Independent app store GetJar said today that it had given away $1 million worth of pay applications through its Gold program.
That equates to roughly 500,000 apps at an average price of $2 an app given away since the program started earlier this month.
GetJar is just one of many alternative app stores that have sprung up catering to Android and other smartphone platforms. Its most well known rival, beyond Android Marketplace, would be Amazon's app store. The app stores cater to developers who are increasingly looking to other avenue for distribution and revenue opportunities.
GetJar's Gold program, however, is a unique take on distribution. On Sept. 8, GetJar, which allows customers who visit the Gold site to download pay apps for free. Developers bring their apps to GetJar because of the increased exposure, and are compensated by GetJar on a per-download basis. GetJar, meanwhile, generates revenue from advertisements and the higher traffic garnered by the program.
GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs said the program has attracted more than 200,000 Android users, and that the number is "growing exponentially."
"Making money as an independent game developer isn't easy," said Michael Dobele, an executive producer at Halfbrick Studios, which developed Age of Zombies and Fruit Ninja. "Gold is bringing in extra money from a new global audience. This is income we wouldn't have seen otherwise."
GetJar, meanwhile, believes the popularity of Gold, which has found a growing audience, has lured in new developers.
"We are thrilled with the explosive traction the Gold program is getting and are working hard to further build out our offering to consumers and developers," Laurs said in a statement.
Gold members can access a library nearly 50 premium apps, which normally range between 99 cents and $10, for free. Membership to the program is free. Apps include the game Krazy Kart Racing, which sells for $3.43 elsewhere, and SwiftKey X, which costs $4.06.
While the Gold program is primarily for Android, GetJar sells apps for BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile. But iPhone users can't access the site because of Apple's closed iOS platform. Instead, the site redirects iOS apps to iTunes.
Updated at 9:22 a.m. PT: to include additional details about the program.