GetJar Rides a Rocket Thanks to Angry Birds

Until recently, GetJar was probably one of the biggest app stores that few people had ever used. That ended on Friday, however, when it offered an exclusive on Angry Birds for Android, (s goog) touching off a frenzy of downloads that overwhelmed GetJar’s servers.

How big was the event? Here are some stats:

  • GetJar said download traffic was up 12-fold in the first couple of hours after the game was made available for free. Over the entire day, traffic was 10 times higher than normal.
  • GetJar has sold 1.9 million units since the launch. The site was supposed to have a 24-hour exclusive period, but the slowdown it experienced prompted developer Rovio to release it on the Android Market as well. There were 2 million downloads overall in the first two days between GetJar and Android Market.
  • Before Angry Birds, GetJar was averaging about 3 million downloads a day. Now, it’s up to almost 4 million a day.
  • Tweets about GetJar were also up by 10x, with many people learning about the app store for the first time because of Angry Birds.
  • GetJar executives privately predicted no more than 350,000 downloads on day 1. Patrick Mork, chief marketing officer at GetJar, said Rovio expected to have 1 million downloads on GetJar overall.

The Angry Birds exclusive has turned into a debut of sorts for San Mateo Calif.-based GetJar, which offers free games for 2,300 phones in 200 countries, and is now the third-largest app store with 74,000 apps. Its top three countries have been India, Indonesia and the U.S., although the U.S. is now up to No. 2 with the success of Angry Birds. GetJar is also looking for further exposure in the U.S.: Today, the company is launching another exclusive with Inedible Software, a longtime iOS (s aapl) developer that will be releasing Shotgun Free on Android for the first time.

The deal is hopefully the first of many more to come, said Mork. He believes the Angry Birds case is opening a lot of people’s eyes to the value of independent app stores, especially ones built on free downloads with ad support. Mork said for developers, GetJar opens up new opportunities to sell and promote their apps. That’s one of the motivating factors for Eddie Marks, co-founder of Inedible Software, who said he’ll release Shotgun Free app in the Android Market next week but enjoys having another application store with global reach that can also promote his app.

“At the end of the day, we’re dipping our toe in the water with Android, so being able to make separate deals, it’s nice to get featured spots and promotion,” Marks said.

When it comes to revenue, GetJar doesn’t charge for apps; it makes its money by auctioning off promotional space on its website for developers. Developers who bid on placement for their apps, however, only pay based on the number of downloads they receive. With exclusive deals like Angry Birds, GetJar actively promotes the apps high up on its website in hopes it will drive more overall traffic.

As we’ve written before, Android Market is still not reaching its potential, and thus is opening the door to competing markets. While this may create some confusion for consumers, it could be a boon for some developers looking for alternative ways to sell their products, as GetJar has shown with Angry Birds.

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