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Outfit7 has generated more than 2 billion downloads of its goofy apps like Talking Tom, which lets you talk with a funny voice. Now it is taking what it has learned about app discovery and offering a new service, dubbed Bee7, to help other game developers.
Bee7’s mission is to help other Android game developers cross-promote their free-to-play Android titles and improve app discovery, which is a huge problem with app stores that have more than a million selections. But Bee7 is also focusing on helping developers retain users and make them more loyal by motivating them to return to the original app. Roughly 98 percent of Android games are free-to-play titles.
Here’s how it works: Bee7 cross-promotes a developer’s app in an ad in a game published by Outfit7, which has more than 230 million monthly active users. The ad will say something like “Do you want to try Swamp Attack?” The user installs the game, plays it, and earns coins. The player can collect those coins by returning to Talking Tom (or other Outfit7 app), which creates a permanent shortcut to play Swamp Attack. Bee7, which is a division of Outfit7, takes a percentage of the revenue from the new installation, which is financed by ad spending.
John Rankin, managing director of London-based Bee7, said in an interview with GamesBeat that in the past seven weeks, Bee7 has grown to more than 500,000 installs a week via 160 game developers who are using its cross-promotion tool.
“We believe rewarding loyalty is by far the best form of cross-promotion,” Rankin said.
Developers win because they can access inventory from hundreds of millions of active app installs from Outfit7 and its third-party publisher partners. Gamers win because they get non-intrusive way to discover new games and they get rewarded for playing games they like.
Rankin said that Bee7 isn’t in the business of serving ads that disrupt the user experience and annoy players, as it delivers game ads to game players. Bee7 both monetizes and engages players who don’t pay, as it improves engagement with an app even if users don’t typically make in-app purchases. It increases retention up to 40 percent compared to other ad-based promotions, Rankin said.
Outfit7, headed by chief executive Samo Login, has 140 people working on games and apps, while Bee7 has 20 people in London, Singapore, and San Francisco. Rankin joined four months ago to create Bee7 as a separate business.
“We’ve grown exponentially in the last seven weeks,” Rankin said.
Developers integrate the Bee7 software development kit into their app. Those who do so before March 31 will get a special promotional deal. Rankin said that Bee7 targeted Android because developers struggle to make money on that platform, in comparison to iOS. That said, Rankin said the company will explore doing the service on Apple’s platform as well.
“There are many talented game developers out there who are simply not able to make money on Android. Before Bee7, there hasn’t been a proven way to build an audience of loyal and engaged gamers for most developers. Bee7’s philosophy is to give the tens of thousands of smaller developers the same opportunity to grow that well established studios already have,” Rankin said.
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