Monday, October 24, 2016

Yoink’s Revenue a Month After Localizing

Matthias Gansrigler:

With Yoink 3.0 (mac app store, website), I localized the app into Japanese, Simplified Chinese, French, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Korean and Italian (in addition to the languages that existed from the start: English and German).

Of course, one would expect the revenue to go up after releasing a major new version. Beyond that, I’m not sure what we can conclude from these numbers, especially without being able to compare with predominantly English and German speaking countries, which were the localizations for the previous version.

He also provides a list of localization services.

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Without knowing the percentage of revenue from each country compared to the english speaking countries, it does not say much.

I know back when I had my app localised in French and Japanese, those countries still made up only a relatively small percentage of sales (from memory, english countries were 80+% over all). So adding localisations might add only 10-20% to your sales, but costs in terms of development time, delay releasing, cost of localisation, complexity, support. Plus there is a diminishing returns case, since there are hundreds of languages. Sure, you could do French, Japanese, Chinese to start with (I'd probably do Polish because Keyboard Maestro is unusually popular there), but having no localisations means no time dealing with any of those issues.

From an accessibility point of view, I'd love to have them, and I feel bad not having them, but from a business point of view, it is impossible for me to justify.

I can echo Peter's sentiments here relating to the drawbacks of localization. We launched a product, Rego, localized in several languages, and soon realized we hadn't appreciated the impact on release delays and costs. We later removed all languages except English, and didn't experience much of a drop in sales.

@Peter While having a Japanese localization makes sense since most Japanese users are not known for speaking a language other than Japanese, having a French localization as the second one is a bit strange:

- French users are well known for not paying for Shareware
- Don't expect the Belgium or Switzerland markets to compensate for that.
- The French market is smaller than the German one.
- This requires to use and pay for a good localization service. For having witnessed the ridiculous result of a French localization made by some Canadian guys, I highly recommend using a service you can trust. Because the issue with foreign languages that you don't know is that you can't be sure the localization is correct.

Call me crazy as a loon, but I'd say localize only for non-East-Asian, non-Indo-European languages. That's where the real money is. Invest everything in Basque, Hungarian, and Finnish.

You're crazy as a loon, Chucky.

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