A Quick Look At Pah! Or Why Piracy Is A Marketing Benchmark

I first came across Yosi Taguri and the game he created called Pah! with his colleagues Eyal Shahar and Israel Roth when I travelled to Tel Aviv in May to attend the IMA's Apps Mania Conference. Immediately both the game and Yosi's presentation style grabbed my attention. I knew then we had to find a way to bring him over to the UK.

This week we made it happen, with Yosi making his UK speaking début at DroidCon UK. He shared the story of how Pah! came about, and documented the rise in its popularity. Following the Twitter chatter during and after the presentation, it seems Yosi made an impact!

Pah! is a voice activated game, and I don't think I've seen any other game that generates so much laughter when played:

YouTube is full of crazy videos of people like this playing Pah! Yosi celebrates that the tipping point for the game was when Pah! was hacked and illegally distributed in China. In fact Yoshi's advice is to never give away your game for free as pirates won't bother hacking you!

Pah! has been downloaded over 466,000 times for iOS and over 173,000 times for Android, generating nearly 70 millions shouts of the word "Pah!" Now, most developers would be over the moon with those figures, however Yosi paints the stark reality of the app store business model.

More than 600 thousand downloads of his app has equated to just $60,000. Not enough cash to pay the salary of one good developer. In fact the most lucrative business has been $250,000 worth of development for hire work off the back of Pah! reputation.

Even more telling is only 1% of that revenue came from Android. Yosi points to the lack of single standardised payment mechanism on Android (compared to iTunes / credit card for iOS), and a lack of consumer trust with 3rd party branded billing solutions.

You can watch Yosi's full DroidCon UK presentation below.

Yosi Taguri talks about Pah! at DroidCon UK from BlueVia on Vimeo.

We will publish a short interview of Yosi tomorrow.