Windows Phone Marketplace payouts coming in January, reporting available now

It has been very humbling to see the developer excitement and all of the great new apps coming to Marketplace every day. As I sit here and type this, over 18,000 registered developers have signed up and have already published nearly 4,000 apps in Marketplace, providing customers around the world with a growing variety and number of certified applications to personalize their Windows Phone.

I am also pleased to share that, due to your feedback, we have been able to continue improving the experience both existing and new developers see every day. Here are some of the things we’re working on.

Payouts for Developers

Back in October I shared that developer payouts for app and game sales would begin in February. We are pleased to now announce that the first payouts for Windows Phone 7 sales will be made in the 4th week of January 2011. This payout will include payment for all sales of Windows Phone 7 apps and games that occurred after the phones became available in October 2010 through the end of December 2010. After January 2011, developer payouts will be processed on a monthly basis for all combined sales of Windows Phone 6.x and Windows Phone 7 apps for those developers who meet the minimum payout threshold limits.

App Performance Reporting Data

Also, as shared previously, we planned to provide developers with individual insights into their app’s performance within Marketplace. This is available today! Through the “Reports” link on your account in App Hub you can now access up-to-date download and transaction reporting information for all of your Windows Phone 7 applications and games. Two types of reports are available:

  • Download Reports that provide graphical views of daily and cumulative downloads as well as raw data break-downs
  • Payout Reports that provide aggregated and detailed views of payouts for all Marketplace applications (including sales on Marketplace for Windows Phone 6.x)

These reporting features include the ability for you to create custom views and apply filters, providing the flexibility to see app performance data the way you want to help make app development and business decisions. Reports can be filtered by date, country and application.

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Example Screenshot

We have great tools that we believe give you the right reporting capabilities. But we’re always looking to update and improve our developer experience so we welcome your feedback for further enhancements. So, tell us what other tools would be helpful to you. Email us your feedback to wpreport@microsoft.com with details of the Windows Live ID and company information your developer account is registered with. Please note that we may not be able to respond to each and every e-mail but your feedback is important.

Streamlined developer registration and submissions

We’ve heard you loud and clear that the registration and submission process hasn’t been ideal and has been frustrating to too many developers. In response, we’ve made a number of fixes and enhancements throughout the process over the last 2 months, including a number of new improvements available today.

One way we measure improvement is to look at is turnaround time for common activities. I wanted to share that we have made significant improvements. Over the last month, 91% of applications have been certified and published within 2 days of submission, and 86% of the 1,000+ new developers that register in App Hub every week now have their account vetted and validated within 10 days.

Here are a few examples of some of the other fixes and enhancements that we have made recently thanks to specific developer feedback.

  • Developers from certain countries were reporting issues with postal code rules that were not applicable to their locale.  We re-structured these rules to accommodate developers from these regions and they are now able to register successfully.
  • When re-submitting an application, the steps were unclear to many developers and resulted in the erroneous impression that the submission process was completed, when it was not.  We changed the workflow and improved the App Hub UI with a concise 5 step process.
  • We’ve also made several other smaller enhancements that improve the robustness, performance and usability as well.

Mobile Ad SDK for WP7 now supports XNA Framework game development

Finally, we continue to add new developer monetization models. This week Microsoft Advertising announced that the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to allow ad-enabled mobile gaming apps using the XNA Framework, in addition to the Silverlight support already provided.  Mobile gaming developers can now easily integrate banner or text ads into their Windows Phone 7 gaming apps while leveraging XNA game-specific features like 3D graphics support, multiple graphic blend modes, built-in game loop and much more. For more details about our Ad SDK update, read Jenifer Handler’s blog post here.

If you are a US-based mobile gaming developer targeting the US market, you can get started monetizing your ad funded mobile game apps for Windows Phone 7 by following the simple, three step process here.

As mentioned, these are just a few updates that we’re making but we’re not done yet. We’ll continue a regular cadence of updates and as always, we welcome your feedback.