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Developer
thubalek
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-01-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha C, Playbook 32 GB

Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Hello,

 

in thread http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-World-Development/What-quot-There-is-no-getExistin... Garett Beukeboom  from BB tried to persuade me that IAP approach is better than Free + Paid. 

 

I'm still not sure whether it is true. I finally solved all technical issues with implementation so there are no technical obstacles. 

 

But I see some marketing obstacles:

 

1) There is no Grossing list on BB World. There is only one trending + two paid lists on frontpage. Having IAP without grossing list is meaningless.

 

2) Having two apps (free + paid) in charts means more visibility than having one app with IAP

 

3) I talked to existing BB and iOS users and they said that they don't look into list of apps that are free but they look into paid list first and they buy if price is < 5 USD and reviews are OK. This surprised me as on Android this situation is different (there IAP works better as people expect that there will be free alternative)

 

I'm currently finishing one app and really not sure what to choose.

 

Any ideas and arguments?

 

Tom

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- My Blackberry 10 app at http://blackberry.hubalek.net
-- My Android apps at http://android.hubalek.net
Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Went with free with IAP at first.

After switching to free + paid I noticed an increase in revenue.

I think having the visibility in free and also paid sections helps.
Developer
thubalek
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-01-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha C, Playbook 32 GB

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Thanks a lot for sharing this it only supports what I heard from other people.

 

I would love to hear some standpoint from BB. Now is the time to form user habits as everything is new.

 

Google at the beginning didn't do this so on Android it is quite common to get one star rating with reason "App is cool but not free" and there are much lower earnings comparing to iOS.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- My Blackberry 10 app at http://blackberry.hubalek.net
-- My Android apps at http://android.hubalek.net
Retired
gbeukeboom
Posts: 2,559
Registered: ‎10-16-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Z10

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

[ Edited ]

There is no one model which works "best" for all applications, if there were then that would be the only model supported :smileywink:

 

For well established titles or titles that are able to get their own exposure (ex Built For BlackBerry titles, featured apps...) then a paid app may make sense. For lesser known titles, especially once the # of apps gets much higher, exposure is *much* easier with a free app. Keep in mind that to make the "Top Paid Apps" list your app would need to be able to be sold well under its own brand, if it can't it won't make the list and the exposure will not be there.

 

A free + paid model has tons of drawbacks: User upgrades are far less likely in most scenarios, users typically lose all data/progress when updating, social integration (BBM, Scoreloop) does not work between the 2 versions etc etc.

 

A freemium model works very well for lesser known apps that want to provide a good user experience, get good exposure, then up-sell a percentage of users on digital goods. Again this is not for everyone but works very well for some people/apps. I personally prefer this model when implemented properly unless I am already familiar with the brand in which case I will pay for the app upfront.

Garett
@garettBeuk
--
Goodbye everybody!
Developer
thubalek
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-01-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha C, Playbook 32 GB

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Garett,

thanks a lot for sharing your opinion.

What about user behaviour: I was very surprised how many times I heard: I don't look at free **bleep**. I look at paid apps and buy them if they are less than 5 USD only according reviews?

Personally I'm fan of IAP as it definitely makes users/developer's life easier but I'm afraid of impacts of this model.

I would be more happy to see that there are not Top Paid charts but Top Grossing charts.

As mapleleafs90 said above: IAP looks good theoretically but there is a plenty of people that have bad experience with this model.

I'm a bit afraid of experimenting with these models as on BB it is not possible to move apps between paid and free models to do A/B testing.

Choosing right model really depends on users and their behaviour. On Android IAP works very well as people expect everything is free but on iOS it does not work so well for apps because of specific habits of users.

You as BB employee can know some numbers that may support your suggestion. Do you have them?

Thanks
Tom
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- My Blackberry 10 app at http://blackberry.hubalek.net
-- My Android apps at http://android.hubalek.net
Retired
gbeukeboom
Posts: 2,559
Registered: ‎10-16-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Z10

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Freemium, like app development, is a combination of art and science. The factors that come into play are everything from region, type of app, how it is implemented etc. In some cases it may make sense to have a freemium and paid app to maximize revenues across regiuns (not have both in the same region).

 

From a numbers perspective I can guarantee that some devs are making a very good return but can't really provide generic numbers, they wouldn't be very helpful due to the number of variants listed above. I have a discussion tomorrow at BlackBerry Jam (JAM351) which will be posted externally in a few days where Gadi Mazor, CEO of Nobex, will outline the success they have seen when using the freemium model for Nobex Radio. That may help you out.

Garett
@garettBeuk
--
Goodbye everybody!
Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Top Paid is rigged anyways.

I'm not sure what goes into it, but it seems like its basically highest rating (most reviews) + combination of highest star rating.

But all the apps I see in Top Paid only have 5 star ratings, likely because they deny any review less than 5, even if its 4/5.

Also, web app world doesn't show all reviews for my apps, so I'm assuming I'm getting screwed out of my top paid ranking because it shows 5 reviews out of 90 reviews..
Retired
gbeukeboom
Posts: 2,559
Registered: ‎10-16-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Z10

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations


mapleleafs90 wrote:
Also, web app world doesn't show all reviews for my apps, so I'm assuming I'm getting screwed out of my top paid ranking because it shows 5 reviews out of 90 reviews..

Have you opened a ticket with BlackBerry World support on that issue? Sounds pretty serious.

Garett
@garettBeuk
--
Goodbye everybody!
Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

Theres a thread in here

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-World-Development/Missing-reviews-in-App-World/td-...

Other users have the same issue. I can even remember my competitions # of reviews approximately and when I look at theirs they are in the same boat, it shows a small % of reviews.

This is the case for all my apps

1000+ reviews on appworld webstore shows 170
130+ reviews on appworld webstore shows 3
200+ reviews on appworld webstore shows 90
140+ reviews on appworld webstore shows 46

No have not opened a ticket, waiting on my approvals for 2 apps I submitted on Dec 25/26 still + a ticket I made one week ago to change a paid app to free.

Developer
Ebscer
Posts: 875
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
My Device: 9530, 9630, 9800, 8530, 9900, 9810, 9930, PlayBook, Dev Alpha

Re: Free + Paid vs. In App Purchase approaches for monetizations

A month ago BlackBerry World did have a top grossing list. It has apparently been missing for a few weeks now, but I hope that it makes a come back. As you noted, the top grossing list is helpful to apps that use in-app purchases...


Read my thoughts on BlackBerry Development at news.ebscer.com