Google will be allowing advertisers to pay to promote their apps in the Play store. This change in policy will soon see sponsored apps appearing alongside regular apps, much like how it already does paid recommendation in Gmail and on Google search results.
The reasoning for the new policy is that Google wants to help users discover new apps, while also allowing developers to get their app out there. That being said, this announcement also comes on the heels of a news story from the Wall Street Journal indicating that the company is not making any profit off Youtube. So it could simply be Google looking for new sources of revenue, and doing what it does best.
Many of the larger app developers spend a lot of money on advertising to encourage users to download their apps. A large portion of this money tends to end up with Facebook, which is popular with advertisers like Candy Crush dev King.com who spent some US$400 million (RM1.44 billion) on promoting its games.
Google definitely wants a piece of that action, and is rolling out the trial of promoted apps out a limited group of users, who will see promoted apps from a selected group of developers. It is likely that this “feature” will be released for everyone once Google works out how to present it in a way that people will accept.
[Source: Android Developers Blog]