Opera Apps Club

Opera Apps Club

Opera Apps Club in Brazil

Opera recently teamed up with local carriers in Latin America to bring customers Opera Apps Club, an “all-you-can-eat” premium app subscription service.

In this emerging market, where credit-card penetration is low, Opera Apps Club has built a customer base of over 6 million paying subscribers by offering 100% carrier billing and all app downloads for free, independent of data plans. Opera Apps Club brings together the world’s top app publishers and developers, mobile carriers, and mobile users, with a subscription service that benefits everyone.

A challenge for carriers

Historically, most mass-market digital-media offerings have developed into one of three complementary business models: free with ad support (freemium), paid, and subscription. Mobile apps have already been successfully distributed for free with ad support and via pay-per-download app stores for almost a decade, with carriers finding limited success in launching their own branded stores. The Opera Apps Club subscription model places the carrier back at the heart of app distribution for users, especially in regions like Brazil that are experiencing high growth in smartphone uptake.

A new solution

Opera Apps Club has given Latin American operators a way to offer their users a co-branded pathway to the best apps on the web, with a more transparent pricing model that circumvents some of the drawbacks of the traditional in-app-purchasing (IAP) model. Subscription fees are charged to the user’s prepaid balance, or added to their monthly bill, and, at a low price point of US$1-2 per month or week, the service is appealing to a wider audience of mobile users who might otherwise be limited to downloading free apps.

In order to provide these users with the best apps, Opera Apps Club has established close partnerships with over 160 of the top publishers and developers, from over 40 countries, who are responsible for some of the most popular apps in the world.

Attracting new subscribers

To establish and increase the user base in Brazil, Opera offered users a subscription service with more transparent pricing, compared to the prevailing freemium/IAP model that was of little appeal in a region where credit cards are not prevalent. Opera Apps Club attracted these users by offering:

• A free, fifteen-day trial

• Access to a “Netflix-style” curated catalog of premium titles rated four stars and above

• App bundles grouped by categories to provide a more useful range of apps for individual users

• No advertising

• No download limits

• Over US$2000 in premium apps, with nothing to pay outside of the standard subscription fee.

In addition to providing a pre-selected catalog of the best available apps bundled into key categories, Opera Apps Club also used its “social app discovery” feature to enable users to discover new apps based on what their friends use and recommend.

Growth in Latin America 

Since its launch in the region in 2014, Opera Apps Club has attracted more than six million active subscribers, positioning it as one of the largest subscription-based app services in the world and the third-largest mobile-app distribution service across all models.

Opera Apps Club subscription growth

In the eighteen months following the launch of the service, a leading mobile carrier in Brazil reported an increase in users of over 330,000%. Another carrier that launched the service a year later began with over 200 times as many subscribers and reported an increase in user uptake of over 900% within the first year.

With each subscriber providing an average monthly revenue of USD 0.68 since the launch of the service, the 6 million active subscribers already enjoying Opera Apps Club have brought in over USD 4 million per month for Latin American carriers and their development partners alone.

Monthly revenue for each carrier virtually doubled every six months for the first eighteen months post launch, proving that not only were existing users sticking with the service, but also that new and trial users were converting to longer term, paying subscribers.

Monthly revenue

Latin American users  downloaded 17 apps per month on average from the catalog, and, when prompted by the app to share whether they “love” the apps club experience, 74% of users voted “yes”.

Conclusion

Following this impressive initial success, Opera Apps Club has gone live in 19 countries in partnership with 34 wireless carriers and two smartphone OEMs in Brazil and Latin America, and will continue its global rollout to Asia, Europe and Africa.

Interested in hearing more about how you can work with Opera to create a co-branded Opera Apps Club experience for your users? Check out http://www.operasoftware.com/operators/opera-apps-club/ for more information.

Download the pdf version of the case study here.