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MacBytes
Oct 7, 2009, 03:34 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: iPhone App Store developers aren't getting rich, and why that's not a problem (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20091007163411)
Description:: Newsweek recently published an article premised on the argument that most developers in the iTunes app store, contrary to popular public opinion, arenít in fact getting rich. The problem with this argument is that it rests entirely on the ill-conceived notion that all developers should be getting rich, simply by virtue of releasing an iPhone app on iTunes.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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couto27
Oct 7, 2009, 04:16 PM
im sure some off them they are very rich.
but for the other ones:( apple as open the door for a new market , work at home and enought to pay the house bills.

Bevz
Oct 7, 2009, 04:29 PM
A level playing field is good enough :)

spillproof
Oct 7, 2009, 04:40 PM
Okay, some people do make a lot of money but, not everyone will. If you make an app that is similar to others (flashlights, tip calculators, ect.) don't expect to make enough to quit your day job.

Hawkeye411
Oct 7, 2009, 05:48 PM
Stop selling apps for $0.99. They should increase the minimum price for an app. Some developers are spending very little to develop crap and they list it for $0.99. People are willing to throw away $0.99 and take a chance on an app that may or may not turn out to be crap. However, if they increase the min. price, people who purchase apps will be more careful when making a purchase and stop purchasing crap apps. Then, developers who are spending time and money on developing good apps will begin to make money and the ratio of good to bad apps will change.

Then again ... I may have NO idea what I'm talking about :rolleyes:

I'm sure all the young iPod Touch owners will disagree with me. :D

Cheers.

whooleytoo
Oct 8, 2009, 10:13 AM
Yeah, I'm still astonished at how many posts I read from people who love a game, but think it's ridiculously overpriced at 2 or 3 dollars/euros.

What else can you buy for 2 euros that gives you dozens of hours of fun?*

* Yes, I am anticipating smutty answers to that question

spillproof
Oct 8, 2009, 11:36 AM
Yeah, I'm still astonished at how many posts I read from people who love a game, but think it's ridiculously overpriced at 2 or 3 dollars/euros.

What else can you buy for 2 euros that gives you dozens of hours of fun?*

* Yes, I am anticipating smutty answers to that question

A kitten.

uberamd
Oct 8, 2009, 11:56 AM
Yeah, I'm still astonished at how many posts I read from people who love a game, but think it's ridiculously overpriced at 2 or 3 dollars/euros.

What else can you buy for 2 euros that gives you dozens of hours of fun?*

* Yes, I am anticipating smutty answers to that question

For $0, you can get hours of entertainment online by going to various flash game sites (not for me personally, but lots of people do play flash games). So many of those people want the same entertainment factor in their pocket for the same price. Thus we have so many people who want good games for little to no cost.

Compile 'em all
Oct 8, 2009, 12:00 PM
For $0, you can get hours of entertainment online by going to various flash game sites (not for me personally, but lots of people do play flash games). So many of those people want the same entertainment factor in their pocket for the same price. Thus we have so many people who want good games for little to no cost.

On the other hand, games for the DS or PSP cost around 30$. You argument is invalid.

App Store customers thinking 1.99$ for an app or game is utterly ridiculous.

uberamd
Oct 8, 2009, 12:38 PM
On the other hand, games for the DS or PSP cost around 30$. You argument is invalid.

App Store customers thinking 1.99$ for an app or game is utterly ridiculous.

My argument isn't invalid just because you say it is.... sorry. People buy a PSP or DS KNOWING you need to fork over a lot of money for games. People buy an iPod Touch KNOWING you do NOT need to fork over a lot of money for entertainment.... I have done my own research on this as I know a lot of people with iPod Touches who refuse to spend more than $0.99 on an app because they view it as an entirely different kind of device form the DS/PSP.

whooleytoo
Oct 8, 2009, 12:53 PM
For $0, you can get hours of entertainment online by going to various flash game sites (not for me personally, but lots of people do play flash games). So many of those people want the same entertainment factor in their pocket for the same price. Thus we have so many people who want good games for little to no cost.

True. Though many of the Flash game sites I've seen are kept going through cluttering their sites with horrible animated Flash adverts.

I don't expect people to pay more than that for yet another simple Tetris or match-3 clone, but in my experience many iPhone/iTouch gamers are unwilling to pay more than .99 or 1.99 for any game, regardless of the complexity/game depth.

I find that weird. I wonder if it's partly due to digital distribution - we expect to pay more when we receive a box/packaging and CD and a manual; but when it's just a file downloaded to our machine we see it as a lesser, cheaper product?

uberamd
Oct 8, 2009, 01:09 PM
True. Though many of the Flash game sites I've seen are kept going through cluttering their sites with horrible animated Flash adverts.

