Bad News: RIM Take an Additional 10% from BlackBerry Developers

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Today, RIM sent out a notice to all App World vendors that they are taking an additional 10% revenue cut from developers, in order to fund “support the expansion into new markets and to allow for additional billing models.” Previously, RIM allowed developers to keep 80% of the revenue they earned, and this has just been changed to 70%.

This has given developers yet another reason not to make great applications for BlackBerry. Currently, Apple allow the developer to take a 70% cut of the revenue, but they offer a convenient way for consumers to purchase apps, and their store is embedded on every single iPhone sold. While RIM said they’ll be implementing credit card billing, this only brings them a little closer to the portal that Apple provide, and therefore they should offer the developer a higher cut to account for their lack of distribution.

For a platform that is in desperate need of more developers, this was a very silly move on RIM’s part. Click through after the jump where we have a copy of the letter sent to developers.

Attention BlackBerry App World Vendors

We hope you are enjoying the new BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal 2.0, which adds a variety of new features and capabilities to make it easier for you to distribute your applications on BlackBerry smartphones!
We are now taking the first step to introduce credit card and carrier billing support for BlackBerry App World, as announced at the 2009 BlackBerry Developer Conference.  These new billing models will open up additional opportunities for you to sell your applications in new markets. 
In part to support the addition of these new billing models, if you are distributing paid applications, there are changes to your agreement with Digital River.  This email is provided as notice to you, by RIM on behalf of Digital River, of changes to your Digital River Vendor Agreement.  You will find both black-line and clean copies of the amended Digital River Vendor Agreement attached.  
In addition, there are also changes to your agreement with RIM.  This email also provides notice to you of changes to your RIM Vendor Agreement.  You will find black-line and clean copies of the amended RIM Vendor Agreement attached.  
These new agreements will also be posted in the Vendor Portal shortly.
The changes in these agreements include an update to the BlackBerry App World revenue share from 80% to 70%.   This change is being made to support the expansion into new markets and to allow for the additional billing models referenced above. 
We are also introducing Bango as the Merchant of Record for carrier billed transactions.  If you are distributing paid applications, you will soon be presented with the Bango Vendor Agreement, for acceptance, when logging into the Vendor Portal.
Our goal is to ensure that BlackBerry App World provides developers with unique opportunities to successfully monetize applications created on the BlackBerry application platform.  We hope that you are as excited as we are about these new billing models.

Best regards,
BlackBerry App World Management

  • ffsrim
    pretty fucked
    this plus
    $200 credits for 10 app submission
    lonnngggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg review times
  • Joe
    RIM was forced to change the rev share to 70/30 in order to accomodate carrier billing, and carrier billing is the key to getting pre-loaded on all devices. The only way you will get App World on all devices is to get buy in from the carriers.
  • You're definitely right Joe. I updated this article with more thoughts:

    "UPDATE: I’ve been talking to more developers about this and lets just say that not everyone agrees with me. The message I’m getting is that while 30% seems like a lot, RIM’s margins with App World are going to be razor thin when they implement carrier billing. Carriers are going to want to take the majority of this 30%, if not all of it, and the lower revenue share may have been forced by the carriers themselves. While prices may go up in the short term to accommodate for this new revenue share agreement, prices may actually come down because more developers will see there is money to be made. More competition may ultimately drive prices down for everyone. Only time will tell."
  • Matthias Marquardt
    Also have in mind, that we have to pay already 200,- bucks in advance for just being able to join AppWorld [and being allowed to submit 10 times a app] - Actually I would not mind, if this 20 bucks will be used to cover the reviewing costs - but with the new Agreement it's also said, that that RIM just "might" review a submitted app - in the past version of the documents it have been said, that they "will" review the submitted app...

    MobiHand is doing all that just for "free" - my Apps are always up2date without any kind of delay - and I am able to get up to 80%

    It's fine, that now other payment methods are supported as well - but when this additional payments will have such an negative impact on the revenue share: Why I am not able to select which payment types I would like to join - or why not having different shares depending on the customers payments???
  • Fabian
    Oh really not cool!!
  • Why would you take an additional 10% from the people who are trying to make your platform better in order to "expand into new markets"?

    By taking 10% are you really going to increase your cashflow to a point where you wouldn't be able to expand otherwise? 10% is a lot of money for a small development team who are already feeling the effects of a recession.

    This is just a really bad business move.
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