Barnes & Noble, Fortumo team for in-app purchases on Nook
Barnes & Noble is partnering with mobile payment services firm Fortumo to offer in-app purchase capabilities across Android applications optimized for the bookseller's Nook tablets and e-readers.
Barnes & Noble's Nook developer partners can begin offering premium in-app goods like virtual currencies, extra levels and power-ups beginning during the first half of April. IAP capabilities will be offered on devices including the 7-inch Nook HD, 9-inch Nook HD+ and Nook Color e-reader.
"Watch your email for critical updates regarding the availability of the Fortumo In-App Purchase SDK," Barnes & Noble states. "Once we notify you that the Fortumo SDK for Nook is ready, you will need to download and recompile your apps… We will notify you when we are ready for you to re-submit your apps to Nook Developer using our existing submission process."
Fortumo's one-click checkout process requires consumers to enter their credit card information only the first time they make an in-app purchase. In addition to its SDK and related software tools, Fortumo will offer a dashboard where developers can track their monetization progress.
Barnes & Noble has not yet clarified how it will share revenues and process payments derived from Nook in-app purchases and did not respond to a request for details prior to press time. The company currently offers developers the standard 30 percent cut of revenues from premium Nook app downloads.
Barnes & Noble will roll out Nook in-app purchases one year after rival Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) introduced the same functionality for its Appstore for Android. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play have each offered IAP capabilities for several years.
Barnes & Noble will look to the Fortumo partnership to boost developer and consumer interest in the Nook platform: The company's Nook Media unit, which includes hardware as well as e-books and digital media, slumped 25.9 percent year-over-year during the 2012 holiday season to $316 million, but it noted that content sales increased 6.8 percent compared to year-ago totals. Barnes & Noble has said it remains committed to the Nook Media business despite its recent struggles, dismissing a recent New York Times report indicating the bookseller plans to move away from engineering and building Nook e-readers and tablets in favor of licensing its digital content to other device manufacturers.
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