It’s probably a game of blink: do Indian telecom operators need Nokia, or does Nokia need them more? In an email that Nokia sent out to publishers (copy below), it has said that starting October 1st, the company will offer a fixed operator revenue share worldwide, in partnership with 91 telecom operators (none from India) which guarantees payouts to developers and Ovi publishers.

While the operator revenue share has not been disclosed, Nokia has updated its and terms and conditions for publishers / application developers, according to which, the devs will receive 60% net revenue share attributable to purchases of content. It offers 70% net revenue share to developers in case of credit card purchases, but in case of telco billing, there appears to be a catch:

While Net revenue share in case of credit card purchases is “the purchase price paid for Your Content by the end user, net of returns, refunds and bad debt, less all applicable taxes levied on sales, consumption, or based on revenue, regardless of what that tax is called”, in case of operator revenue share, Net Revenue means “purchase price actually received by Nokia for Your Content from the end user, net of returns, refunds and bad debt, less all applicable taxes levied on sales, consumption, or based on revenue, regardless of what that tax is called.”

It appears, at least to us, that Nokia is giving 60% of its share from operators, but it hasn’t quite specified what its share from operators will be. This is symptomatic of the issue of global telco integration – there is no one size fits all policy. Still, Nokia is pitching to publishers that it expects publisher revenues to increase 50% as a result of the telco deal.

Indian telcos have been particularly miserly on revenue shares, historically, and it’s no surprise that none of those 91 telcos (a list below) are Indian. Despite this, India remains one of the top 10 most active markets for the Ovi Store. As of July 14th 2010, the top 10 Nokia devices in India: 2626, 2700 classic, 3110 classic, 5130 XpressMusic, 5230, 5233, 5800 XpressMusic, 7210 Supernova, E63, N73.

The telcos, via the Ovi Stats Page

  • Australia: Singtel Optus, Telstra, Vodafone (3)
  • Austria: A1 mobilkom, H3G, Orange, T-Mobile (4)
  • Belgium: Base, Mobistar, Proximus (3)
  • Canada: Bell, Rogers, Telus (3)
  • Czech Republic: T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 (3)
  • Denmark: H3G, TDC, Telenor, Telia (4)
  • Finland: DNA, Elisa, Saunalahti, Sonera (4)
  • France: Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Orange (3)
  • Germany: Debitel, E-Plus, Mobilcom, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone (6)
  • Greece: Cosmote, Vodafone, Wind (3)
  • Hungary: Telenor, T-Mobile, Vodafone (3)
  • Ireland: H3G, Meteor, O2, Vodafone (4)
  • Italy: TIM, Vodafone, Wind (3)
  • Mexico: Telcel (1)
  • Netherlands: KPN, T-Mobile, Telfort, Tele2,Vodafone (5)
  • Norway: Netcom, Telenor, Tele2 (3)
  • Poland: Era, Orange, Play, Plus (4)
  • Portugal: Optimus, VPN, Vodafone (3)
  • Russia: Beeline, Megafon, MTS (3)
  • Singapore: M1, Singtel, Starhub (3)
  • South Africa: Cell-C, MTN, Vodafon (3)
  • Spain: Orange, Movistar, Vodafone (3)
  • Sweden: H3G, Tele2, Telenor, Telia (4)
  • Switzerland: Orange, Swisscom, Sunrise (3)
  • UK: H3G, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Virgin, Vodafone (6)
  • USA: AT&T, T-Mobile (2)

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Extracts from Nokia’s Updated Terms & Conditions (link)

4.3. Nokia shall pay You seventy percent (70%) of the Net Revenue attributable to purchases of Your Content by end users that pay by credit card; and sixty percent (60%) of the Net Revenue attributable to purchases of Your Content by end users that pay using operator billing. You agree that Nokia may increase the percentage of Net Revenue payable to You for either operator or credit card billing without having to
amend this Agreement.

4.3.1. For purchases made by credit card, “Net Revenue” shall mean the purchase price paid for Your Content by the end user, net of returns, refunds and bad debt, less all applicable taxes levied on sales, consumption, or based on revenue, regardless of what that tax is called.

4.3.2. For purchases made via operator billing, “Net Revenue” shall mean the purchase price actually received by Nokia for Your Content from the end user, net of returns, refunds and bad debt, less all applicable taxes levied on sales, consumption, or based on revenue, regardless of what that tax is called. For the avoidance of doubt, You acknowledge and agree, that payment and bad debt information received from operator billing arrangements may be based on aggregate amounts and not itemized, and that if Nokia is unable to determine the exact amount directly attributable to all Content, then Nokia may allocate and apportion such revenues or
bad debt according to an equitable prorated method across Content sold through a particular operator.

4.4. You acknowledge and agree that the Net Revenue attributable to purchases is determined using the amounts actually collected and received by Nokia from either credit card purchases, operator billing purchases or both. You further acknowledge that there can be a time delay between when Your Content is sold, and when Nokia receives the funds attributable to the sale of Your Content. Should the time delay be significant, as determined solely in Nokia’s discretion, Nokia reserves the right (but is under no obligation) to make courtesy payments to You based on estimated Net Revenue (instead of actual). If such courtesy payments are made, You acknowledge and agree that Nokia may adjust Your future payments based on actual figures and amounts once known.

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Email Sent To Publishers (Note: MediaNama is registered, but doesn’t publish an application)

SUBJECT: Ovi Store’s New Worldwide Fixed-Rate Operator Revenue Share

Dear Ovi Publisher,

Nokia announces Ovi Store’s New Worldwide Fixed-rate Operator Revenue Share. The only revenue-share of its kind, with 91 of the best operators in the world!

Beginning with publisher payments made after Oct 1, Nokia will offer a worldwide fixed rate operator revenue share, guaranteeing the payout to developers.

Ovi Publish Terms & Conditions page will be changing to reflect this new agreement. When the change occurs you will be prompted to accept the Terms & Conditions. You will not be able to access Ovi Publish until you accept the new Terms & Conditions.

Learn more below by reading the FAQ. And if you still have questions after reading the FAQ, please send your questions to: publishtoovi.support@nokia.com

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much more money can I make with the new policy?
A: Publisher revenues will on average increase by 50% if comparing sales of the same content at the same price under the previous and new calculations.

Q. How long before I see payments at the new rate?
A. All payments due after Oct 1 will take into account the new operator fixed rate. Payments will be made after the end of each calendar month when the total balance due the publisher exceeds 100 Euros.

Q. Will this be retroactive to July or August of 2010 payments?
A. No, this will not apply to payments already made, but for payments starting Oct 1., all payments will be made at the new rate regardless of when the underlying operator billing transaction occurred.

Q. If the split was 70/30 before, how is this better for me as a developer/publisher? What is the benefit to me as a developer or publisher?
A. The benefit of the new rate will make the publisher more money. Publisher revenues will on average increase by 50%.

Q. How many other major app stores offer operator billing or is Ovi Store the only one?
A. Nokia is currently the only major, worldwide content store offering the convenience and opportunity of operator billing.

Q. Why is Nokia doing this?
A. Nokia believes that changing to a fixed revenue share for all purchases done through Ovi Store demonstrates a major and immediate improvement in revenue predictability and results for our publishers – publisher revenues will on average increase by 50%. This new method provides more predictability, thus allowing the publisher to create more reliable business plans and a greater return on investment.

Sincerely,
Ovi Publish Support Team

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