Box joins the fray to win over mobile developers with more money

Through Box $rev program, the more Box business customers use an app, the more money the developer makes

Though the mobile-computing economy may be booming thanks to factors like BYOD, a lot of developers aren't seeing much of that revenue trickling down into their pockets. Vision Mobile reported last year that around half of all mobile app developers interested in making money couldn't make a sustaining income: "They were below the 'poverty line,' which [Vision Mobile] drew at $500 per month per app."

That trend may shift, however, as platform companies like Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, Google, and Apple have devised ways to boost payouts to app developers. These organizations aren't just being beneficent, of course; a mobile platform's survival depends on the availability of ample, high-quality apps.

Now content-sharing company Box is following suit: The company today announced Box $rev, a new program through which developers can earn extra revenue based on how much users are using their apps. (In terms of pronunciation, the "$" in "$rev" is silent.) What's more, the company has introduced new SDKs for iOS and Android, aimed at making it easier to developers to integrate with Box, which boasts more than 15 million users.

Box is a cloud-based file sharing and content management service aimed at enterprise companies, meaning it has more robust features and better security than, say, a standard Dropbox account. The service integrates with third-party services like Google apps, NetSuite, and Salesforce. Third-party developers can use the OpenBox Mobile platform to build apps and services capable of accessing Box content.

Through Box $rev, developers are paid when a Box Business or Enterprise customer uses a third-party app that's integrated with Box, according to the company. Specifically, Box will monitor and measure usage of third-party apps that are part of the program, and based on that usage, developers are paid up to 15 percent of a Box seat price. A Box Business seat is $15 per user per month. So in theory, if a company has 1,000 users devoted to a particular mobile app, that app's developer could earn as much as an extra $2,250 per month.

Ten BoxOneCloud partners are taking part in the inaugural launch, including CloudOn, Notability, Documents by Readdle, PDFExpert, iAnnotate, Genius Scan, CamScanner, Outline+, GoodNotes, and SmartOffice.

"Box $rev is an exciting first step that allows developers to begin monetizing their apps in the enterprise without the need for new versions or complicated changes to pricing models," said Ravi Bhatt, CEO of Branchfire, the company behind iAnnotate. "We have over a million users of the consumer version of iAnnotate, and this program allows us to realize additional revenue when customers use Box."

Box's new enterprise SDKs for iOS and Android are designed such that developers can quickly build mobile apps that work with Box at scale. They also add the ability for users to select Box files through a secure file picker with only a few lines of code, and Box has added built-in single-sign-on support for managing enterprise identity.

This story, "Box joins the fray to win over mobile developers with more money," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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