9GAG Android app Acquired for $25,000

Hey guys,

Here’s the listing: https://www.apptopia.com/listings/9gag-free-and-paid-version

Just letting you know I’m part of the Apptopia team, but I thought a lot of devs (Android especially) would find this exciting…

Thoughts? Questions?

This does NOT make any sense. Not so much this application, but for some of the others I’ve looked at.

But even for this application:

How does it make 20 bucks a day on average and get valued at 25k and someone actually buys it? I’m assuming the free version has ads, although it doesn’t say.

$20 * 365 = $7,300 so it would take ~4 years to get a return, and that’s IF the user stream remains constant, let alone other risks involved (Google Play banning the application/account, Admob disabling the ad account, etc.). And for most applications, the amount of new users heads downstream.

Granted, this sort of application will probably be viable for a few years, and there is a chance for user growth. But even still. That’s a huge risk, and it would take a long time to get a return on the investment.

The only other value in this is the acquisition of users and app reputation, the code base, and possibly enhancements to monetize it even further (Airpush for revenue, advertising for more users, etc). But I just don’t see it for this application.

Furthermore, for this particular app, there’s operational risks because it’s dependent on the server side of things. If 9gag changes their server side code, or even shuts down (probably won’t happen), then it’s up to the new app owner to make the appropriate changes.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just can’t understand it.

I’m honestly thinking of throwing my apps up on there because these numbers are crazy.

Good idea with the ‘sell your app’ concept. I wonder what is the monthly total of sales … if the rule of “last year income times four” is a standard one then I am very tempted to give it a try. Need to understand how the transfer is done. Thanks for posting this.

I’m wondering about the transfer as well. Obviously part of the value is your apps current user base. How to transfer the app to the buyer and still give them the ability to update the app for current users. If it is tied to your android development account along with other apps that could be a problem. As far as I know there is no ability to transfer an app from one dev account to another.

I’ve had this app on my phone for quite some time now and so I was pretty surprised to see it on sale. The free version (which I have) does not have any advertisements. The only revenue from the app is made from the pro version of the app. Now that it has been sold I really, really hope that the new developer won’t add anything like notification ads or icon drops since.

$25,000 seems to be a lot for this application considering that the free version has no advertisements. If the new owner will add advertisements to it $25,000 was probably a pretty small amount to pay for it, considering its huge user base (>350k visits every day with average usage duration of 15 minutes)…

I would also like to know more about the transfer process. From your Help page I couldn’t find any clear answer wether or not the buyer will also get the user base, ratings, downloads etc. or only the source code.

This is pretty simple to do the math on…

Assume the developer adds a banner advert and gets $0.50 eCPM.

350k visits @ 15min each = 5.25mil minutes. Assuming a 1 min advert rotation, that is 5mil adverts/day and $2650/day.

Payback time is therefore 10 days…

The app should have sold for over $100k …

Only if they keep the users - we still don’t know how the transfer will be done.

Lets say they keep only 30% of the users… WOW… payback time is now… umm… 30 days ?!?

Yep, if the buyer will keep the user base then he’ll get the money back in no time (if adding advertisements of course). I think there would be quite a few switching to a different application if the buyer decides to add advertisements to it, but it will still have a huge user base left.

I read in a different forum that since 9gag made their (official) iPhone application, all developers who have had “9gag” in their application name have been asked to remove it (the word 9gag, not the whole application :slight_smile: )… I believe 9gag are planning to make an android app as well, so this could happen for Android too. It will still probably generate lots and lots of downloads every day without having “9gag” in its name but could still be a pretty strategic move by the seller as he relies solely on paid version sales.

So to answer your questions, Google was smart enough to plan for ahead. This means that for Android app acquisitions, all users, ratings, and reviews are able to transfer over seamlessly. This is not the case with Apple, though, so Apptopia has created an SDK that’s still in testing.

The actual transfer process for an Android app only takes a few days and requires some emailing back and forth with Google - but Apptopia’s transfer specialists guide you through the entire process. Most importantly, we provide protection against a developer ever trying to recreate the exact same app to compete with your newly acquired app in the future.

