Friday, June 12, 2015

Freemium Is Hard

Shuveb Hussain:

Amazingly, people were finding Comfy Read solely via the App Store search without me having to do anything. I cannot overstate its importance.


With Apple making analytics available on iTunes Connect, I was amazed to see that Comfy Read was having conversion rates of anywhere between 6 and 9%. Pretty amazing for an up-front paid app, I thought.


Will v2.0, the freemium app that a lot more users are downloading beat v1.0, the older version, financially? Not by a long shot.

Marco Arment:

Freemium is hard. Its effectiveness depends on where you can put that purchase barrier in your app. Many app types simply don’t have a good place for it.


I spent months debating which features should be behind Overcast’s in-app purchase. If I limited the number of subscribed podcasts for free users, I’d be discouraging people from trying new podcasts. If I put Smart Speed, Voice Boost, and my smart playlists completely behind the paywall, most users would never experience my best features and wouldn’t think my app was very good. But if I kept the paywall too easy to avoid, like showing ads with a purchase to remove them, it wouldn’t sell well. (No-ads upgrades never sell well, by the way.) And whatever features I limited would be free in many competing apps, including the one Apple includes on every iPhone for free.

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