For many years and months the tech community have been pushing Nokia to introduce Operator billing. The reason for this has always been the fact that the developers and tech bloggers believe that this one way that will help Kenyan developers to make money. Many great apps but not much to write about in terms of financial success.
Well, at long last Nokia has made the big step to introduce operator billing solutions for the Nokia Store. Nokia has partnered with Airtel to announce the upcoming availability of integrated billing solutions for Nokia Store in both Nigeria and Kenya. Customers will shortly be able to download top local and global paid content, including apps and games, from Nokia’s mobile application store and pay for their downloads as part of their monthly mobile phone bills or have the amount deducted from their pre-paid balance. Another advantage is that customers will pay for this content in local currency. This is also great news for developers whereby paid for apps can soon be enjoyed by a broader base of consumers through operator billing, in addition to the existing credit card purchase mechanism.
With this it is time to look at the type of content that might enable developers to make money:
1. Gaming Apps… Looking back at the last Pivot East Competition and the winner was a gaming app… Ma3 Racer. Another look at the Safaricom App star Challenge and the winner was a gaming app…. Tough Jungle. That should tell you something about the current apps trend in Kenya. The last time I was at an event where the developers of Ma3 Racer were presenting, they talked of having over 800k downloads by then. Yes, huge part of that number is coming outside the country but the local downloads are still significant. Introducing charges will probably reduce the rate and the number of downloads but it is the best way for the developers to make money. Gaming apps in view could lead the way for the developers.
2. Dating Apps. A huge number of writers and bloggers are doing Personal love and dating stories in Kenya. I have not seen any love and dating app out there, but I think developers are missing an opportunity here. I think there many people out there who would not think twice before buying any Quality Love and dating content.
3. Gossip and Entertainment Content: The gossip sites like Ghafla, Muchene, and VibeWeekly have show how popular the gossip content can be in Kenya. I believe many people would buy Ghafla app just to keep update with what the likes of Vee and Huddah are upto.
4. Politics and Propaganda Content: May be , it is because we had election the other day but the propaganda sites like Daily Post and Jackal news are riding high. Having seen how people like to hear and read about some of the news item on those sites, it would not be far off to think that people would buy the apps version of those sites
5. Business News and Analysis: I think it is the category with the highest potential buyers. The people looking for Business news and analysis are not as many as those on the other categories but I think they would be more willing to buy quality content.
6. Rare content from neglected areas. Areas like Agriculture which I still think is not well covered, Climate change, Wildlife protection and others.