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Publishing Your Apps in the Software Center: The Business Side - Instructors: John Pugh

   1 [19:00] <ClassBot> Logs for this session will be available at following the conclusion of the session.
   2 [19:05] <zoopster> Ok then...sorry for the delay...I thought I was being smart, but I wasn't!!!
   3 [19:05] <zoopster> Hi everyone. My name is John Pugh. I'm responsible for business development for the Ubuntu Software Center.
   4 [19:06] <zoopster> What does that mean? Well it means I'm trying to find new and interesting content, apps, games, etc for inclusion in the paid marketplace of the Ubuntu Software Center.
   5 [19:06] <zoopster> We have several very cool games in there right now - Braid, SpaceChem, Uplink, Oil Rush, etc.
   6 [19:07] <zoopster> As well as some magazine titles...Ubuntu User
   7 [19:07] <zoopster> I'm working with some large 3D game engine companies, HTML5 application developers, several publishers, as well as trying to get every linux supported application, game, or content I can into the Software Center.
   8 [19:08] <zoopster> Hopefully...this session will explain some of the workings from a business throw out the questions if you have 'em and I'll answer as I go along
   9 [19:08] <zoopster> Our goal is to have a large catalog of apps that are useful to those who use Ubuntu desktop.
  10 [19:08] <zoopster> We've already heard from Anthony about MyApps on the Ubuntu Developer Portal
  11 [19:08] <zoopster>
  12 [19:09] <zoopster> achuni went over the details of submitting an's quite straightforward
  13 [19:09] <zoopster> and we heard from Stephane about ARB and it's use of the MyApps portal.
  14 [19:09] <zoopster>
  15 [19:10] <zoopster> stgraber talked about how the ARB can take advantage of the MyApps portal, too. So everyone can have a single place to submit new applications no matter how they are licensed.
  16 [19:10] <zoopster> I want to talk about the "business side" of the MyApps portal.
  17 [19:11] <zoopster> There really isn't much to it, but I can at least introduce the terms and what you can expect from us
  18 [19:11] <zoopster> For edification, we have the portal and a application submission portal called MyApps at
  19 [19:11] <zoopster> The Ubuntu Developer Portal is about to be refreshed with a new look and new content so keep your eye out for it. John Oxton and David Planella discussed it on Thursday.
  20 [19:12] <zoopster> I didn't see a direct link to that session posted yet, but the link to it will be on the wiki shortly.
  21 [19:12] <zoopster> For this session I want to talk about submitting paid applications that will show up in the "For Purchase" area of the Ubuntu Software Center.
  22 [19:12] <zoopster> I'm fairly certain that Anthony covered it in his session, but generally the submission process is 5 steps.
  23 [19:13] <zoopster> You have to register (if you don't have a account already) and accept the terms of service, then you are able to submit a new package.
  24 [19:13] <zoopster> Once submitted, the packaging team will package up your application or verify the packaging source if you submitted debian source with your package.
  25 [19:14] <zoopster> I think jml talked about pkgme in one of the sessions earlier this week...that will eventually be part of the process to help automate some of the packaging needs.
  26 [19:15] <zoopster> Currently packaging of application submissions is a manual process so it does take time to get your package through the system because of that manual setp
  27 [19:15] <zoopster> or step even
  28 [19:15] <zoopster> Once the app is packaged it goes through a QA and returns back to the submitter for them to make it visible on the software center.
  29 [19:16] <zoopster> Ok enough of that...if you need more details on the application submission process...take a look at Anthony's session.
  30 [19:16] <zoopster> The business terms are simple. We help package the app, we host the app, we provide the payment service via
  31 [19:16] <zoopster> We will return 80% of the purchase price after any applicable taxes to the developer.
  32 [19:17] <zoopster> Payments are processed quarterly at present and payments are via paypal
  33 [19:17] <zoopster> The developer can change the price anytime they wish - the minimum price we can accept is US$2.99
  34 [19:18] <zoopster> I'm cruising right along....any questions so far?
