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View Full Version : Differnent approach for selling Apps in general




pmau
Aug 10, 2013, 10:10 AM
I was thinking about Apple having a completely different approach regarding paid applications.

Right now, the dev membership is some kind of entry fee that enables you to participate, which is all-right, but think about this:

Most apps are slowly shifting towards the ugly "freemium" or "free to play" approach which I really dislike. I like to know what I pay for upfront and not be sucked into to a "pay to proceed" scenario.

What if Apple would make the dev membership free of charge if you don't plan to sell.

You could submit free apps that don't have In-App purchase options.
It would be a great opportunity for inexperienced developers to learn and improve their apps over time.

Most of these Apps get lost on the noise anyway and Apple doesn't spend much time reviewing these anyways, at least that's my opinion.

Those Apps don't have to sign all those paid contract agreements anyway, so make it free for all, but that's not really my point.

My second point is paid Apps without In-App purchase should be "promoted" by allowing free demo versions and most importantly upgrade options.

Apple could easily sign them for 24 hours, like they do with rented movies.

I'd be willing to pay more than 1,99 for good Apps if I would really know what their capabilities are. I would also be willing to upgrade them if a new version comes out. This would make in-app purchases of "features" unnecessary.

But my main idea would be that all those "free to play" and "freemium" apps would have to pay upfront whenever they submit to the store. It should not only be visible that those apps use this model, but it should be harder to submit them in the first place.

If you want to earn $1,99 from every user, pay the first 1000 in-app purchase transactions upfront while submitting.

This would get rid of most of the ripp-off's I've seen and heard of and the risk of earning money would be on the publisher.

The reason I'm advocating this model is simple. Devs that provide cool apps need to be able to monetize their work through upgrades, without limiting the functionality.

All the mobile gaming companies that try to get the lunch-money from kids should pay upfront and not use the store as an easy way to "get rich quickly".

This might have been discussed already, but Apple should really take notice and offer other business models.

Of course I'm well aware that Apple earns loads of money because of those in-app purchases, but it should be harder for the publishers.

Right now, devs are forced to move to in-app models because most of the big apps are free and people care less and less about payed apps. I think Apple should reward quality and not greed.

Sorry if I wasted your time



thejadedmonkey
Aug 10, 2013, 10:25 AM
I personally hate the fremium model, but I don't see it going away anytime soon. Why? Here's a single antidotal story.

My girlfriend plays a game, and she struggled to get past level 20, but manages to score 12,000 points even if she loses. Another friend beats level 71, but only gets 5000 points. This means she used powerups, which let her beat the level but don't give her many points.

Now assuming the 2nd friend isn't a genius, then she's paying for powerups to get all the way to level 71 and above. At maybe 25 per level, that's maybe $15 that the developer got from this single player.

And in my own experience, there's about 10x as many downloads if a game is free (or fremium) instead of paid or trial.

If 1 in 20 players goes all out in the fremium model buying powerups, that's $15 per 20 downloads or 75 per game. But if you were to charge for the game instead of making it free, in order to make the same profit you would have to charge $7.50 to make up for the reduced sales. Except at that price, even fewer people would buy it than if it was only $1, so lets bump it up to $10.

IMO $10 is fair price for an app, but more importantly most people would disagree. And as long as most people would disagree, the fremium model is most profitable.

And since Apple makes a 30% cut, there's no incentive for them to do anything about it. Not yet at least.

thedon1
Aug 14, 2013, 05:44 AM
Apple sets the basic rules for the app store but the way the economy moves seems to be more dictated by the developers and users than Apple.

You are free to set the prices of your apps, use in app purchases or place ads.

Developers started the push to freemium, not apple. The market forces dictated the shift.

This has been accepted by users and now adopted by more devs. Devs will need to learn how to make money in this economy now, it's not up to apple to promote one type of purchasing structure over another, let the buyers and sellers dictate this.

I, like you, would be willing to pay for good apps but developers set the price and would rather take the higher downloads at a lower price.

I do like the idea of 24 hour demos for apps. That would be like XBLA on the Xbox 360 where every app has to have the ability to let you try the game first. It would be good if apple gave you the ability to have a demo mode atleat for games or apps that are priced above a vertain minimum.

firewood
Aug 14, 2013, 08:22 PM
Not a chance. Apple make over a hundred million of dollars a year from developer enrollments, and checking the enrollments and supporting developers doing even free, no or only in-house apps costs Apple many many man years of employee time.

The reason freemium apps exist is that tons of people download them and purchase berries/etc. If you don't like them, don't download them. If there are no downloads or in-app purchases made, the developers will stop doing them... or go bankrupt first.

Also, try-before-buy app stores make less money. Thus the customers who say the will buy more after trying mostly lie.

TouchMint.com
Aug 15, 2013, 12:39 PM
By keeping the entry price at least $100 I think it helps keep the quality of apps up (not that most are that high). If anyone could develop or submit it would be a lot more work for reviewers and a lot longer waiting times for other devs. Honestly I wouldn't mind seeing the fee go higher or apple charge something like $100 an app after 5-10 apps or so to bring the quality of apps up.

As for freedom. It is used because it works best and makes the most money. It also is a great way to stop pirating (hard to steal iap). easy to crack a game and run it on jailbreak.

Free games also get way more downloads and the profit is endless.

I too would rather play a one pay game but would rather collect revenue on a freedom game.

heyadrian
Aug 18, 2013, 11:34 PM
Just a quick note on the fermium model.

It's great in terms of 'snagging that sale' but terrible for the reviews on your App!

If you have a look at a few of the business applications (as that's what I write personally), either on the Mac App- or iDevice App-store at some of the accounting packages which are 'free' with 2 star ratings; The majority of them have a review which appears something like as follows:

'Great app, works perfectly, does everything I need it to but YOU NEED TO PAY AFTER 120 TRANSACTIONS'

Things like that often flash up and murders a few of your stars.

A good way around this is to add some VAP's (value added products) to your 'sale' i.e. things you throw in with the feature they've purchased. Something with little overhead is usually better i.e. '5 free telephone support calls' or 'your company advertised free for one month on our website' etc...

In terms of the 'fully paid apps' you need to be on your toes for a few reasons. One is the 'distance selling act' in the UK, means that if you buy something over the internet and you aren't happy, they can request a refund in 7 days.

Now there is confusion about this as... It also states in that law that it doesn't apply to Downloaded Software. However because Apply Apps are DRM controlled, they don't fall under that clause.

KarlJay
Sep 7, 2013, 11:53 PM
The prices are controlled by the developers, if most of us refused to put quality apps in the free model, the free apps would be mostly garbage. After a while, people would realize the good apps are in the paid model.

People get used to prices. Like the price of rent/gas/food... people gripe about the price of gas in the US, yet they still pay it. These same people pay $5 for a cup of coffee, yet baulk at paying $3 for computer software.

We control this.

If (and while) money can be made with the free apps, they will continue. When/if this money dries up, the good apps will move to another model. if all the good apps were paid only, people would adapt to that model.

One other factor is that advertisers are getting ripped off with mobile ads. There are bots that are steeling our money, the ads aren't properly placed (people are asked to download apps they already have).

As yourself this: Do YOU trust mobile ads? Would you pay $10,000 for mobile ads that might be blocked or go to people that don't want/need your product?

Google sells mobile ads cheaper than website ads for a reason. Even website ads can be blocked, but at least they can be targeted.

There are more problems with mobile than meets the eye... Companies that find a solution can cash in.