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“9Apps is Optimized for Local Network Conditions”

By: DT News Network
March, 25, 2017

Mobile Applications are the core feature of smartphone which pulls maximum engagement with the users as per their interest and need.9Apps is an online app platform which serves to over 250 million monthly active users.

DT spoke to Mr. Ebrahim Popat, Country Manager, 9Apps about their business operations, strategies and challenges. Below are some excerpts:  

DT: How do you see 9Apps business in India?

A: 9Apps is one of the most popular Android apps store with over 250 million monthly active users worldwide. As the world’s leading third-party app stores for Android apps and games, we see ourselves as a local app store in each of those countries. Apart from all the free apps available on Google Play, we provide local apps with more visibility, and offer better experience to local users with localized elements

Recently, we have entered the lucrative e-commerce space in India. 9Apps will now offer multiple and exciting new features on its app for shopaholics, along with providing abundant android apps and games. We are the first app marketplace to offer these services to users. With these features, we aim to become a one-stop solution for our users and help them shop smart. 9Apps is now much more than just a tool to download apps and games.

We offer Comparative Pricing where users can compare product prices from 8 different sellers – namely Paytm, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong, Askmebazar, Voonik and Shopclues on its app. The Discount Aggregation/Coupon Zone is a one-stop shop for all discounts and coupon codes available on 9Apps. Not just that - users also get a discount of value 50 INR for free when they sign up for Amazon via 9Apps. 

DT: What are the major challenges for you in the Indian Market? What are your plans to overcome those challenges?

A: According to our research, there are lots of challenges faced by independent and startup developers. It is not easy for them to get as much brand exposure for their apps as the big players can. UCWeb and 9Apps are committed to building a healthy ecosystem where local users can download quality app and games they like, and developers are able to enjoy fruitful financial return for providing excellent apps and games. 

Our studies show that new mobile apps that are embedded in local realities have a much better chance of success in addressing development challenges compared to applications transplanted from elsewhere. In particular, locally developed apps are much more likely to address concerns such as digital literacy and affordability, among others. 

DT: How do you see the recent tie up of 9Apps with Disney? What are your expectations from this?

A: We have tied up with Disney India’s Interactive business to host and promote over 300 popular mobile games from its gaming catalogue. As India’s most popular third-party Android app market, 9Apps will now showcase games that include Inside Out Thought Bubbles, Mickey Cup, Minnie Cake Factory, Toy Story: Smash It!, Where’s My Water?, Lion King, Cricket World Cup Fever, ABCD2, Arjun: The Prince of Bali and many more. It is the first time Disney has partnered with a third-party app market in India to promote some of its most popular games world-wide.   

DT: What are your targets for this financial year? Briefly share your marketing strategies to enhance your revenue.

A: We are in continuous talks with players across industries to provide value to our users. Recently, we got the rights to offer and promote Salman Khan’s debut game ‘The Salman Khan Game’ 2 weeks before it was available on any other platform. The game already clocked in 500,000 downloads in less than a month (on 9Apps alone). 

DT: What are your strategies to boost awareness among your business partners?

A: Our effort has been to provide quality content and services and promote localised and relevant apps and games in each country we operate in. Our homepage offers fresh content on a daily basis and we recommend apps based on your preferences and past choices. Our aim is not just to acquire more users but to engage with them deeply.

9Apps is optimized for local network conditions to guarantee a downloading experience to users even if they are in bad connection. Mobile payment is a big issue for India users. 9Apps has tied up with telecom players so that all in-app purchases are added to your monthly mobile bill, even if users do not have a credit card. 

Keeping in mind the challenges faced by Indian app industry, we have announced the launch of 9Apps Trends, India’s first comprehensive local app market monitoring service that provides app trends, data analysis and an in-depth market report. The monitoring tool will address the growing need for a comprehensive app industry analysis and help local app developers and distributors. 9Apps Trend is a public web facility with free access to all. We want to share the big data and our insights with the industry about mobile app user behaviour. The report will help Indian mobile users keep up with the trend, and enable app developers to perceive the ever-changing need in the market and twist their business tactics accordingly. 

DT: How do you manage wide range of applications?

A: While development of an app could be inexpensive, the challenge lies in overcoming the last mile constraint to reach the final user. 

We have launched the InDev Program – it aims to help Indian independent and startup developers with specially designed solutions, especially in user acquisition and monetization. The Program aims to help over 100 independent and small developers over the next 2 years. Some of the highlights of the InDev Program include zero cost promotion support for developers, 100% revenue sharing with qualified developers for a certain period of time, professional support and consultancy in testing, localization etc. InDev Program also sets up a Diamond Awards for qualified game and apps. 

We have also announced the launch of our Top Developer Program wherein we want to recoganise the good quality content from Indian developers and see how we can enable better distribution and monetisation for them. Also, we want to educate emerging studios and Indie developers with case studies and some growth hacks to help them scale up. 

With the right platform for distribution and monetisation, developers in India will come up with content and apps relevant for the Indian market – compact, localised and in regional languages.

DT: What are your future plans for Indian market?

A: UCWeb, which includes UC Browser, UC Union and 9Apps, is taking several steps to increase its appeal amongst the user base by offering localized content and services, UC Cricket and UC News being one of the many. We also want to be a platform for more app serving content or experiences. Apart from our app store, 9Apps, which also resides in the browser apart from being a native App, there are inbuilt apps such as video and audio player as well.

9Apps, as one of the most important products of UCWeb, is part of UC Open Platform - an ecosystem to help Indian mobile internet players acquire users and monetise traffic. 9Apps is committed to helping local developers with its data analysis, local mobile payment solution along with integrated promotion and branding opportunities. 

Recently, we entered the lucrative e-commerce space in India. 9Apps now offers multiple and exciting new features on its app for shopaholics, along with providing abundant android apps and games. We are the first app marketplace to offer these services to users. With these features, we aim to become a one-stop solution for our users and help them shop smart. 9Apps is now much more than just a tool to download apps and games.

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