How developers can make money in Iran’s app market?

Business Materials 31 August 2017 15:35 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

By Umid Niayesh– Trend:

Android devices are dominant in Iran’s smartphone market, with an estimated 84 percent share or over 34 million devices, according to the latest estimates based on Iran’s ICT ministry statistics.

Isn’t it an attractive market? So what should you do to access the Iranian audiences?

First of all, forget about the Google Play store. You can’t really make money on it in the Iranian market.

Iranians are able to download free apps from the Google Play store, but they can’t make any payments, due to the sanctions related lack of an international payment services.

Nonetheless, some Iranians use Gift Cards to make purchases from the Google Play store, though it’s not spoken of publicly.

But don’t get dismayed, there are always alternatives. Notwithstanding the sanctions Iranians have developed local Android app stores. Cafe Bazaar, Iranapps, Myket, Candoo, ParsHub are some of the local platforms, which work as an alternative to the Google Play store in Iran.

Some of these platforms permit foreign developers to sell their apps to the Iranian users.

Café Bazaar is the most popular platform, which has a cracking monopoly in the market with over 97 percent share of the domestic market.

The platform has a mechanism to support non-Iranian developers, who are interested to sell their apps in Iran.

There are around 120 non-Iranian developers and publishers, with over 800 high quality apps, who officially provide services to Iranian users, Amir Haghighat, a representative of Cafe Bazaar, told Trend.

Haghighat further said that, non-Iranian developers can sign a contract with the firm and receive their 70 percent profit share from the app sales or in-app purchases.

“Cafe Bazaar is open to cooperate with the regional IT industry, including Azerbaijan, especially with the developers’ society, enabling it with the publishing of their products on Cafe Bazaar,” he added.

There are certain Iranian publishers who negotiate with the top developers from all over the world and provide the required localization of apps and games for the Farsi speaking audience.

Another local Android store called Myket, used by over 8 million active users, also supports foreign developers.

According to Sepehr Khadem, head of the Myket’s Marketing Office, foreign apps have a little share in the store, compared to Iranian ones; nevertheless, the most sold foreign games are closely competing with the Iranian games.

Foreign Android apps have a great potential in Iran’s market, Khadem believes.

So, neither sanctions, nor the lack of Farsi create a problem for the foreign developers in the examination of the Iranian Android market. You should simply give it a try. The world is very small, but there are always alternatives.

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh