How Developers Can Sell Their App beyond the App Store --

Jul 5, 2024

The shine of distributing apps quickly fades when developers realize that the stores such as Google Play and Apple Store make up a significant portion of earnings.

And it's not a small amount -- it's 30%. This price is a huge burden and has forced developers looking for other options. The good news for developers like you is, there is a way to market the app with no need to split the profits with the mainstream media.

In this piece, we are going to cover one way that developers could avoid the 30 percent fee charged by Google Play and Apple Store.

Let's take a dive.

The Pros and Cons of Utilizing Mainstream App Distribution Channels

Before we get into alternative ways of distributing apps Let's look at how the mainstream apps work.

As we've already pointed out previously, Google Play and Apple Store take nearly a third of the profits of each app sold through their stores. But that isn't the only issue with distribution via these channels.

A majority of the apps that are available have distributors who offer their services. There are a lot of apps distributed through just two sites. Another issue: how do distributors make their applications stick out?

Aha! Through advertising, naturally.

Alongside the fee of 30 the distributors pay for ads to have their app's visibility. A study of one case showed the true costs of advertising on apps. The company took a $10k budget and distributed it over four different advertising networks:

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Ads from iAds

The cost per application installed ranged between $1.43 all the way to $5.36.

 Image Source

When we consider adding this expense on top of the standard distribution fee It's clear the reasons why developers are seeking other options. Many of the top downloaded apps, like Spotify and Netflix, are distributed through Play and App Store. However, rather than letting the distributor handle the charging, the apps have developed their own billing system to manage their subscriptions.

Companies like Epic Games have taken matters into their own hands and released the world-famous game Fortnite exclusively available for download on their website as well as in the Samsung Store. By doing so they've gotten around the huge 30% charge that the main distributors charge.

The other advantages that selling outside the Google Play and Apple Store include:

  • Alternative distributors do not charge an app listing fee. App stores that are third party can help promote your product better since you stand a greater chance of getting featured as your app of the week or in other promotions
  • Alternatives make more money than Google as well as Apple stores if app owners offer localized apps with a specific focus on certain nations

But there are benefits when you distribute apps through Google Play and Apple Store. The stores are not only trusted by customers as secure download locations, but it's also easy to deploy apps through the channels.

Spotlight: How One App Developer Makes Money Selling Outside the Big App Stores

When Christian Tietze started selling his items online, he was looking for to make cash as well as more control.

Tietze shared his experiences in a blog post on his website. He found several issues with selling through the Mac App Store, including:

  • 30% revenue cost (excluding VAT)
  • You can't provide a demo
  • You can't provide upgrade pricing
  • You don't get to know your clients.

So, he started looking for ways to sell outside of his Mac App Store.

 "Distributing via using the App Store is convenient; anyone can access your app as well as download and update it from one central place," Tietze says.

 "On the flip side the other hand, you'll lose money with each transaction, and you're bound by the strictly enforced App Store policies regarding Sandboxing, you cannot create special offers - and if Apple removes your account from its store then your company is closed.

 "This doesn't happen often, however it could occur."

Tietze states that the developer (and numerous other independent developers) have chosen to distribute the apps they develop on their individual platforms. Tietze uses the platform to market his application, and the platform gives him the tools to provide bundled sales, discounts as well as a store API that is custom.

" has a storefront test online and within the application when you make in-app purchase. It's a great way to test whether your payment method works, and if your app transitions from "locked" into "paid," he says.

Wrapping Up

With regards to the apps and distribution options to developers, it's obvious that things are evolving.

At one time, the two major players in the app game, Google Play and Apple Store had all the chips. If developers were looking to give their app a shot at being successful, they would have no choice but to distribute their apps across these platforms, and then pay a 30 per cent fee.

But, app developers are now returning control over their apps--and revenue streams.

If you decide to use a full-service partner like to sell your apps directly from your website, or make them available through alternative storefronts, there are other options out there for you to distribute your products. Whether you want to reach customers in hard-to-reach demographics and distribute your app within the company, or offer it as a one-click download, the options are endless.

Remember to remember that Google Play and Apple Store are a hit because millions of people around the globe are awestruck by their services. But with the number of apps being downloaded through different distribution channels every single daily, it's evident that users are tolerant in discovering the best apps for them.

It is possible to see how simple to turn your website into a shop with the help of Examples. By using the examples, you will be able to set up different dummy stores to test the waters about the capabilities of store builders. Store Builder API. Examples also include or link to documents and CodePpen-like demonstrations of source code.