Following the Beta launch of Betcade’s Android app store, SBC caught with CEO and Founder David Chang to discuss the challenges of setting up a real money marketplace for Android Users. As a mobile operating system, Android has had a difficult existence with gaming/betting apps, with users downloads restricted and non-accessible through main listings channels.
Chang details to SBC readers the complex relationship between Android and betting/gaming apps, and how his ambitious start-up aims to create a dynamic and fair market place for operators wanting to ease and expand services to Android users.
SBC: Hi David great to interview you. Can you detail for SBC readers Betcade app store services and what your company aims to bring to the betting market?
David Chang: Sure, Betcade is the first 3rd party app store for real-money gambling apps. Because Google Play does not support real-money gaming in any way, we are providing an essential service to the gaming industry for Android devices. The Android support ecosystem for gaming operators today is virtually non-existent – Betcade will solve this fundamental issue by creating an ecosystem through our app store that will solve the issues of app discovery, download & management, and payment.
SBC: Why have Google and other major Android app stores been sensitive towards gambling/betting apps. After all plenty of national markets are regulated?
DC: I think fundamentally the gaming industry has different requirements than your standard digital entertainment purchases or subscriptions. The normal business model for Google Play (and for that matter Apple) is to pay 70% of gross 90 days post transaction. That model simply doesn’t work for the gaming industry because at the core of the business operators are not selling digital goods (videos, digital books, in-game items, etc…), operators are taking real-money deposits. This means that the settlement of the funds and business model needs to change radically from what Google and Apple offer today.
Additionally, gaming content and the associated financial transactions face much higher scrutiny. This means that the major, general-purpose stores out there would have to change a lot of their current business processes to accommodate the gaming vertical.
SBC: As a start-up founder, what factors did you have research to assess the viability of Betcade and its potential services?
DC: I put in a considerable amount of time researching our service offering and our approach to solving what I saw as a gap in the industry. I’ve seen too many startups create a product on wishful-thinking and “what could be cool”. While that creativity is admirable, I wanted to create a company that solved an immediate need for the gaming industry, a problem and need that universally everyone would agree is an issue and needed to be solved.
With that in mind, our investors and I looked at the Android market very closely in term of performance, how operators acquire customers on it, and their current expectations for the platform. What we found is that everyone felt that the Android experience could be improved dramatically.
SBC: Your team is providing a vital purchase function to Android betting customers, what commercial model have you attached to your app store? Are you an affiliate, a mobile partner, etc….
DC: I believe that our business model is crafted to be readily accepted by the industry and was formulated through a lot of serious discussions and thought on how best to serve operators. In consultation with our eventual customers, the online operators, it was determined that a hybrid model of affiliate revenue and a payment processing fee was preferred to the traditional app store model of a gross revenue share. Operators are very familiar with affiliate costs as well as payment processing fees, and with our hybrid business model, operators can easily determine the economics of doing business with us.
SBC: As a ‘one stop’ solution for Android betting customers, how do you create a fair and balanced aggregation model which caters for consumer and client needs?
DC: This is a very important point as it is Betcade’s goal to provide a product and service that works for all stakeholders in the gaming industry. In doing so we always look at things to see if the consumer experience is being improved while maintaining a level playing field for our operator partners. By providing programmatic ranking of apps, allowing users to rate and review apps, we feel Betcade is appropriately setting the ground rules for everyone to participate in rather than picking and choosing. With that said, we also want to provide services that other app stores provide, and consumers expect like “Editors Choice” and “Staff Favorites”. We are careful to keep the editorial part strictly separate from the commercial side of the business…
SBC: As a start-up how do you see your product developing in the coming months, what are your short-term and long-term goals?
DC: Startups are all about executing. We are extremely focused on getting our initial service offering right and released on time. Our goal is to launch by late July and we are very focused on that goal. In the long-term, we want to have an open conversation with the consumers and our business partners about how we can continue to evolve the Betcade store to meet everyone’s needs. The mobile business is always evolving and because of our intended presence in the mobile gaming industry we want to ensure that we are leading by example with the best user experience and product possible.
David Chang CEO & Founder Betcade