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1 Million Users: Docomo’s New App/Content Market Is Growing Nicely


Japan’s No. 1 mobile carrier, NTT Docomo, opened a feature-phone only “app store” on December 6, 2010. The portal started with 1,200 apps, one million music titles and a total of 30,000 e-books, with all content exclusively for download onto Docomo’s feature phones.

Docomo gets 20% of all revenue from content providers (individuals and businesses alike) who look at a customer base of 55 million.

But how exactly is Docomo’s app market doing? In a recent interview with Nikkei IT Pro, a Docomo representative revealed some numbers.

Here are the details, which I think aren’t available in English anywhere:

  • the number of apps shot up to 2,000 since the opening of the store
  • the store sees 400,000 unique users only (that’s not too bad)
  • the number of visitors in the second month was 25% higher than in the first
  • 1,000,000 people downloaded at least one piece of content so far
  • 10% of apps are paid
  • the number of paid apps tripled from a month earlier

There are three reasons for these solid numbers:

  1. Users can conveniently pay via their cell phone bill (the number credit card holders in Japan is relatively low).
  2. Promotion through Docomo’s mail magazine (circulation: 1 million).
  3. Docomo now allows individuals (not only companies) to offer apps, with 10% of apps coming from individuals currently.

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.