  35 [19:19] <zoopster> We only allow non-DRM, non-licensed applications at present. Anthony mentioned the work his team is doing on licensing/activation keys
  36 [19:20] <zoopster> The "For Purchase" section of the Ubuntu Software Center is a "blind channel".
  37 [19:20] <zoopster> Due to the plethora of privacy rules/laws worldwide and Canonical's privacy policy we cannot release any user identifiable information to the developer.
  38 [19:21] <zoopster> So it works very similarly to Apple's AppStore and the Android Marketplace at present
  39 [19:22] <zoopster> We are able to consume nearly any content...and will allow apps with adverts or in-app purchases (which apple does not allow) and will allow "free" clients for online games (think minecraft)
  40 [19:23] <zoopster> We can also accept HTML5 apps
  41 [19:23] <zoopster> What we cannot accept currently are trial (try before you buy) apps
  42 [19:24] <zoopster> and we cannot take demo's yet...but you can link to the demo and such via the text in the description
  43 [19:25] <zoopster> Once the application is submitted you are able to "unpublish" the application at any time
  44 [19:25] <zoopster> This will remove the visibility from the Software Center, but the application will continue to be available for those who have already purchased it
  45 [19:26] <zoopster> Once published on the Ubuntu Software Center you can link to the app directly and that link will launch the Software Center desktop application and present the app to the user for purchase
  46 [19:27] <zoopster> the url is simply<pkgname>  - pretty slick.
  47 [19:30] <zoopster> So mterry asked a question...there has been tepid interest in the program. It has only been "open beta" for about 3 weeks...previously it was not available unless we specifically added the dev to the beta
  48 [19:31] <zoopster> mterry: prior to the myapps portal being opened...I was the primary "motivator" to get applications submitted
  49 [19:31] <zoopster> mterry: now we are averaging a new app everyday and that is picking up.
  50 [19:32] <zoopster> and the 3rd part mterry everyone so far has been very happy with it...they are getting good sales numbers, the process was simple and they have a whole new market available to them!
  51 [19:34] <zoopster> mterry: might want to clarify your "2nd" question not sure what you mean there
  52 [19:34] <zoopster> oh wait...mterry you mean seeing for purchase apps in the Oneiric beta for example
  53 [19:36] <ClassBot> mterry asked: As a developer, always living in the development version, I'd like access to For Purchase apps earlier in the dev cycle (usually they are turned off until RC or whatever).  Is that possible?
  54 [19:36] <zoopster> hah...nice
  55 [19:37] <zoopster> mterry: right now we're smoke testing the apps...they are not specific to any release so it's possible that we can just make them visible as the dev's test the next release
  56 [19:37] <ClassBot> mterry asked: How happy are users?  Obviously it hasn't been available long, and you can't give specific numbers, but are we seeing the same thing the humble bundles saw, that Linux users are willing to pay money for games/apps, contrary to popular thought?
  57 [19:38] <zoopster> mterry: another good one...the user feedback so far has been good...they are keen to purchase the apps, but we're not seeing the numbers like the humble bundle overall
  58 [19:38] <zoopster> mterry: we are seeing similar numbers to the linux side correlates relatively well
  59 [19:39] <ClassBot> paglia_s asked: what about updates? updates can be submitted always or they need to wait for the next cycle like for free apps?
  60 [19:39] <zoopster> paglia_s: updates can be submitted anytime - once we package we can show or help with an update - the process is not as clean as submitting a new app, but we'll allow updates
  61 [19:40] <zoopster> oil rush is a good's in "beta" pre-order mode and we're about to finish up an update
  62 [19:40] <zoopster> the user will receive notice as they do with other apps and can accept the installs will get the updated app directly
  63 [19:43] <zoopster> I hope we'll get a cleaner process to give "beta" users access earlier to the apps....we're working on it now so we'll shoot to have some if not all for purchase apps ready for the 12.04 beta
  64 [19:43] <ClassBot> mterry asked: How is developer perception of Ubuntu vs other distros?  Is Ubuntu perceived as the top tier distro to support?
