The Android user is less likely to buy applications. Those were the words of MLB.com‘s chief executive officer, Bob Bowman. In a recent interview, Bowman explained his company’s position on the Android vs. iOS development debate, what’s profitable for MLB.com, and what he hopes will change.
Companies ignore Android at their own risk. This is the reality that all mobile development shops, no matter the size, must come to terms with. But developing for Google’s mobile platform is not always an easy task/decision — just ask Netflix.
Those looking to protect digital content, or those overly worried about piracy, have to do some serious soul searching before deciding to swim in the Android pool. That was the message emphasized by MLB.com‘s Peter Bowman and a recent string of interviews.
In a sit down with All Things Digital‘s Peter Kafka, Bowman was asked if his company ever considered avoiding the Android platform altogether, and the CEO explained MLB.com‘s stance. “The short answer is no. But what we have done is that we don’t support every Android phone,” Bowman said. “Because at some point, it’s diminishing returns. The Android user typically is less likely to buy, and therefore the ROI on developing for Android is different than it is for Apple.”
Bowman explained that iPhone and iPad users are “interested in buying content,” but that “the Android buyer is different.”
In a March 10th interview with Business Insider, Bowman also expressed his belief that Android has a “bigger piracy problem” than iOS. “People hack the MLB app, which costs $15, and then distribute it for free in back channels,” wrote Bowman. “This is much easier to do on Android than for the iPhone, as you have to hack your iPhone to side-load pirated apps, and most people don’t bother to do that. Most Android phones can easily install pirated apps.”
Again speaking with Kafka, Bowen noted that MLB “does not want there to be just one company out there,” and pledged support for webOS, BlackBerry, or any other platform that users flock to. He also acknowledges some shortcomings found in the iOS model — namely the fact that $0.30 of every dollar spent by consumers is handed to Apple.
The MLB At Bat 2011 application is available for all iOS devices in the App Store, and some Android devices via the Market, for $14.99.
At Bat 2011 for Android currently supports the Sprint HTC EVO 4G, Verizon HTC DROID Incredible, Verizon Motorola DROID X, Verizon Motorola DROID, Verizon Motorola DROID 2, Verizon Motorola DROID Pro, Verizon HTC Thunderbolt, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus One, T-Mobile’s Google Nexus S and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G.
[Via Edible Apple]