What Steve Jobs Doesn’t Get: Google Closes an Eye, Android Adult App Market Booms

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mikandi

Steve Jobs publicly vowed to make the iTunes app market porn free, telling customers if they want smut they should get an Android. Whether you want sexy stuff on your smartphone or not, there’s undeniably an appetite for adult material.

That’s why developers keep submitting salacious apps to the iTunes store – playing peek-a-boo with the public as they are approved and then shut down. Big names like Playboy and Hooters iTunes offerings are, kind of a tease – lots of skin, but no nudity and “games,” like a squeaky-clean screen washing app. Android is another story.

While there is no adult material in its official app store, almost exactly a year ago a company called www.mikandi.com launched a porn app market for the Android platform, billing it as the world’s first mobile adult shop. (See our post about what Android users get a looky-loo at when they use it).

Google adopted a hands-off policy towards this parallel porn shop – and following its pattern of keeping mum about it, a Google spokesperson declined to comment for this post. It’s also worth noting that Android’s open approach allows users to use and install third party apps without jailbreaking phones.

Cult of Mac talked in exclusive with MiKandi (it’s pronounced “my candy”) CEO Jen McEwan about what’s hot in the store and where the market is headed.

Cult of Mac: You launched about a year ago: can you give us an idea of the size of your market?

Jen McEwan: There are over 600 registered developers worldwide sharing their apps in our market. We have over 500 apps with more coming in everyday. Since March,we’ve had over 300,000 installations and are really happy about how consistently consumers are finding and adopting us. Currently all of the apps in MiKandi are free. We expect to better understand the market as we launch paid apps and get more developers involved in building out the breadth of our offerings.

CoM: Which apps are being downloaded most?

JM: As far as categories go, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the variety. Popular, well-known brands are doing well, but independent developers are succeeding at the same time. We see a lot of website launchers and simple picture apps, but have also been getting a number of games. Sex chat, or video cam apps, such as Sex Chat Live, are also doing extremely well. In fact, we participated a study by Juniper Research entitled “Monetizing Adult Mobile Content,” in which they forecast that adult mobile video chat will account for more than half of all adult revenues by 2015.

CoM: What kind of feedback are the developers getting?

JM: We keep close communication with our registered developers. What we hear from them is that that they are seeing higher conversion rates from MiKandi users than in other markets they participate in. Since we have a focused audience, our users come to MiKandi with intent to download the kind of content our developers are specifically offering. In terms of content, our users are open with us with the kind of adult apps they want to see in MiKandi. Among them are niche content, such as fetish, more games, and apps with greater interactivity.

CoM: What has your relationship been like with Google — have they tried to interfere at all?

JM: Google really hasn’t been involved with us at all. We believe that they know about us, but that’s about as far as it goes right now.

CoM: What’s next for MiKandi?

JM: We’re approaching our one year anniversary. Over the past year, we’ve seen a tremendous shift in perspective. This time last year, most large adult brands wanted to wait and see if Android would meet its expected performance. Not only did Android meet those expectations, in many ways it exceeded them. Today, we see major adult brands registering with MiKandi and distributing their official Android applications in our market. Pink Visual was the first large adult studio to develop an Android application and there are more Android apps in the works.