and republishing, unlocking the developer phone and even charges 20% over and above the 30% microsoft charges on revenues. P.S the middle man uses paypal….
    What did we ever do to you guyz!!

  5. Pingback: Microsoft provides Windows Phone Marketplace status update | My Windows Phone

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