Pay to play platform Pocket Change proposes token-based alternative to ads and IAPs

Pay to play platform Pocket Change proposes token-based alternative to ads and IAPs
One of the criticisms of apps that attempt to employ in-app purchases (IAPs) post release is that, however much developers fiddle, it's hard to accommodate them in games where they weren't originally intended.

Pocket Change's pay to play platform proposes an alternative.

For developers looking to go free but wary of both IAPs and advertising, the firm's token-based system allows studios to lock away play sessions behind a virtual currency.

No token effort

Like arcade games of old, players have to purchase credits to play beyond an initial round of free tries, allowing the app to serve as both a demo and full release at the same time.

"It's rare that you build a monetisation platform that not only make the publisher revenue, but also improves the overall user experience," said CEO and co-founder Ari Mir, confirming the company takes a 10 percent share of every token purchased.

"We think of this as the perfect hybrid between premium and full ad-supported."

Given Pocket Change is designed to serve as an alternative to advertising, Mir's claim it is ten times more profitable per 1,000 impressions than in-game ads – generating $5 in revenue to the 40c or 50c advertising produces - will no doubt prick a few ears.

The only problem the platform could face is availability. Currently, the Pocket Change SDK is Android only. An iOS version is planned, but will be forced to abide by Apple's cross-promotion rules, meaning credit purchased in one game will be tied to that particular title.

Social play

Interestingly, however, rather than take on other monetisation platforms on the social side, Pocket Change looks to leverage what Mir believes remains the top social tool available: Facebook.

"We as a company don't believe in trying to create a secondary social graph," added Mir.

"We know Facebook is the dominant social graph and it will be for some time."

As such, Pocket Change employs leaderboards and score rankings that tap into Facebook, meaning users don't need to sign up to a new service to see their top efforts recorded.

The company, which recently undertook a rebranding after launching as Lunch Money, closed a $1 million strong seed funding round back in November supported by Google Ventures, First Round Capital, Scott Banister, Baroda Ventures, David Sacks, Mike Jones, Kamran Pourzanjani and Alan Braverman.

Developers interested in employing the SDK should visit the firm's website.

[source: Inside Social Apps]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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