I don't expect people to pay more than that for yet another simple Tetris or match-3 clone, but in my experience many iPhone/iTouch gamers are unwilling to pay more than .99 or 1.99 for any game, regardless of the complexity/game depth.

I find that weird. I wonder if it's partly due to digital distribution - we expect to pay more when we receive a box/packaging and CD and a manual; but when it's just a file downloaded to our machine we see it as a lesser, cheaper product?

I guess it might be due to digital distribution. They aren't getting anything physical so why fork over the same cost as physical items? But heck look at games like Tiger Woods and Madden for the iPhone, they selling great and worth $10 to me.

Another thing is that not many people see the replay value in these apps. They view the game as a 10 minute time waster for example, and unlike a real video game they don't see themselves sitting down on a couch for hours on end playing the game.

AlmostThere
Oct 8, 2009, 06:54 PM
True. Though many of the Flash game sites I've seen are kept going through cluttering their sites with horrible animated Flash adverts.

I don't expect people to pay more than that for yet another simple Tetris or match-3 clone, but in my experience many iPhone/iTouch gamers are unwilling to pay more than .99 or 1.99 for any game, regardless of the complexity/game depth.

I find that weird. I wonder if it's partly due to digital distribution - we expect to pay more when we receive a box/packaging and CD and a manual; but when it's just a file downloaded to our machine we see it as a lesser, cheaper product?

Speaking for myself, I am unwilling to spend more because I only see the iPhone as providing games I play in short bursts. It is too awkward and uncomfortable to play for a long time due to the shape and controls (plus my hands tend to muffle the speakers) and, of course, I don't want my phone to run out of power.

I am quite happy to download games through Steam, for example.

whooleytoo
Oct 9, 2009, 11:35 AM
Speaking for myself, I am unwilling to spend more because I only see the iPhone as providing games I play in short bursts. It is too awkward and uncomfortable to play for a long time due to the shape and controls (plus my hands tend to muffle the speakers) and, of course, I don't want my phone to run out of power.

I am quite happy to download games through Steam, for example.

I too find I'm playing the simple pick up 'n' play games far more than the big in-depth games. Nevertheless, despite the fact that I play Flight Control, Harbor Master etc. in short stints, I play them very often; so in total probably more than any console game.

It's odd that you rarely read complaints about console game prices up to 60 euros here - you hear plenty of complaints about the game quality, but not often about the price. But virtually every iPhone game review is peppered with comments "3 dollars/euros? I think I'll wait for the price to come down".

It's strange that it's the cheapest gaming platform which gets the most complaints about the price.

AlmostThere
Oct 9, 2009, 03:19 PM
Well, I would partly put the complaints down to the ease of which reviews can be submitted, especially on a whim when you uninstall the game after getting stuck on level 101, which is just stupid, turning one's ire on the whopping £0.59 you spent on it, rather than recalling the enjoyable few hours you spent getting there.

Ice2257
Oct 9, 2009, 11:25 PM
I tried so hard to promote my app and I have not even hit the 250 mark.

Craig
iLineup App

Hawkeye411
Oct 10, 2009, 10:35 AM
Stop selling apps for $0.99. They should increase the minimum price for an app. Some developers are spending very little to develop crap and they list it for $0.99. People are willing to throw away $0.99 and take a chance on an app that may or may not turn out to be crap. However, if they increase the min. price, people who purchase apps will be more careful when making a purchase and stop purchasing crap apps. Then, developers who are spending time and money on developing good apps will begin to make money and the ratio of good to bad apps will change.

Then again ... I may have NO idea what I'm talking about :rolleyes:

I'm sure all the young iPod Touch owners will disagree with me. :D

Cheers.

I tried so hard to promote my app and I have not even hit the 250 mark.

Craig
iLineup App

I had a look at your app. I think the problem is the fact that it's not $0.99 and it doesn't fart. :D JK

Perhaps you could use the tried and true method of offering it for free for a "limited time" until it ranks higher. You might also get some useful feedback that will allow you to improve the app.

Cheers.

Ice2257
Oct 10, 2009, 11:57 AM
Thanks Hawk

I will lower to .99 on Sunday and then Free on the following Sunday

mkrishnan
Oct 10, 2009, 12:28 PM
Stop selling apps for $0.99. They should increase the minimum price for an app. Some developers are spending very little to develop crap and they list it for $0.99.

I agree with this in the sense that I have thought and continued to think that the App Store is benefited by more developers in the space that Gameloft, EA, ngmoco, and others like them occupy and less in the farting-app world. But I'm not sure the natural solution is to eliminate the $0.99 app.

