Software and applications are big business. Especially for mobile operating systems, the better your applications are the more attractive you are to potential customers. The question is, how do you make it attractive for developers to design for your systems? Like any other customer, make their lives easier.
1) Tools: Provide tools that developers need and want
Part of this includes creating and supporting tools to track their popularity and income. Having tools that cover other operating systems may be worthwhile to keep engaging with your developers. For example, there are a number of companies that help track a developer’s revenue across platforms at a cost but could be provided by the operating system company to keep their developers happy.
This tracking of revenue could also include revenue from advertising. Ad revenue can come from the application stores directly or an advertising agency – depends on the ad stream model. Integrating this with revenue from application sales and presenting to developers would make the developer’s life easier and more predictable. Seeing the financial impact of additions, revisions and advertising in near real time is an encouragement for developers.
2) Profit Sharing: Provide developers an attractive share in profits
Apple takes 30% of developer’s revenue. Android and Blackberry allow developers to walk away with more of their revenue but in the past these operating systems have not been as popular. Apple users are more likely to pay for applications and pay more per application then other operating system users. This doesn’t take into account advertising revenue. As Android has taken over as the more popular operating system, the expectation of having applications at no cost or a really low cost has still persisted.
Part of this also means showing developers the exact amount they will be getting a check for in the mail rather than having it be a surprise.
3) Marketing: Help identify how to advertise their products…and make more money
Many developers do not spend the time or money required to advertise their applications. A number of them also don’t know they need to advertise or how to advertise their applications. Offering a way to make this top of mind and easy for developers is invaluable. If developers are able to sell more of their applications and make more money they will continue developing products for your operating system.
If your customers have the tools to support themselves then they will support you. Like any business, the best way to keep your employees and customers happy is to make their lives easier. Support them as they do what they’re good at.