OpenCandy brings the bucks to desktop software

The installer for TechSmith's SnagIt screencapture program is powered by OpenCandy.

(Credit: OpenCandy)

LAS VEGAS–If you want to make money off of apps, you must develop for mobile, right? Wrong, says SweetLabs’ Chester Ng, who points to his company’s success with its OpenCandy project to help developers earn a living.

The problem is both cultural as well as logistical, Ng said in an interview outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. Desktop software, especially on Windows, has a long history of being developed as freeware. But pitching a secondary software purchase to the user during the installation process had been poisoned, he said.

“The problem is that developers don’t like the Ask toolbar monetization,” Ng explained.

To that end, his company SweetLabs developed OpenCandy to create a better offer experience for both the user and the developer, he said. “We’re not showing the same offer over and over. If you’re downloading a PDF tool, [the user] might see an offer for a productivity app.”

The past year has been a good one for the 5-year-old startup based out of San Diego. OpenCandy has hit more than 1 billion installs of Windows freeware, and month-over-month volume increased by 63 percent in 2012. Payment rates to app developers jumped 70 percent in the same period.

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