In a galaxy far far away, we released a blog post talking about blocks and their inclusion in cado…. And as a parting thought a question was put to you about your feelings towards to in-app purchasing and the freemium model. This was because of the then news headline story about little Joey and his penchant for buying magical cookies (no not those kind of cookies) in his favourite app game, while unbeknownst to his mother, running up an astronomical bill on her itunes account. The names and details of this story have been changed to protect the identity of Joey and his cookie stash.
I often think what the Cookie Monster would have made of in-app purchases.
This question raised a lot of interest and I thought it worth re-visiting and will take this opportunity to garner your opinion on how we should price our most prized cado.
The first issue how to make cado available, the usual pricing strategy now seems to be: freemium + in-app purchases, and the fully paid all singing all dancing version. The appeal of this model is obvious, let the maximum number of people discover and get a feel for just how good cado is through the semi-skimmed free version whilst suffering advertising and limited functionality. Then allow bundles of functions to be purchased to tailor the application to suit your needs and then finally for the full fat professional user, the paid version.
The alternative is to offer a trial or time restricted version of the full application, and tha… oh, hang on….. Cupertino does not allow trial versions on the App Store. Nuts. There are some pretty cool ideas on how this could be implemented (read more) but this is not the case so lets move on.
Now I think we know that there is definitely an increasing popularity towards the free app. Analytics show us this and the trend is only going one way (read more). Check this out.
Are there any other alternatives out there to get our free fix? I don’t think so, and I don’t think that users would feel ripped off for having to make in-app purchases for additional functions…. As the would have not paid anything to begin with…. The key to provide sufficient usability within the free version to give a true and fair reflection of the app and its abilities.
Ok, so if we have agreed that the above freemium option is a reasonable way forward, the next question is the pricing itself. Now I am not talking about clever cash cow, loss leading or 2 by 2 business matrices … I am just talking about very simply; do you think apps inherently command a lower price than the equivalent software available on the traditional desktop or laptop platforms. Lets eschew the screaming penguins and chickens app…. Lets focus on the productivity apps – we would love to get your thoughts on this topic as its something that I don’t think many developers have a good handle on. We know through price testing on other apps, that apps seem to have a very low price elasticity but that includes the ‘use once and throw away’ apps. I am of the opinion productivity apps that provide real utility to the professional user (who is the one paying for the app), and traditional pricing know-how tells us we can price our product based on the utility provided to the user in the absence of any real comparative competition. CAD (read real) on the iPad and in the app store is an emergent market, hence we are breaking new ground here.
Give us your thoughts and hopefully we will get this right for you guys!