aggregators v.s. operators – pros and cons

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Aggregators are an important channel to market. In some ways, because they reach more than one operator, they can have a wider reach than working with a single operator.

In simplest terms, an aggregator takes applications from more than one developers and distributes it to one or more operators.

I have been looking at aggregators for the next version of OpenGardens and I am discussing the pros and cons of working with an aggregator vs. working with multiple operators.

Conventional wisdom suggests that – an aggregator clearly serves some purpose. In some cases, the operator does not want to speak to developers directly. This means the developer is forced to go through an aggregator

Potentially, anyone could be an aggregator – for example in the games industry, some publishers are both developers and aggregators.

From what I have seen so far, an aggregator performs some or all of these functions

a) Distributing content to one or more operators

b) Distributing content from their own portal

c) Billing and invoicing

d) Packaging and bundling of applications

e) Sometimes testing etc

Even within the content space, most appear to cater for games only. Infospace, Digitalgridges and mforma seem to be content aggregators(perhaps more focussed on games) as opposed to application aggregators

Some companies like bango and end2end are aggregating applications and content

Questions I seek answers to are:

a) What do aggregators do other than the above?

b) Any recommended aggregators?

c) Pros and cons – aggregators vs. operators

d) Why are so many aggregators focussed on gaming?

e) Are there any good application aggregators?

f) Any experiences(good or bad) with aggregators?

Final word .. the whole aggregator model may be a red herring. With mobile search on the rise, I think that’s the way to go(but that’s another blog)!

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