The daily deal model has become a popular way to save a buck on local merchant services. But what about deals on mobile apps? TapZilla, a Y Combinator-backed company that launches to the public today, is taking the daily deal model and applying it to discounts on paid mobile apps.
Here’s how it works. Each day, TapZilla features a paid iOS app. For example, today’s app is Tehra Dark Warrior, which costs $0.99 in the App Store. To get the deal, you click on the “get App Now” button, which will then prompt TapZilla to ask for your email. The startup will send you an email with a link to the app in the App Store where you can purchase the app and a coupon code.
Once you purchase and download the app, you’ll be prompted to enter the coupon code once you enter into the App’s interface (You can also prompt the App by shaking the phone as well). Once you enter the code, TapZilla will automatically put the $0.99 in the buyer’s PayPal account. Users also have the option of accumulating rebate money towards a iTunes gift card.
On the back end, developers only need to insert a snippet of code in their app to track the downloads and coupon codes. Usually the discount is 100 percent, allowing the paid app to be free for users. While in closed beta for the past three weeks, TapZilla has been able to drive an average of 250 downloads per day; and in some cases as much as 1,000 downloads in a day. The site has given away over 10,000 paid over the past three weeks. TapZilla makes money by charging developers $1 per download.
While only iOS apps are featured for now, TapZilla will soon launch a vertical for Android apps. The idea of offering daily discounts for paid apps totally makes sense as a rebate model. Not only does it promise a quick way to gain downloads for app developers, but the cost of each download is relatively cheap. Sounds like a win-win to me.