Can CocoPPa succeed overseas with a Japanese monetization model?



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based United, the company behind the popular homescreen decoration app CocoPPa, announced today it has started looking for third-party content holders in the character business as possible collaborators.

The startup is planning to provide app users with paid content this coming fall, and hopefully by partnering with many content holders it can accumulate a rich variety of wallpapers and icons.

This will be CocoPPa’s first attempt at monetizing. Some of our readers may recall that the company has partnered with Tokyo Otaku Mode, bringing illustrations from TOM to their smartphone homescreens. This collaboration provided content for free, but in the future users will pay to get icons or wallpapers featuring popular characters from prominent IP holders.

When we think about this kind of business models, Line Corporation’s paid stickers also come to mind. According to that company, sticker sales generated revenue worth 1.74 billion yen ($17.4 million) in the three months from January to March, accounting for 30% of their overall income, with most of that coming from users in Japan. But when we look at the demographics of CocoPPa users (see below), they are mostly women in their early 20s, with 86% of users coming from outside Japan. So it will be interesting to see if such an internationally-focused app can generate revenue in this way.


CocoPPa has already surpassed 10 million downloads in its first 11 months since the launch. If you are interested in partnering with them, feel free to apply over on their website.

If you haven’t yet tried the CocoPPa app, it is available for free on iOS and Android. The iOS app was launched back on July 26th, 2012, and the Android version followed on May 29th, 2013. As of June 22nd, iOS accounts for 90% of the app’s total downloads.