Should an app be free or 0.99

Posts: 6
Joined: 2014.03
Post: #1
What is the best have a free app with iad or 0.99 app but without ads, which will generate more revenue and what must your app contain to be eligible to be in the paid 0.99 section. ?

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Posts: 461
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
I don't know which will generate more revenue. I've seen claims both ways. I don't know if anyone has done a scientific survey, and there are many variables that can effect revenue, including luck.

Some apps put the choice in the hands of the user: show ads until the user buys any of the in-app purchases. I think it would be a little slimy to have an in-app purchase called "Turn Off Ads", I'd prefer to offer something of value and turn off the ads as well. But maybe I'm the only one who feels that way.

One nice thing about the iOS App Store is that it is incredibly cheap to do market research. Survey the top games, see what they do. Who knows, maybe they now show ads even to people who have paid. Things change pretty quickly.

(As a bonus, if you do survey the games, you can write it up on your developer blog and try to get some traffic that way. If you want the answer its a fair bet other people would find it useful too.)

Hope this helps a little.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Posts: 338
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #3
It depends a lot on the game itself too, and how the gameplay unfolds. Something like Flappy Bird which is meant to be played over and over and over again in 30 second bursts will make more money with the free+ad model, while a more narrative based game that you'll typically play only once is better off as a paid app.

I used to be very anti-ad but with people embracing pay-to-remove I'm starting to like the idea a lot, especially combined with traditional registration incentives like more levels or whatnot. It's like old school shareware, but it also makes money off the people who DON'T buy it. If Shatter Alley doesn't do well as a $2.99 paid app I would definitely also explore a free version that has ad support + 9 out of 12 songs disabled, with a $2.99 unlock for everything.

Justin Ficarrotta
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #4
According to this article, the paid app model is completely over with and freemium is the only way to make money anymore. I don't know if it's true, but there are some pretty shocking numbers in the article.
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Posts: 1
Joined: 2014.04
Post: #5
Make an In App Purchase that removes ads for 0.99. Thats what works best now. Also throw in some other items people can buy.
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Posts: 268
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #6
I think a better question is "Should an app be free or $4.99?"

In order to make decent money with a free app (either with ads or IAP), you need a lot of downloads. A lot. Like whatever number you're thinking of, add several hundred thousand downloads.

But the same is also true at $0.99. Unless the game was only made in a few weeks you need 10s of thousands of downloads. And just charging any amount will drastically reduce download counts from free. So if you charge anything at all, you might as well charge as much as you can.

Unless you're Minecraft or you spend a ton on marketing, there's a ceiling on how much a paid app can make. Monument Valley is great and landed really high on the Paid charts, but it also dropped out really fast. Still worth it though, as they charged more than $0.99.

The sky's the limit on freemium apps, but you need to design around that from the start. Not all games work with ads or IAP. And it's just as easy (if not easier) to bomb a freemium game and get nothing.

So, um, it depends?
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Posts: 2
Joined: 2014.05
Post: #7
This is always a gray area for me. I think it really depends on the type of game you are trying to make money off of and the audience you are selling too. If you are selling to kids/teens free is the way to go.

I plan on releasing my game for 1.99 that leaves me for room to put it on "sale" for .99 then the sale bots/sites will pick me up and i will get some more visibility.
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Posts: 2
Joined: 2014.05
Post: #8
I generally agree with @Bachus. Because there are so many games out there the majority will not pay for games, especially apps to mobile devices. Also not all games are designed for IAP especially arcade games.

On the other hand it's still very hard to monetize on free-to-play games if you don't have a huge user-base since only a meagre of 1.5% makes IAP. But I still think if you charge even a small fee you will discard a lot of people from trying your game unless you put a lot of branding and marketing into it.

A new monetization method/model is emerging within online (real-time or turn-based) multiplayer/pvp challenge modes that also is relevant for games with niche markets. I know it sounds corny and biased since we provide that service (a simple sdk integration) but check it our for yourself:

We have honestly only developed this kind of software because we want to help gamedevs to monetize on their games so they can keep developing awesome games. With more than 9 years of experience we know the challenges in regards to monetize and as @Bachus mentioned not all games are designed for IAP. We felt new monetization models must be introduced in order for the industry to progress and increase the chances for more gamedevs (especially indiedevs) to monetize and survive and fill our lives with more fun games!
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Posts: 2
Joined: 2014.12
Post: #9
Free as long as you've got IAP and or Ads in which you can make an income from and have an option to remove ads. You will definitely get far more download being free and if you can add social media into the game to publicise it more then it'll be less work trying to advertise your game.

With 92% of apps being free why pay at all when there are too many free ones to pass the time.
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Posts: 11
Joined: 2016.04
Post: #10
The way you monetize your app is very particular, but some methods seem to work better. The chances of getting your app downloaded are much higher if it's a free app. In that case, you may choose between freemium or paywalls, and to pick the best is really a matter of what works better for your app. You can consider promoting it as free download for x-period of time too, it could give a great response.
We at Guarana Technologies have this article talking about it too!
Good luck with it!
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