Kiip is a new company that helps mobile game developers increase advertising revenue, while rewarding users of game apps. They are creating a bit of a buzz in the mobile app industry, and more and more investors are showing interest in what they have to offer.
The concept is simple: users play games, and are rewarded for in-game achievements. These rewards or prizes can come in the form of freebies, coupons, or shopping cards. For example, each level a player reaches in a game could have a prize attached to it. The prizes can increase with each level attained.
This is seen as a win for all concerned. Players get prizes. Sponsors get more interaction with the players, and more purchases than they would off of banners or text. App developers watch their profits grow as their percentage comes out of a larger amount of money. According to Kiip, over 400 game apps are currently on board, and they include both iOS and Android apps.
Kiip received $4.1 million in what is called Series A funding, which they used to help developers create games incorporating their product. They are now into the Series B funding phase, and have raised $11 million so far. This money will be used to create even more projects that can use Kiip.
Kiip sees their success as dependent upon the number of new games they can pull in. If they can get a few popular titles on board, it will help their chances of being a thriving company. A trip to their website shows a sleek, forward-thinking operation.
They believe that the best time to engage a user is when he or she has just accomplished something, and is in the glow of victory. They see rewards as a way of thanking their users, and giving them what Kiip calls “a virtual high-five”. Kiip has taken down their list of advertisers, but we are seeing brands such as Disney and Best Buy mentioned in their blog.
So, what does this mean to you, the present or future apps developer? It means a lot. First of all, it means that there is another source of income for developers of game apps right now. It means that apps can become more profitable, while doing nothing different except incorporating Kiip. It also means that those who use Kiip won’t have to use banner ads, possibly giving their apps an edge in appearance over those who do.
The biggest implication, though, is that they could end up growing into a major player, and representing an evolution in revenue production for apps. If Kiip is successful, they will spawn imitators. This will give game developers more sources of income, which will all be competing against each other for the privilege of adding money to your bottom line.
As with any evolutionary step, if Kiip does become an industry pioneer, they will also pave the way for further evolution. Businesses who are using their model will tweak it to try and gain a competitive advantage. When they do, everybody wins. Consumers will get more bargains, while advertisers and apps developers will get more revenue. The possibilities are endless.
Even if it ended for them tomorrow, they have already contributed to the creative thought pool. So, what does this mean to you right now? It provides you with another example of how to think “out of the box”. As an app developer, you are in the creation business. Anything that shakes people up and makes them look at their market differently is a game changer, even if it isn’t apparent right away.
That being said, I think Kiip is going to be around for a long time. They were successful in their first phase, and their second phase drew a lot of well-heeled investors. They have some of the “big boys” on board as advertisers, and their inventory of games is growing.
Kiip is approaching a point where their chances of failure are nil. Most companies go out of business within a year. Kiip launched in April of 2011, and are growing very fast. In this day and age, if you are growing, you are doing a lot of things right. I see continued growth here, and I see them changing the business.
The bottom line: it’s a great time to be developing a mobile game app. A lot of people think that they have to have the next big app or they are a failure, but nothing could be farther from the truth. All it takes to succeed is one or more solid apps that provide a good ROI. Kiip can’t create your app for you, but they can certainly help any mobile game developer with his or her ROI.