Ad Supported Vs. $0.99 "Entertainment Apps"

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sense Field, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Sense Field macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Now I know what you are thinking...I'm not talking about those sound Fx apps, fart apps etc...

    I'm there a value of $0.99 in something that isn't exactly a game but none the less is fun to use and have. The reason I ask is because I have teamed up with my brother to create a company and work on some of our ideas that range from Games to Entertainment apps.

    I'm learning that these things take much more time to create that most would think and I'm struggling with the idea of giving something away for free that we slaved over in the hopes of getting some return on our time via ad clicks.

    I've seen ad clicks work for apps such as Sound Grenade...but I think they sort of tricked you into clicking on the ad. I don't care to be sneaky like that.

    Does anyone have experience with ad companies like AdMob?

    Would you rather just pay $0.99 for something or would you rather have it free and littered with ads?
  2. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    I would vote for "forget the ads".

    Sink or swim on the 99cent. version.

    And personally, I look down on lite apps with ads. I respect the dev's decision to do so, and understand money must be made, but unless you have a iShoot or some other title that rockets to the top and stays there... you won't make much.
  3. M0bile macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2008
    $0.99, and I don't download lite versions either.
  4. Sense Field thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Most of the stuff we are working on is stuff that we personally want. Of course everyone wants to make money, I don't expect to rocket to the top of the charts, but I would love to see others enjoying something that I created.

    I think that the price of a candy bar is little to ask for something that takes as much time to create as some of these apps. I personally am against the ad support but worry that even $0.99 has become a barrier to entry. I'm stuck between wanting everyone to be able to enjoy my work/art but also wanting to be able to recoup some "candy store" money for my time.
  5. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    I would rather pay $.99 than have to look at ads.
  6. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    As a consumer, I would rather pay a buck for a little time wasting app than have it have ads.

    I just deleted a free app that updgraded and had ads in the upgrade, I liked the little game but not the ads, I emailed the developer and let him know that personally I would have rather paid a buck or two.

    Now, if you were talking about a $100 app, I might see the wisdom of having it ad supported, but not for under $5.
  7. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    I hear ya. But if $1 dollar is the barrier to entry, you might need to think that

    a) you don't want that user anyway
    b) better marketing, graphics a youtube video could sway those on the fence.
    c) maybe the sales won't be super but might be enough to buy your brother and you a new imac (or whatever you need)
  8. daihard macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I usually wouldn't mind spending 99 cents for a decent iPhone application. It's much better for me not to have to see all those ads than to spare myself a dollar.
  9. Sense Field thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    These responses are pretty much the opposite of what I thought I was going to get here. I'm pleasantly surprised. Of course I would like to see if I can get some more responses so I can judge based on a larger market segment.

    Thanks to all who have responded so far!
  10. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Spending a buck on an app is *well* worth not having to see ads.

    I think developers who have an ad-supported version of an app that would otherwise only cost anywhere from, say, 99 cents to 2.99 or 3.99 is undervaluing their own product, and just assuming people will be too cheap to pay a few bucks for a decent app.

    It's also a really lame form of nagware - the developer's basically saying "Buy our app for $1-3, otherwise we're gonna spam this lite version with so many ads that you'll WANT to upgrade!" .... and *THAT* can seriously piss off the customer.
  11. branjosef macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2007
    I am so sick of ads. They are everywhere. I miss the good ole days when all you had to worry about was the harvest, barbarians, and the plague. All that changed with the iphone :apple:
  12. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    I'd recomment both. Free version and ad supported version. Let the consumer decide which they want.

    Or do one app one way and another app the other way and see which does better for you.
  13. Sense Field thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    I actually think my work and the time I put in is worth more then 99 cents...the problem is that the app store is very volatile right now. People don't see the value in the apps, be it games, Entertainment or functionality apps.

    I think it's a misconception that these things are easy to make just because there are so many apps on the app store in such a short time.

    I think I am going to go with the paid model verses ad supported. See how it goes and then adjust as needed.
  14. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
  15. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Of course, every developer's time is worth more than 2 or 3 bucks, but you have to think of it as a volume business - the app is cheap enough (and hopefully useful enough) that potentially tens of thousands of people will be willing to spend a little bit of money, and you still make some cash.

    And remember also, apps that become hugely popular can potentially attract even MORE people than that...I would guess the top 25 paid apps have probably made their creators some *serious* money...
  16. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    If you start out at $0.99 and then "adjust as needed" by making it free and putting ads in it, then that is the worst thing you can you.
  17. Sense Field thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    I think you're right...Don't want people who paid for it to feel cheated or end up with ads being added to an app that they paid for.
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Here's how that goes:

    The ONLY people who download the free version are the people who have already decided that the app isn't even worth $1.

    Now, how long do you think those people will keep the app on their phone? How much do you think they'll use it?

    So, now you're trying to sell ads to show to people who, by DEFINTION, don't really care about the app and won't keep it around long. Do you think advertisers will be jumping all over that opportunity? Do you think they'll pay much for it?
  19. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    How do the cost of ads work?

    Like is it an initial fixed amount, dependent on the number of app downloads, or dependent on the number of times you clicked on the ad? I'm not a developer so I don't have a clue. This would definitely change the approach.

    I know I personally would pick an equally functional free ad-supported app over a 99 cent app any day. But that is just because I am a cheap-o and as long as the ads are relatively unobtrusive I can simply ignore them no problem. But I have never intentionally clicked an ad. So if it pays on clicks then ads aren't the best...

    My all time favorite game on the iphone is a free ad-supported game. (tap defense) I play it every day. Love it. Would definitely have paid for it. Never clicked an ad.
  20. PandaChi macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2009
    Go for both (ad supported and paid)

    I think that's a good start, but don't underestimate the amount of revenue that you can make with an ad-supported app - I've made 4 apps with a partner - 1 of them made the top 10 and another made the top 100, the other two haven't made any top list at all.

    * the top 10 app made $1500/day at its peak for about a week, and to this day continues to make $400-$500/day (almost 3 months later)
    * the top 100 app made max $400/day, and to this day makes $80 - $150
    * the other two apps make $40-$100/day, and have never made the top anything list

    My personal suggestion is making a paid app, then creating a lite version that can cross-promote your paid app, and if it does REALLY well, have ads show up on the lite version, too -

    We use a free ad solution called Adrollo (google it) that allows you to create your own custom ads for display whenever you want and also allows you to switch between lots of different ad networks (like admob, videoegg, quattro, etc.). Probably your best bet.

    Good luck!

  21. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I don't get the hatred for ads. I wonder if people realize how much of the Internet is paid for by ads, therefore making so much more of it free. As I look up top, I see one for Best Western. I'd MUCH rather have tasteful ads like that than pay to access a discussion/rumors site.

    As far as apps, I don't mind ads if they keep me from paying money. This could be my bias working at a newspaper, but I just don't mind them if they're done right. The AP Mobile News app has ads at the bottom, as does the NY Times app. Both provide FREE NEWS, which I personally wish would become a thing of the past. I'm personally sick of seeing my industry die because someone thought it would be an awesome idea to fudge up the business model and just give everything away. Why should I pay a subscription when it's given away online free, where I now prefer to read everything?

    I may digress a little, but it kinda proves a point. Ads are good at getting a little income for a freebie. But you can't rely on them for a ton of money. I know that I'd rather try out a lite version of an app instead of pay for it not knowing what I'm getting into.

    As far as the complaint(s) I saw about "upgrade to get rid of the ads annoying people," I seriously don't get that. Someone spent a buttload of time and/or money to develop an app, and you can't tolerate a little ad or two to try it out? S#%*.

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