These days, it takes much more to sell an app. It used to be good enough to build something that simply did what it was supposed to and didn't crash too often. Over time, users came to expect better performance, lower power consumption, and an attractive interface. Even those things aren't always good enough because many apps are presented with high quality demo videos. How can independent developers and small teams compete with companies that can pay for high-end shoots and professional models? A new service called PlaceIt might be able to help. Developers can submit screenshots or recordings to PlaceIt and have high resolution photos and videos generated on the spot, and it gives the appearance that real people are using the app. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
It's been more than six months since we revealed changes in the code of the YouTube Android app that indicated the long-rumored YouTube streaming service was imminent. So what's the holdup? A rocky relationship between YouTube and independent music publishers may be to blame. Late last week the Worldwide Independent Network, a trade organization for indie musicians and labels, issued a press release decrying Google's treatment of independent labels.
The press release explicitly states that YouTube has approached labels both big and small with contracts for a new music service... and that the terms being offered to independents, or at least those represented by WIN, are unfair. Read More
One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.
Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps. Read More
Well, this might be one of the most (potentially) awesome stories we cover this week. GameFly, the company best known for setting up a Netflix-style gaming rental service, has announced that it plans to open up a third-party gaming store on iOS and Android (think TegraZone, but with less hardware tie-ins). This would, presumably, be in addition to the already-existing GameFly app. Additionally, the company has "set aside a game development fund" that it will use to fund game developers with great ideas, but less cash flow. This is fantastic news.
For starters, the transition from game rental service to distributor is a huge move for GameFly. Read More