  65 [19:44] <zoopster> ah
  66 [19:45] <zoopster> mterry: when it comes to linux and desktop apps, we're top tier for sure
  67 [19:45] <zoopster> mterry: you'd be surprised about that's growing quite rapidly...especially with android coming on scene...that has opened the eyes of dev's.
  68 [19:46] <zoopster> mterry: while mobile rules right now, it's relatively simple for them to support a bigger screen with ubuntu once they have a android app done
  69 [19:46] <ClassBot> mterry asked: Is it possible to talk about where we hope to be against other platforms?  Do we eventually want developers to think, "I have to support Win, Mac, Android, and Ubuntu?"
  70 [19:47] <zoopster> mterry: the goal is to have a catalog of apps that are useful to the Ubuntu user base...we have some large targets for growth as you know
  71 [19:47] <zoopster> mterry: we do want them to think at least Win, Mac, Android, Linux...Ubuntu would be the ideal situation, yes
  72 [19:48] <zoopster> mterry: right now the focus is on any and all linux supported applications that we can support with what we currently have available
  73 [19:49] <zoopster> mterry: however the goal is just that...prove that Linux and specifically Ubuntu is a platform of choice and have developers look at Ubuntu and linux as a necessary platform to support
  74 [19:50] <ClassBot> mterry asked: Is there any idea that we might want to try to get "exclusives" for Ubuntu?
  75 [19:51] <ClassBot> There are 10 minutes remaining in the current session.
  76 [19:51] <zoopster> mterry: sure...would love to - we do have a few that are making some specific "extras" for ubuntu and we're getting some dev's running "specials" as well
  77 [19:52] <zoopster> mterry: short answer is yes. I think it's a little early to attempt something like that, but for 12.04 you may see some interesting things along those lines
  78 [19:53] <zoopster> Wow...great questions...
  79 [19:53] <ClassBot> mterry asked: Are magazines and/or books much of a focus?  I see we have Ubuntu User.  Android recently upgraded their store for books as a top tier item.  Obviously books on Ubuntu devices is a bit different than Android...
  80 [19:54] <zoopster> mterry: we have Ubuntu User right now and there are others that are interested
  81 [19:55] <zoopster> mterry: so yes...that is a focus as well...stay tuned.
  82 [19:55] <ClassBot> There are 5 minutes remaining in the current session.
  83 [19:56] <zoopster> mterry: and yes...books are a different animal...and publishers are VERY protective of their copyrights so there's a bit of work to dothere
  84 [19:56] <zoopster> Others questions?
  85 [19:56] <ClassBot> paglia_s asked: there isn't a section for books, do you plan do add it?
  86 [19:57] <zoopster> paglia_s: we've asked for it, but it won't be available in 11.10 as far as I know
  87 [19:57] <zoopster> paglia_s: it's a topic for UDS though
  88 [19:57] <ClassBot> black_puppydog asked: are there "subcategories" for books planned/implemented in the new softwarecenter? so for example ubuntuuser could get an own category
  89 [19:58] <zoopster> answered that one...
  90 [19:58] <ClassBot> mterry asked: Are you finding that we want to be doing more Software Center features to support new store capabilities(like special book support, support for marketing promotions, etc)  faster than the 6 month cycle can support?
  91 [19:58] <zoopster> mterry: yes...but we are limited to the current cycles for the back end processes
  92 [19:58] <zoopster> mterry: and the client side too
  93 [19:59] <ClassBot> paglia_s asked: what about deals? are them publicized by something like "20% off for x time"?
  94 [19:59] <zoopster> paglia_s: no...but they could by editing the description
  95 [20:00] <zoopster> paglia_s: the dev can change the price anytime they wish...and edit the description anytime as well although the desc edit requires review (you can hit me up and I can change it)