April 23, 2014

Android Piracy Heat Map

We have heard and reported that piracy is an ongoing and growing problem on Android. One new study from KeyesLabs, the developers behind Screebl Pro and AAL (an open source Automatic Application Licensing), brings us a new perspective on the issue.

One of the excuses to justify piracy is the lack of access to paid apps in the market in some countries but KeyesLabs’ analysis shows that 69% of the people using pirated version of their app are in the U.S. where paid apps have been accessible for a very long time. Furthermore, 66% of their app’s total users have not paid for it. Italy, Spain and Australia have also high rates of piracy though they can all pay for apps in the Market.

The study also shows that in Japan 100% of the users are paying for the app, so no, or very little, piracy. This is an interesting finding and should encourage developers to localize their app and not limit themselves to just the English speaking countries.

This study is far from perfect as it is based on one application only but it shows nonetheless that the problem with piracy on Android cannot be linked just to the lack of paid apps in some countries. Many have asked for a review of the Android Market, Google must include more payment options and more countries. PayPal will help a little but carrier billing will be the better option for many users who can’t or don’t want to use credit cards. You should also remember to take or recommend fellow users to take the Paid App Pledge to show your support to the developers.

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