The only other thing you may be curious about is an app’s certificate key… I think you can all agree that this is a necessity as user acquisition is a massive benefit to acquiring an app. The keystore must be provided to the new developer, but since most devs have one key across their whole portfolio, we have very aggressive legal protection for both parties on the issue. Tons of Android transfers have occurred, so if you’re unsure about any part of the process we can definitely connect you with a dev who has already been through it! (All sold apps are listed here - https://www.apptopia.com/listings/browse?by_finish_at=desc&with_completed_state=1)

Also if you have any other questions about your specific apps, feel free to shoot me an email any time - chelsea AT apptopia.com!

I saw that too! Although I am a bit skeptical of whether this is completely true or not, I think a big part of the reason this buyer chose to purchase the 9GAG app was because of 9GAG’s plans to enter the Android market later this year.

In my opinion it would be 9GAG’s best interest to acquire an existing 9GAG viewer app & make improvements in order to get to the market as quickly as possible.


Thanks for this info. It clears alot of things up. Now I need to get busy creating an app with a large user base so I can sell it and its users. It may also be smart for us developers to start using a different keystore for apps that are not related to each other if we think we may ever want to sell one.

The transfer process sounds great - thanks for clearing that up.
Now $25,000 doesn’t seem like a small sum to pay at all… :slight_smile:

Of course it could be false that 9GAG asked iPhone developers to rename their apps but after a quick search on google I couldn’t find that many applications having 9GAG in the title (and also found one that had been renamed from 9gag viewer to meme reader).

If I remember correctly when 9GAG released their iPhone application not that long ago a lot of users were disappointed because it was buggy and didn’t work well. Lots were saying that the 9gag app for Android (this one, that was sold for $25k) was way better so it wouldn’t really surprise me if 9gag decides to just buy this working and popular application app to get it right from the very beginning. You have a point there, Chelsea.

Guess we’ll see what will happen next. My guess: advertisements. :slight_smile:

Glad I could help guys :slight_smile:

And I’m guessing ads too… guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Thanks Chelsea for the info.

I’m leaning towards no but if the app already has an existing user base, it’s definitely a plus.

Today they updated it. It now has advertisements.
Fortunately only banner ads.

They also had to add a new permission (Read phone status and identity) so it’s not going to be auto-updated but I’m sure quite a lot of the users will manually update it anyway.

If looking at newest comments one can already see comments coming in about the advertisements (although I just got the update) so some users are not very pleased with the update (warning others not to), so far I haven’t really been bothered by the advertisements, but I haven’t used it for long after the update yet. With advertisements included now I think they’ll make up for the $25k quite quickly now.

I wonder what could I get for a slots game with professional graphics (hd), music, sounds and everything. I can’t release such game myself because of my country anti-hazard laws. Slots should be very, very easy to monetize (ads, in-app payments). I make slots for a client so I have experience with them. Sth like this for example https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.play.slot (it’s only an example). The game wouldn’t be published, so no users.

Slot game doesn’t automatically imply hazard. As long as it is not possible to win money it’s just a game and anti-hazard laws doesn’t apply. There’s tons of slot games out there though and most of them are being advertised heavily to get traction so it may not be so easy to be successful with this as it seems.

In my country it does unfortunately. The anti-hazard law in Poland is a hack. They name slots specifically and ban it even if the stake of the game is ability to play for longer (my client has such games and he had to pay a fine because of this and is now looking to move the business to another country)… I could stay low and they would probably never know - I consider going that way too - especially with ad supported that would be quite easy.

I’ve heard that the best way to get find out how much the web site, application or company is worth is to calculate it’s 2 year revenue. Based on the graph displayed on Apptopia, 9GAG app has an average daily revenue about 25$. So the price should be around 18 000$.

I personally think that it shouldn’t cost more than 8 000$. This application is just too simple.

Yes, it is a fairly simple application, but you’re not paying for the actual app, you’re paying for the userbase. Read this thread and you’ll see some numbers which will suggest that it should’ve sold for more than $25k.

Also, you can’t calculate the 2 year revenue here as the revenue presented is for the sales of the full version of the application only while it now has advertisements in it which will increase the revenue by a lot.

Just look at mind’s calculation for example, if only 30% of the current active users will update to the newest version and with an eCPM of $0.50 it will only take a month to recover the $25k. If 60% updates, about 2 weeks etc.