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Handango Trying To Stifle Mobile Developers?

From previous experience and information I know that Handango has not been that developer friendly for quite awhile now. They have some of the lowest royalty payments for developers but developers still seem to released software for Maybe this will change their mind!

Over the weekend Zach Epstein posted on BoyGenius about Handango’s revised Content Distribution Agreement or CDA. The latest revision of the CDA goes into effect this March 15th. Until now Handango has been charging developers 40% of the total sale. Come March, Handango will start taking 50%! Image below courtesy of BoyGenius.


The crazy part is that the only way to make higher margins according to the new CDA is to reach a Gross Revenue of over $250,000. Who is Handango kidding?

Just as a sidenote the BerryReview Store gives developers 80% of the purchase last time I checked. (Update: Kevin of corrected my mistake. I think Mobihand gives 60% to the developer) Guess we should be seeing a mass migration sometime soon.

20 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. You said MobiHand gives the developer 60%. That’s what Handango has done up until March. Perhaps you shouldn’t be singing MobiHand’s praises quite yet?

    And it sounds like this would be a good deal for the software that does well and a bad deal for software that doesn’t.

    Maybe we should be praising Handango for rewarding developers of great software?

  2. Ryan,
    Your 100% correct. I got confused somewhere down the road :)

    Still 250,000 in sales is steep… Now I understand why some developers have their own stores…

  3. seems to have great reputation amongst developers… They definitely dont screw developers like handango …. Dont know about mobihand really..never heard of them myself…

  4. Clickapps rulez for developers. They respond almost right away, and they are actually human.

    As a developer who lists on Handango, I can tell you, they suck. Beyond that, trying to contact them is a complete waste of time. Email support ([email protected]) responds in about eh eh NEVER. You get an automated response in which they notify that in 72 hours the issue will be considered solved, but within that time, or 2 weeks later, still no other responses. I’m not the biggest seller, but I do make enough to expect some better support.
    On top of that, the last payment (januari 2008) they decided to only pay for half the amount of sales I had in that time period, and finally, after 3 hours of random number punches on their phone system (all the listed numbers are dead) I got some false promises and still no reason why.

    Seriously, they have a monopoly in that so many websites use them as a store-front (Microsoft etc) you dont have much of a choice as a dev but to put up with their crap.

    PocketGear, another one, same thing. Going from a top20 application on their old website, I now get lucky if I get 2 sales a month through their new website.

    To all devs, if you want good results, and be treated as a human and not a piece of sh*t, go with clickapps.

  5. Wow I guess I really touched a nerve on this one. BlackBerry really stuck developers by teaming together with Handango for their software store. Sorry guys. Anything we can do to help?

  6. If you are a developer. Read it and send to other.

    1. Double check what Handandgo paid to you. I did. In all mine 7 checks money are missing. In each one, no exceptions. Range is from 15 to 78 USD. That is why they are not sending with check the calculation list which will show how that total amount was calculated. They also do not have that information on their website. They have all purchases listed, but there is no information which one included in what check. NONE! That is the biggest secret ever. That is where Handango is simply stealing developers money!
    Try to ask them what payments are included in that check and you will not get the answer. They will refer you to website, they will refer to agreement, they will tell you anything except the answer.

    2. I know at least a few dirty tricks that Handandgo plays.
    Here is another popular one – the so called discount codes on Handandgo. I have investigated and I got confirmation from a few customers that they have paid the full amount, but Handandhgo is showing to developer that software was sold with discount price! Guess who got that money difference in their pocket? Letter to Handango.. no answer.
    Don’t take my word for granted. Check you payments at Handanago, find the discount ones, write letter to customer and ask how much did they pay in reality, compare that with Handango data at your account. There is a good chance to have some discoveries!

  7. Have you tried posting this information Simon? Do you have proof? I would be curious to see :)

  8. Basically, my opinion of the situation is:

    The below clause in the handango-developer agreement prevents a developer from offering their product at a lower price in another software shop:

    “At no time shall the Software’s SRP provided to Publisher be higher than the Software’s SRP provided to other distributors.”

    Thus, even if another software store charged developers only a 20% commission (as oppose to Handango’s 50%), the developer can’t pass that 30% savings onto consumers because this clause forbids that!

