It’s official. Alternative Android App Stores are no longer a niche.
App Annie, in their Market Forecast for 2016-2021, estimates that by the time 2017 ends, third-party Android App Stores will account for 70 Billion downloads worldwide, a whooping 40% of all Android app downloads!
How did we get here? First, the Android boom has been a global phenomenon in the true sense of the word. Earlier this year, TheVerge reported that almost 450M mobile devices were shipped in the 4Q of 2016 alone. Of these, 80% were Android devices, and this growth is being fuelled by emerging markets. One needs to look no further than Aptoide to understand this: Of Aptoide's 200M users, 60% come from emerging markets.
This rapid expansion of the Android market has meant new opportunities, but also new challenges. On one hand, the sheer number of apps available for Android makes it very hard for new apps to get visibility of any kind. Clutter is becoming an issue, and Google Play has not been innovating enough to effectively tackle these new Discovery Challenges.
On the other hand, and more to the point of this post, new markets bring new users, with different preferences and financial behaviours, meaning new Monetization Challenges. Once again, Google has not been able to keep up with the market, and once again, Aptoide is a good measuring stick: 25% of Aptoide’s user base does not have access to Google Play Services, either because they live in a country, or have a device, that does not support them.
Alternative App Stores are an answer to the evolving needs of users and developers alike. So how exactly does Aptoide fit into this?
To help developers overcome these new Discovery Challenges, Aptoide has built its own In-App Billing (IAB) solution, which is built precisely to complement Aptoide’s user base, therefore help users make the most of their apps, and help developers monetise previously inaccessible users.
The basis of Aptoide's IAB value proposition are local payment methods.
We are always looking to add new payment methods that fit our user base and are quality, trust worthy partners, in order to make it easy, seamless and safe for anyone who wishes to make the most of their apps and games.
To see how this can have a real impact on users, and a tangible benefit for developers, we’ll show how two of the fastest growing Android Markets require a local approach:
→ Brazil sports almost 70M Android users, by all measures a large market ripe for monetisation. However, looking more closely at user trends, we see that, according to Forbes, 1 in every 3 online transactions are made using Boleto, a local, bank-transfer based method that is exclusive to Brazil. So the amount of money being left on the table by Google Play is significant. By working with BoaCompra, Aptoide guarantees Boleto, and a variety of local cards to complement the international credit cards Google Play users can access.
→ Southeast Asia is one of our most rapidly growing regions, and countries like Indonesia threaten to crack the top 5 markets on Aptoide in the near future. TechInAsia reports that, for that country alone, smartphone users were more than 100M last year. However, credit card penetration in Indonesia is even more bleak. According to Adyen research, credit and debit card penetration in Indonesia is 15%. Once again, Aptoide partners with MOL, a flagship online payment with a strong presence in the region to allow users across Southeast Asia to experience their apps and games to the fullest.
We also pay attention to developers’ needs, and understand their pain of managing different app builds in parallel. That is why we’ve made our solution extremely simple, requiring only minimal changes from the standard Google Billing, and involving no SDK integration. Inquisitive minds can learn more about our IAB solution and read our migration guide here.
As the Android market matures, alternative App Stores can be a decisive channel to bring emerging markets into the fold. They can bring tangible, and much needed, value for developers and users alike, and Aptoide is leading the way when it comes to IAB innovation!
We are excited to explore all the possibilities emerging markets bring to the app economy, so stay tuned, because we’re just getting started!