Today, third-party mobile application store GetJar is publicly launching its GetJar Gold service, which has been in beta testing for the past month. The new service presents a viable challenge to Amazon’s Appstore and its time-limited “free app of the day” by offering an entire catalog of premium Android applications for free. The apps are high quality, ad-free and are available for download at any time.
At launch, GetJar Gold will feature 50 titles, including Fruit Ninja THD, Age of Zombies, TuneIn Radio Pro, Solo, and Splashtop Remote Desktop. Their combined value is around $60.00. GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs says that new apps will be added daily. In fact, the company has nearly closed a deal with another big “recognizable” name in the mobile app industry, but cannot disclose details at this time. (Please be Angry Birds!)
Only premium (paid) applications without in-app ads are considered for the new store, which operates under a different model than the retail app stores from Apple, Google and Amazon. Elsewhere, developers share a percentage of their premium app’s sales with app store provider, usually in a 70/30 (developer/app store) split.
With GetJar, however, the company pays the developers for the applications on a per install basis, which ensures developers get paid. GetJar, in turn, generates revenue by offering sponsored listings within GetJar Gold to other application developers.
Using a model similar to Google AdSense, developers bid on how much they are willing to pay per install. The bids can be as low as 1 cent or as high as $1.50 to $2.00 per user. The higher the bid, the higher the ranking in the GetJar Gold search results. Also like Google, sponsored apps are clearly labeled and highlighted using a different color (blue).
Says Laurs, this model works because mobile users tend to download more than one application per session. Consumers also happy to try out the sponsored apps when relevant to their interests. But most importantly, this model works because when apps are free, users are more likely to download them – 10 to 20 time more likely, GetJar finds.