Ka-Glom! How Magmic monetizes and amplifies their addictive apps and games with BlackBerry


BlackBerry DevCon Americas Speaker

Monetizing Freemium Products to Work for You
Magmic is a leading BlackBerry® app developer and publisher with mobile games such as Rubik’s® Cube, The New York Times® Crosswords, THKLive and Ka-Glom. Join us for rare insight how these products were developed, specifically looking at what business models were used on the BlackBerry platform.

Joshua Ostrowalker, CTO with Magmic
Ryan Henry, Engineering Lead with Magmic Games

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As a content creator, vendor, and publisher, Magmic Inc. is as versatile as they come in the mobile application development world. Founded in 2002, the Canadian firm develops its own original contentfor some of the top brands in gaming, media, and music. Looking forward, the company is focused on increasing its product portfolio for the BlackBerry® platform – a continuation of a long and successful partnership that has spanned nearly a decade.

Troy Johnson, Magmic’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, tells us about working with the BlackBerry® Advertising Service, BlackBerry® Messenger and the Research In Motion® (RIM®) Developer Relations team.

Tell us about your decision to employ the BlackBerry Advertising Service.
We started using BlackBerry Advertising Service in December 2010 with our game Ka-Glom! It was a free product, so we had a significant user base but no way to monetize it. After taking the APIs that were available, we integrated interstitial ads into the game. It was so successful that we committed to use the BlackBerry Advertising Service with another 19 products. We chose products that were good performers but not our top revenue generators, and decided to make them free and integrated with the BlackBerry Advertising Service. Free products have a much larger user base which we’re able to monetize using ads and by offering a purchasable ad-free product.

How important has the BlackBerry Advertising Service been in terms of revenue generation?
In this industry, it’s not easy to bring an ad-enabled product to a market, look at that ad revenue, and then decide to develop more. But that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do with the BlackBerry Advertising Service. Using the service doubles or triples the click-through rate we get with other ad services that deliver standard in-game banner ads. The BlackBerry Advertising Service has contributed significantly to our revenue and enables us to produce other products.

Magmic also has a large suite of paid apps. Why have you had so much success with paid BlackBerry smartphone apps compared with other platforms?
One of the strengths of BlackBerry is the security that we’re afforded when we launch a product. When we launch a product as a paid product on the BlackBerry platform, we’re confident that we’re going to maximize the potential. The marketing effort we’ve invested in and the ongoing marketing support provided by RIM greatly increase our chance of success. There isn’t a thriving industry of pirated BlackBerry content that would undermine our joint marketing effort.

How important has it been for Magmic to work closely with RIM?
Our partnership with RIM has been hugely important to our success for a couple of reasons. RIM has always helped us access the BlackBerry market by allowing us to participate in a number of marketing campaigns including the latest ones, such as BlackBerry® 7 and BlackBerry Messenger 6. We don’t have the same level of access to other markets, and there isn’t the same level of commitment from other OEMs to help content providers succeed. Whether it’s giving us pre-commercial devices to test or simply picking up the phone to get answers to our questions, RIM has been genuinely committed to our success for years. Our contact at RIM through the BlackBerry® Alliance Program has been an angel.

Thanks again for talking to us today, Troy! Be sure to visit Magmic’s site to learn more about this great app development company.

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