Posts Tagged ‘subscription’

A third way to make money from mobile apps

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

First up, I consider Overcast the best mobile podcast clients currently available. Marco Arment’s client has grown over the years and developed almost every feature that I could want. The only trouble he’s had is trying to create a solid income from it. Following the initial one-year subscription model, then a patronage-based model, he’s now looking at a third option:

Ads are the great compromise: money needs to come from somewhere, and the vast majority of people choose free-with-ads over direct payment. Ads need not be a bad thing: when implemented respectfully, all parties can get what they want.

Most podcasts played in Overcast are funded by ads for this reason, and as a podcaster and (occasional) blogger myself, I already make most of my income from ads.

I’m far from the first one to try an ad-supported app — among many others, my co-host on Under The Radar, David Smith, now makes the majority of his App Store income from ads — and it’s unwise to rule out any reasonable business model in today’s App Store.

So I’m trying ads in Overcast: simple, non-animated, mostly-text banners on the main list screens that unobtrusively scroll with the content.

Arment has kept much of discussion over the app’s development and business models on his blog, and I hope that he finds true success with Overcast. Needless to say I’ll be paying the premium to remove apps (I’m so old-school sometimes) and watching the continuing story with interest.

Which comes first, the audience or the subscription?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

What I find interesting about Andrew Sullivan’s move to a ‘porous’ subscription model for his site The Dish, is where the various $20 subscribers came from. There wasn’t a long pledge drive, there wasn’t a slow burn as people had to decide to sign up or not. On announcing the change and the membership fee, Sullivan and his team saw over $900,000 in cash pledged by his readers.

That there is the dedicated audience. That’s the ‘1000 Fans’ concept in action. Sullivan has a base audience who consider his site to be part of their life so much that there is no hesitation. They did not stop to think about their $20, they just paid it.

The question for me over the next year for Sullivan is how he grows that pool of hardcore fans. And for everyone else looking at the model, how do you build up enough of a profile and enough hardcore fans, to jump in with this model. Because it’s not something a brand new site with low profile writers and commentators could pull off.

Who will buy news online? Lots of people!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

So if 77% of readers won’t pay for news online… that means 23% will! Even with the rounding errors, it’s a good rule of thumb to say that 23% will pay somewhere in the media of the figure asked by the Harris Interactive poll, which would be $5/£3 a month.

Given that Rupert Murdoch is looking to put his papers behind a pay wall, he’s got to love numbers like this. But I’m going to use numbers from The Guardian for this next bit. Their ABC for Sept 2009 was 32.9m users. So 23% of them, paying £3 a month, gives an income of £22.7million pounds for the year.

That’s got to be attractive to a company that just posted a loss of £55.3 million for last year.