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GetJar has beat out budding rival Amazon (s AMZN) in snagging the exclusive Android (s GOOG) release of Cut the Rope, a previous iOS (s AAPL) game with Angry Birds–like appeal. The game from ZeptoLab is now available on GetJar for free, and it will be exclusive to GetJar for six days before appearing in Android Market.
The exclusive is the most prominent catch for GetJar since it launched Angry Birds on Android last year. But more recently, Amazon’s Appstore for Android has grabbed exclusives like Angry Birds Rio and PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies, Chuzzle and Peggle. The competition between the two is now in full swing, and the push for exclusives represents a major battleground as they try to assert themselves as worthwhile alternatives to Google’s Android Market.
GetJar CMO Patrick Mork said the deal was hard-won through several months of negotiation, and it comes after GetJar lost out on previous exclusives, like the PopCap titles. He says the exclusive not only validates GetJar’s marketplace as a viable distribution platform but also shows its commitment to developers. Exclusives also represent significant traffic-driving opportunities for GetJar.
Indeed, GetJar, which has more than 150,000 apps and games across various platforms, saw traffic spike by 10 times on the first day of getting Angry Birds, and it had 1.9 million downloads after a few days. Cut the Rope is not likely to achieve such lofty heights, but it has previously hit No. 1 in the App Store and been a consistent top title on iOS since launching last fall. The physics-based game requires the player to cut a rope in creative ways to drop candy to a baby monster named Om Nom.
“Cut the Rope is an incredible game that has been hugely popular on iOS,” said Mork. “It raises the bar in terms of the level of gaming on Android.”
Mork wouldn’t discuss the financial terms of the deal with ZeptoLab. But he said GetJar is pulling out the stops in promoting the game. Typically, exclusives get featured placement on the site and are included in email blasts and case studies. But he said GetJar is throwing in additional marketing behind the game, including a sweepstakes for concert tickets.
He said GetJar is hoping to appeal to game developers as a better choice than the Amazon Appstore by being a better marketing partner. While Amazon features its exclusives as the free app of the day on the site, Mork argues that the spike in traffic doesn’t last. Meanwhile GetJar pushes fewer exclusives but keeps up a longer-term, sustained marketing push behind the titles it does feature, said Mork.
“Amazon’s approach is good for consumers but not for developers,” he said. “You’re the flavor of the day for one day. But once you’re not, you’re out of luck; you don’t have that long-term benefit.”
Expect the battle for exclusives to continue to heat up between Amazon and GetJar. Mork said the Cut the Rope deal is part of a new, undisclosed strategy that GetJar is testing and will roll out in August. For developers, the emergence of these stores provides extra help in pushing downloads and sales on the Android platform. The Android Market has been improving rapidly, but with the competition afforded by Android’s more-open platform, we’re seeing how rivals are working hard to improve the app experience for developers and consumers.