How developers can sell their App Outside the App Store -

Jul 5, 2024

The excitement of selling an app quickly wears off as developers discover that online the stores such as Google Play and Apple Store make up a significant portion of revenue.

It's also not a tiny amount -- it's 30 percent. This price is a huge burden and has forced developers looking for other solutions. The good news for those who are like you is that there are ways to distribute your application without having to split the profits with the mainstream media.

In this piece, we are going to discuss a method by which developers can circumnavigate the hefty 30% fee from the Google Play and Apple Store.

Let's dive in.

Pros and Cons of Utilizing the main App Distribution Channels

Before we get into alternative ways to distribute apps, let's take a glance at how traditional app channels work.

As we've mentioned before that these Google Play and Apple Store make up nearly a third of the revenue of every application sold on their platforms. However, that's not the only issue with distribution via these channels.

A majority of the apps that are available have distributors who offer their services. This means that there are a lot of apps sold via just two stores. This creates another problem What can developers do to make their apps stand out?

Aha! With advertising of course.

In addition to the 30percent fee distributors also pay for ads to have their app's visibility. A study of one case showed the true costs of advertising on apps. The firm took a 10k budget and divided it among four ad networks

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • iAds

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

 Image Source

When we consider adding this expense in addition to the distribution fees that are common and the distribution fee, we can see why developers are looking for alternatives. Many of the top downloaded applications, such as Spotify and Netflix, are distributed through Play and the App Store. But rather than having the distributor take care of charging, the apps have created their own system to manage their subscriptions.

And companies such as Epic Games have taken matters to their own and have made the game that is so popular Fortnite accessible to download from their site and on the Samsung Store. By doing so, they've managed to avoid the massive 30% cost of the major distributors.

The other advantages for selling outside of Google Play and Apple Store include:

  • Alternative distributors do not require a listing fee. Third-party app stores may promote your product better because you will have a higher likelihood of appearing as an app of the day, or on other promotional offerings
  • Alternatives make more money over Google as well as Apple stores, if app creators are offering localized apps with a specific focus on certain nations

However, there are upsides when you distribute apps through Google Play and Apple Store. The stores are not only considered by users to be a safe place to download and install apps, but they are also simple to deploy apps through the channels.

Spotlight: A Developer earns money selling outside the Big App Stores

The moment Christian Tietze started selling his products on the internet, he wanted two things: more money and more control.

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

  • 30percent revenue cost (excluding VAT)
  • You can't provide a demo
  • You can't provide upgrade pricing
  • You won't be able to meet your customers

He began to look for methods to make sales outside Mac App Store. Mac App Store.

 "Distributing through an App Store is convenient because anyone can access your app as well as download and update it all from one location," Tietze says.

 "On the negative side there is a loss of money with each transaction, you're bound to the strictly enforced App Store policies regarding Sandboxing, you cannot create special deals - and, if Apple disables your account then your company is closed.

 "This isn't something that happens often, but it can be a possibility."

Tietze says his (and several other developers indie) are distributing the apps they develop via their individual platforms. Tietze uses the platform to market his app, and the platform allows him to bundle sales, discounts, and an API for a customized store.

" has a storefront test on the web and from within the app if you do in-app purchase. It's a great way to test if your checkout works and also if the app changes between "locked" into "paid," he says.

The Wrapping Up

In terms of ways to distribute apps for app developers, it's evident that times are changing.

In the past, the two major players in the app game, Google Play and Apple Store held all the cards. If developers were looking to give their app a shot at succeeding, they had only one option: distribute their applications across these platforms, and then pay a 30 percent cost.

However, developers are taking back control of their applications 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 app stores or other stores, there are plenty of options that you can use to distribute your products. If you're looking to connect with those who are difficult to reach, distribute your app internally, or offer it for download in one click, the options are endless.

Remember that Google Play and Apple Store are a hit because millions of users around the globe are awestruck by them. With the sheer number of apps that are downloaded via different distribution channels every single day, it's clear customers are flexible when it comes to finding their ideal apps.

Check out how simple it is to transform your website into a shop using Examples. By using the examples, you will be able to create a variety of dummy stores to test the waters for the tool's capabilities of the Store Builder API. The examples also either provide links or documentation pages and CodePen-like demonstrations of source code.