In what looks like a bid to rival Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market, Telefónica has announced a significant revamp to its mobile app developer programme. The company has announced that it will open up several APIs for app developers and significantly improve the revenue sharing model.
The new developer community scheme, called BlueVia, will enable apps to be targeted for use on PCs, tablets and smartphones and then promoted via Telefónica's existing developer programmes: O2 Litmus in the UK, Open MovilForum in Spain, Movistar Developers Platform in Mexico and Plataforma do Desenvolvedores Vivo in Brazil.
Of particular note is the operator's move to boost the level of revenue it shares with app developers, and its claims that it is the first operator in the world to offer between 10 per cent and 50 per cent of the revenue generated by API transactions to this app community. In addition, developers will retain 70 per cent of any application sales and subscription revenues.
As reported by TelecomTV, James Parton, head of marketing for the BlueVia initiative, Telefónica is intentionally being agnostic about what sort of developer, device or operating systems was being targeted.
"It's about network as a service and we think it's potentially of equal value across all the platforms--that's smartphones, tablets, PCs," he said. "What we're aiming to do is help developers monetise their work. The initial gold rush we've seen over mobile apps has come to an end."
The company has also agreed to open its SMS and MMS APIs and plans to allow developers to keep between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of all messaging revenues generated by their apps. Telefónica's advertising API will also be opened, enabling developers to submit ad-funded apps to the BlueVia scheme and gain 50 per cent of revenues generated from them.
"The aim of the scheme is to introduce sustainable business models to the market," Parton told New Media Age. "By opening up our messaging and advertising APIs, we're opening up our network's crown jewels. These were formerly untouchable for most mobile operators."
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