Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Random Observations

Gus Mueller:

Here’s the other random observation—Mac App Store sales of VoodooPad and Acorn have been going down over the past couple of months, but direct sales have been going up. And I don’t know why. It’s the same price, and previously the trend had been in the opposite direction, but…well there it is.

I’m seeing the same thing with DropDMG and EagleFiler. Overall sales are up, but sales via the Mac App Store are much lower (both percentagewise and in absolute terms), even though the apps now have more good ratings and reviews.

And, like me, he’s seeing lots of customers continuing to use Snow Leopard.

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I thought about pointing that little bit out as well- and VP5 is 10.7+ only, so I've still got a bunch of VP4 folks hanging out.

Reinard Schmitz

Why should people who think buy in the App shop? They know about the fee apple takes, don't they?

@Reinard It doesn't matter that Apple takes a fee when the price is the same for MAS and direct sales. It wil cost the same to the end user.

The reason why people would privilege direct sale would be that there's a known update pricing path and they don't have to wait for the godfathers who are in charge of keeping the applications "safe" to be able to get an update that fixes a known issue. Also they are sure to get the full features version.

"Overall sales are up, but sales via the Mac App Store are much lower (both percentagewise and in absolute terms)"

I've been asserting for a while that users who are in the market for pro and pro-sumer software are more likely to want to avoid the MAS clusterf*ck. If you are selling Angry Birds: Muncie, Indiana Edition, then MAS is the way to go. But if you are selling software designed to help folks get things done on their Macs, then you are selling to educated users, and direct sales is the way to go.

Not only can you offer greater capabilities in your software for users than MAS offers, (a big deal, if you leverage it), but discounted upgrades and timely software updates are both big pluses. And for bob, believe it or not, educated users would rather a goodly chunk of that 30% go to their beloved 3rd-party developers than to Cupertino, even if their out-of-pocket cost is the exact same.

"And, like me, he’s seeing lots of customers continuing to use Snow Leopard."

Again, as I've been asserting for a while, there is at least some significant correlation between folks who buy pro and pro-sumer software, and folks who understand that Snowy is the Greatest OS of All Time.

If you are a sane non-dev who wants to GTD on your Mac, you're more likely to want to stick to Snowy. There is a heavy overlap between these folks and folks who want to buy pro and pro-sumer 3rd-party software.

Just because I'm not downgrading my OS doesn't mean I don't still want to buy new and upgraded 3rd-party software. I like buying software.

(For example, I'd absolutely love to pay Gus money to upgrade from VP4 to VP5, but I simply don't have the option, since I value my Greatest OS of All Time. And think about it: if I know enough to want VP, I'm reasonably likely to know enough to want to run Snowy...)

I fully understand that Apple has taken steps to make maintaining Snowy compatibilty a bigger and bigger headache for devs. But a bunch of pro and pro-sumer software buying folks are still out here on Snowy.

FWIW, I like what Peter Borg did with Lingon: a 'lite' version through MAS, and a 'pro' version through direct sale only.

(I understand he had absolutely no choice for that particular app due to privilege issues, but it seems a smart way to go in general to me.)

Now, if he'd included Snowy compatibility, I'd send him ten bucks without a second thought. But even though I can't personally take advantage, I still like the concept.

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