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Tapjoy criticises "terrible" Apple policy change

CEO argues banning pay per install apps restricts consumer choice and dev revenue

Mihir Shah, CEO of app distribution company Tapjoy, has criticised Apple's policies regarding pay per install promotions.

Speaking at VentureBeat's MobileBeat conference yesterday, Shah explained that Apple is diminishing the amount of revenue his developers can make with iOS applications, and reducing options available to consumers.

Pay per install apps offer the user incentives to install other applications, usually in the form of virtual currency, with the revenue shared between the developers. However, Apple banned the pratice in March over fears that it offered those developers an unfair advantage in breaking into the top 25 apps.

Shah argued that pay per install promotions are a valid way of bringing new content to consumers. Of the 25 billion "user sessions" Tapjoy delivered in the first six months of this year, around 141 million resulted in a "conversion" - the user installed an app or clicked on an advert.

More importantly, Shah claimed, 30 percent of those users were still engaging with their chosen app 30 days later.

The number of ads available to consumers on iOS has dropped significantly since Apple's policy change. Shah believes this does the consumer a "disservice", and makes the freedom offered by Android an increasingly attractive proposition.

"As you squeeze user choice, those users have less choice to engage in great content. The good news is when you have a really open platform like Android, and you can give more high-quality choices, your transaction volumes go up."

According to Shah, the average Tapjoy user spends nearly five times more on Android than iOS, which means more revenue for developers.

"It's terrible what Apple has done. We will play nice within their rules, because we have to - but I disagree with them strongly."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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