Offscreen’s success highlights how even small companies can use Nokia Store to deliver big success. The company has just 16 employees, working from offices in Helsinki, where Offscreen has its headquarters, and Shanghai.
The company’s success also demonstrates how Nokia Store can dramatically extend developers’ reach. Most of Offscreen’s free downloads come from India, Russia, Turkey, and China. By selling its apps on Nokia Store, Offscreen instantly reaches 120 million consumers in 190 countries around the world.
Those customers can view Nokia Store in 32 local languages – and benefit from operator billing in more than 50 markets. ‘The main thing with Nokia Store is the fantastic reach it gives us in distant markets’, says Harri Myllynen, CEO of Offscreen. ‘And getting downloads from very exotic countries.’
Founded in 2005, Offscreen today takes what it calls a ‘carpet-bombing approach’ to mobile development, creating a wide range of mobile content, including games, utilities, entertainment apps, media apps, and Internet apps for Nokia Series 40 and Symbian devices.
Offscreen also has begun developing apps and content for the latest Nokia Asha Touch and Nokia Lumia smartphones. ‘We always aim in the middle’, Myllynen says, ‘trying to reach as broad a user base as possible’.
Indeed, the company finds that its simpler apps get downloaded most frequently. Offscreen’s Bright Light Touch, a free app that turns a Nokia Symbian phone into a torch light, is also one of the company’s most popular offerings. ‘Bright Light took only about six hours to develop, including the reference design’, says Myllynen. ‘Yet it is so popular.’
Many of Offscreen’s other apps on Nokia Store are similarly straightforward. Its Candle entertainment app simply projects a flickering candle on the phone’s screen. Escape is a puzzle game in which players slide blue and red blocks to make a clear path. And Sushi is a utility that shows the names and photographs of more than 30 types of sushi rolls and platters. ‘Design must be simple’, Myllynen says. ‘End users only have a moment to choose from the selection in any mobile store. They don’t have time to pay attention to complex concepts and designs.’
Offscreen also finds that free apps generally trump premium apps. ‘If we make a premium app free, we see immediately about a 100-fold increase in downloads’, Myllynen says. To monetise their apps Offscreen uses both in-app advertising and in-app purchasing models. Currently, about half the company’s revenue comes from in-app advertising. ‘We’ve been very pleased with our experiences’, Myllynen says.
It’s this combination of simple design, good timing, and clever monetisation that have allowed Offscreen to reach 100 million downloads. ‘There aren’t many companies that have reached this mark globally, and it makes us very happy indeed to have been able to reach this mark right now’, Myllynen says. ‘The whole team felt really proud and happy, and this year’s summer party felt really special. Of course, we had to make a special toast!’
Learn more about Offscreen Technologies’ success in this video.