Tap Tap Sales Hit $1 Million Per Month - InformationWeek

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12/22/2009
10:20 AM
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Tap Tap Sales Hit $1 Million Per Month

Tapulous chief says Tap Tap Revenge and other games put startup on pace for $12 million in annual revenue.

Thousands of iPhone app developers make enough money hawking software through Apple's App Store to cover, say, the monthly grocery bill. But only a handful sell enough to quit their day jobs. The latter category now apparently includes the staff at Tap Tap Revenge developer Tapulous.

Tapulous chief executive Bart Decrem told Reuters this week that his company is generating about $1 million per month in revenue through its downloadable iPhone games.

"It's going to be big and all of a sudden people are going to say, 'holy cow, where did those guys come from,'" Decrem told the news agency.

Tapulous was launched in 2008 by angel investors that include tech luminaries such as Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff, Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, and About.com founder Scott Kurnitt. The Palo Alto-based company counts only about 20 employees, but has 17 million users to date.

Market watcher comScore recently reported that 32% of all iPhone or iPod touch users have downloaded Tap Tap Revenge. The game is essentially a mobile version of Guitar Hero, in which players users their fingertips, instead of instruments, to keep up with musical notes that flow down the screen.

Tapulous derives revenue from the game by using it as a platform through which to sell songs and advertising. The company has partnered with leading pop artists, including Metallica, Lady Gaga, and Coldplay, to offer music downloads.

Tapulous has also enlisted Apple itself to help promote its wares. For instance, it frequently hosts Tap Tap tournaments at Apple Stores throughout the country.

Apple's App Store now hosts more than 85,000 apps, and has seen more than 2 billion downloads since launching in mid-2008.

Application mobilization tools are both more effective and more confusing than ever. To develop this report, InformationWeek Analytics polled nearly 700 business technology professionals and interviewed mobile application experts. Download the report here (registration required).

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