How developers can sell their App beyond the App Store --

Jul 5, 2024

The shine of distributing applications quickly fades once developers learn that the stores such as Google Play and Apple Store take a chunk of the earnings.

The price isn't a modest amount -- it's 30%. It's a significant price that has developers searching for alternatives options. The good news for those who are like you is that there are options to sell your app without having to split the profits with the mainstream media.

In this post, we are going to examine a way developers can avoid paying the 30% fee from the Google Play and Apple Store.

Let's take a dive.

The pros and cons of using Mainstream App Distribution Channels

Before we dive into other ways to distribute apps we'll take a glance at how traditional app channels work.

As we've mentioned before previously, Google Play and Apple Store take nearly a third of the earnings of any app that is sold via their stores. However, that's not the only issue with distribution through these channels.

A majority of the apps that are available use these distributors to sell their products. There are a lot of apps distributed through just two sites. This creates another problem: how do distributors make their applications stick out?

Aha! By advertising, of course.

In addition to the 30percent fee the distributors pay for ads to have their app's visibility. One case study found the true price of app advertisements. The business took a $10,000 budget and spread it across four different ad networks:

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

The results found the cost per application installed ranged between $1.43 up to $5.36.

 Image Source

If we add this cost to the mainstream distribution fee, it's easy to see the reasons why developers are seeking other options. A few of the most popular apps, like Spotify and Netflix can be found on Play and App Store. Instead of letting the distributor handle the charging, the apps have designed their own systems to manage their subscriptions.

Companies like Epic Games have taken matters in their own hands and released the world-famous game Fortnite accessible to download via their website as well as in the Samsung Store. By doing so, they've managed to avoid the hefty 30% fee of the major distributors.

Other advantages that selling outside the Google Play and Apple Store are:

  • Alternative distributors do not charge an app listing fee. Third-party app stores can promote your product better as you have a better chances of being featured on an app of the day, or as part of other promotion offerings
  • Alternatives make more money than Google or Apple stores when app developers are offering localized apps which target certain countries

There are advantages when you distribute apps through Google Play and Apple Store. Not only are the stores are regarded by consumers as a safe place to download and install apps, but they are also simple to deploy apps through the channels.

Spotlight: How One App Developer earns money selling outside the Major App Stores

The moment Christian Tietze started selling his products online, he wanted to make money and greater control.

Tietze shared his experience in a post on his blog. Tietze found a number of issues when selling in the Mac App Store, including:

  • Cost of revenue 30% (excluding VAT)
  • You can't provide a demo
  • You can't provide upgrade pricing
  • It's impossible to get to know the people who are your customers

So, he started looking at ways to market outside Mac App Store. Mac App Store.

 "Distributing via an App Store is convenient; everyone can see your product and download, update and download all from one location," Tietze says.

 "On the negative side, you lose more money with each transaction, you're bound to the strictly enforced App Store Sandboxing policy, you cannot create special deals - and, if Apple shuts down your account, your business is effectively ended.

 "This does not happen very often, but it can be a possibility."

Tietze says the developer (and many other indie developers) are distributing their apps on their individual platforms. Tietze uses the platform to market his application, and the platform provides him with the ability to bundle sales, discounts, as well as a store API that is custom.

" has a storefront test on the web and from within the app for in-app transactions. That's very convenient to see whether your payment method works, and if your app transitions between "locked" and then "paid," he states.

Wrapping Up

With regards to the apps and distribution options for developers, it's clear that times are changing.

The two principal players in the app game, Google Play and Apple Store had all the chips. If app developers wanted to offer their apps a chance at success, they had the option of distributing their apps across these platforms and pay the 30% charge.

Developers are however getting back in control of their applications and the revenue streams.

Whether or not you choose a full-service provider selling your app directly through your site or distribute them using alternative storefronts or other stores, there are plenty of options available to market your product. If you're looking to connect with customers in hard-to-reach demographics, distribute your app internally, or offer it with a single-click download option There are many options to choose from.

Keep in mind that Google Play and Apple Store are a hit because millions of users around the globe trust these platforms. However, with the amount of apps being downloaded through other distribution options every daily, it's evident that users are flexible in discovering the best apps for them.

You can check how easy to turn your website into a shop by using Examples. Using the examples, you can create a variety of dummy stores in order to gain a feel for the tool's capabilities of the Store Builder API. These examples contain or include links to the documentation pages or CodePen-like examples of code.