To succeed in WebRTC, you need to look at what works in the app economy first.
I’ve been poring over the words written on Developer Economics lately. It is a part of Vision Mobile, a research outfit I highly value. In one of their latest articles, they made an analysis of the revenue models app developers go for. It is a very interesting article that you should read as well.
If you are looking for some tidbits from that article, then here they are:
- Contracting is the most popular revenue model and also the one associated with the second lowest probability of making a loss
- Paid downloads are the least successful revenue model
- Providing services that app developers can resell is one model for those selling developer services. Others include tools or services that help developers design, build, market or monetise their apps. This is one of the lower risk models with a good probability of profit
- Apps that make money through e-Commerce are the most successful in terms of making comfortable profits
Let’s try and translate it to WebRTC-speak:
- Contracting your developer skills to others who need WebRTC development done has a low probability of making a loss. I’d add that it is in high demand and low supply if you ask LinkedIn for WebRTC skills
- Building yet-another-video-calling-service and expecting to make money out of it has a high probability to fail. Too many of these “Hello World” services around
- Tools for developers are hugely popular. It is why I have a report on a niche of that specific domain… And as Developer Economics state in that article – the game isn’t over for new entrants either – assuming they have something interesting and useful to offer
- Making money from communication is hard. Making money from context (and business processes) is a lot easier
There are a lot of similarities between the WebRTC ecosystem and what is happening today in the mobile app economy. As the mobile app economy has a head start of a few years, we can deduce from the progress made there of how the future of WebRTC might unfold.