$Rev will give Box’s third-party developers a chance to make money off their apps each time a user engages with it in Box’s OneCloud mobile-app ecosystem, rather than just a one-time purchase cost. $Rev’s model is different from the traditional route developers usually take to make money off an app, which typically involves going through the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store and forking over 30% per download to Apple or Google in the process.
Box’s VP of Platform Chris Yeh says the idea for $Rev came about because developers who create apps for the enterprise–Box’s bread and butter–have a difficult time monetizing against their target customers, who are often large companies that typically buy in bulk.
“Ultimately, if a third party isn’t making money with us, they’re just not going to bother,” Yeh says.
$Rev is launching with 10 pilot partners who create productivity apps that already integrate with Box. It will start out by paying users on a per-use model for each time a user opens up an app, but Yeh says he can see $Rev rewarding developers for driving other kinds of interactions on Box. Social sharing or sending Box links to non-customers, for example, both increase exposure and are hugely valuable to Box, he says.
“The idea is to create a program where we’re not just driving new users, but rather paying for ongoing users,” Yeh says. “That incentivizes developers to build better experiences around Box where users are engaged on a regular basis.”