    For example, if another software shop only charged a 20% fee, you would think it could work like this:

    XYZ app sells for $19.95 on Handango, Handango gets 50% = $9.95 profit to developer
    XYZ app sells for $12.50 on ABCshop, ABCShop gets 20% = $9.95 profit to developer

    In the above example, the developer would still make the same $9.95 profit, but the consumer would save $7.50 by buying it though ABCShop!

    The only way a developer could sell a product for less would be to NOT sell it through Handango (thus, they are not bound by the clause). But this would be like shooting yourself in the foot because Handango is the biggest shop and provides the highest sales count to developers. So, the developer has to bite the bullet and charge the same price in all software shops :(

    How can another software shop ever be competitive to Handango when the best way to do so (by offering lower prices) is specifically prohibited in Handango’s agreement?

    Handango has the right to charge a premium commission if their market position offers developers higher number of sales. But, I feel that this clause is anti-competitive and Handango is using their market dominance to force developers into agreeing to it.

    I feel Handango is in effect dictating the prices that consumers pay for mobile software – thats probably why every shop sells the same app for the same price that Handango sells it for.

    I feel the FTC and other applicable government agencies should investigate this clause to see if it is violating any anti-trust/anti-competitive laws designed specifically to prohibit monopolies from preventing competition.

    Also, because Handango has so many partnerships with cellphone carriers, when a newbie buys a smartphone and selects “purchase software” link, the chances are they are directed to Handango – thus handango gets first sales opportunity for all newbies. Then, after a newbie gets confortable, they will probably try to find a software store that sells apps at a discount, but because of the above clause, there isn’t any. And because all shops charge the same price for the same app, there really isn’t any significant incentive for a user to switch from handango.

    However, if someone opened up a new software shop that offered 20% off ALL software, EVERYDAY, then the discounted price offered to consumers for an app would NOT be the developers fault, so Handango couldn’t scold them under this clause.

    Such a shop would have a significant chance to compete against Handango because there would finally be a real reason for users to NOT buy from Handango!

  9. Auto. I did not even realize that there was a clause requiring the same price on all distributor sites. Do all distributors require that?

  10. Handango are a bunch of cheats.

    I am one of their affiliates and every time I have asked for a break down in clicks / revenue they have not replied. I have been asking for over a year now.

    It’s strange how I have increased publishing links to them yet exactly the same every quarter.

    I’m only keeping them onboard because the money that I do actually get is reasonable but there is no proof in how they arrived at the figure.

    Greedy pricks…

  11. Since about April Handango have been paying me around 25% commission. Not sure what is going on as it is near impossible to get a reply from them.

  12. I'm a developer and sell my content on Handango. I have told several customers not to use them anymore and to go over to mobihand instead. They are late over a week now for my royalty payments. Customers have download issues all the time even though my files and activation process are correct. I'm getting ready to file a small claims case against them for payment owed.

  13. Alternatives:


    Any more that you can think of?

  14. Has anybody else been short changed by Handango this month? I got a royalty payment for 9% of sales :0(

    • In January 2009 we hit a sales record (20% increase). Yet our royalties plummeted to 30% of those from December 2008.

      As usual no answer from them even if we started to push for the payments since December. We now plan to hire a lawyer and go ask their bankruptcy.

  15. It was bad enough when they were taking 30% of the sale, but 50%!
    It’s just too greedy.
    I’ve been trying to support smaller alternatives since if we don’t band together and support other sites nothing will change. looks promising to me so I have signed up with them. Would encourage others to consider it as well

  16. If only they were taking 50%. They are taking about 80% off me :0((( I think they may be going bust.

  17. It’s INSANE. I agree that it’s time – heck, PAST time – to seek out other platforms.

    I know that people get disgruntled, for example there’s always a component of eBay sellers who want to leave but “can’t” because eBay is so big. But this isn’t quite the same, because you don’t have to lose sales by listing elsewhere and building up other sites. Yes, the SRP thing does limit your options to some extent, but if you take a smaller commision on Handango and build up the other sites mentioned, we can all leave Handango behind.

    As long as we keep cooperating with them, they’ll keep screwing us.

    Updated list:


  18. None of those sites come remotely close to the volume of sales we get from Handango. We’re now coding for Apple. The % is 70% and the amazing sales mean we can soon leave Handango … and then sue them for the money they owe us.

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