I think actually a lot of this will just sort itself out. Look how long the App Store has been out, all in all, and how far it's come. To Apple's credit, doing nearly nothing in terms of this kind of management has shown no evidence of discouraging high end developers. In fact, hardly any have walked away from the iPhone and since the store opened, more and more of them have brought high quality games to the iPhone.

Now compare this world to the way the web was in the late 1990s. It was populated by awful websites and homepages that college students made on their spare time. There was hardly any high power commercial presence there, and the web really wasn't any good for getting anything done or really having much fun except in the form of making your own homepage. This actually all worked itself out, though, didn't it? And the App Store is moving much more quickly than the web did.

In the last week or two, for instance, one new game was Cocoto Kart. This is essentially a mostly feature complete port of a Wii/DS game to the iPhone with online multiplayer for just $0.99. Is it a loss leader? Absolutely -- I expect them to come out with another game that costs more next, but is likewise high quality like this one is, and that's what I also hope they do.

Gameloft has similarly used rock-bottom sales of their games in the $0.99-1.99 (I've never been lucky enough, but that's a side story) range to stimulate sales, and as I understand it, their business model on the iPhone is working pretty well for them.

I'm not generally against market regulation or a wild free-market person. But in this case, I think things are actually progressing in a good direction. With the web, ultimately, no one had to clean out the "crap" -- some of those awful HTML 3.0 home pages are still up today! What happened instead is that better tools came about to find and use good websites, and majors of the web world who put a lot of effort into their product (Google didn't even exist in those days!) have done well at establishing themselves. And you scarcely notice the crap today, even though it's still there.

I think there's still a lot of good reasons to expect that this same process will happen, and even more quickly, with the app store.

AlmostThere
Oct 10, 2009, 05:32 PM
But in this case, I think things are actually progressing in a good direction. With the web, ultimately, no one had to clean out the "crap" -- some of those awful HTML 3.0 home pages are still up today! What happened instead is that better tools came about to find and use good websites, and majors of the web world who put a lot of effort into their product (Google didn't even exist in those days!) have done well at establishing themselves. And you scarcely notice the crap today, even though it's still there.

I agree to a certain extent but I think at the moment it is very much under the control of Apple and we have to wait for Apple to bring out these tools.

The web went through Gopher, Magellan, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, AllTheWeb, MSN, and of course Google. And now Bing, Digg and Wolfram Alpha. Over 20 or so years. Anyone could/can index sites or build a crawler. Much more freedom (competition, free market, call it what you will) has gone into the indexing of the web. Not to mention that new technologies constantly emerge to find the gems missed by many conventional search engines.

MacToddB
Oct 10, 2009, 06:01 PM
I tried so hard to promote my app and I have not even hit the 250 mark.

Craig
iLineup App

Try harder. Add a signature to your postings here, for starters. Offer promo codes on the code sharing forum (you posted 3 in July and that's it, even though people asked for some in August). You have 10 posts in 10 months. Your website is just a blog with unrelated content. The only mention of your app is your copy/pasting Apple's updated approval email. Why? Your blog title is even uninspiring... "Just a side project"...? Doesn't inspire confidence that the app will be updated. Where are the links to the app on the appstore? Screenshots? Flash demo? Nothing.

Not to be rude, but you said you "tried so hard to promote my app". What specifically have you done? Too many developers upload an app and think that's the end of their marketing. It's just the beginning. I'm finishing up a 20+ page free eBook entitle App Store Success. I can send a draft if you like. It's also being published in a series of articles in iPhone Life Magazine, on newsstands and here: http://www.iphonelife.com/issues/Summer09/TheIdeaComesFirst and more marketing ideas in the current issue here http://www.iphonelife.com/freeissue

Ice2257
Oct 11, 2009, 08:10 AM
Please send me a draft. Looks like I have alot of work to do this week.

MacToddB
Oct 11, 2009, 08:45 AM
Please send me a draft. Looks like I have alot of work to do this week.

I can email it to you... watch for a PM

Ice2257
Oct 11, 2009, 10:11 PM
Tomorrow starts the revamp of the website,advertising,marketing of my app.

Wish me luck

Craig
itunes.com/apps/iLineup

MacToddB
Oct 11, 2009, 10:25 PM
Tomorrow starts the revamp of the website,advertising,marketing of my app.

Wish me luck

Craig
itunes.com/apps/iLineup

I hope the ideas in the ebook help. Also, keep in mind that your app is seasonal and the season's over. You might want to think about variations for other sports and market your baseball app in the spring.

Ice2257
Oct 12, 2009, 09:17 AM
I have a few ideas for some football/hockey/basketball apps.