Box Sharing Revenue With Developers In Bid To Bring In More Apps, Customers
June 6, 2013

Box Sharing Revenue With Developers In Bid To Bring In More Apps, Customers

Enid Burns for — Your Universe Online

Content storage and sharing company Box is hoping to increase its earnings by giving back to the developer community. That is, Box started a new program to pay developers for apps with active customers. The initiative is meant to grow the platform by increasing the number of apps available.

The new initiative, called Box $rev, is "a program for developers to monetize their applications on the Box platform and bring new innovation to the emerging enterprise app economy," said a post on the Box blog written by Chris Yeh, vice president of platform for the company.

Box reports that it has issued more than 25,000 API keys to Box developers. The company also said that for its OneCloud program, the company has surpassed 500 apps; it had just 30 when it launched last March.

The challenge, as Box sees it, is monetization for enterprise apps when the app stores are dominated by consumer apps.

"If you think about how consumer mobile apps are monetized today, it's primarily through app store purchases, ads, and in-app upgrades. In the enterprise, this works “¦ but only to a point. After all, anyone can buy a productivity app and bring it to work. You might even go so far as to say that the consumer model around app acquisition has democratized app adoption in the enterprise," the post said.

Yeh identified the one problem: "Enterprise apps simply do not monetize very well."

The Box $rev program, which pays developers for apps that have active users, is Box's solution. The new initiative will help Box build its ecosystem, and acquire and maintain users.

"For developers, we provide a new stream of revenue directly correlated to their success in penetrating and engaging with Box users," Yeh said.

At the time of launch, 10 partners have signed on with Box $rev. The hope is that more developers will sign up and grow the program.

The new program will grow the ecosystem by encouraging the development of more apps. It is also aimed at bringing in new users.

"The focus is on users who not only spend a lot of time on the productivity apps provided by Box's OneCloud platform, but also draw in others by sharing files with people who are not Box users yet. Box already tracks how customers use various apps, so it's easy for the company to add revenue based on how many customers use the app," CNET reported.

The payout is not yet defined.

"It's not clear yet how much developers will make through the revenue-share program. Box still needs to test the idea," Venture Beat reported.

Box also announced new iOS and Android SDKs for developers. The SDKs are the first ones built by Box. The SDKs are structured to work with programmers who use Objective C and Java. The SDKs also use single sign-on (SSO) to third parties, which allows users to log in with a universal sign-in instead of a unique user ID and password.