frank's blog

Paid Apps vs. Free Apps – Intriguing Insights by Marco Arment (Instapaper)

Posted in blog, Media, quality by aldorf on April 29, 2011

First of all, kudos to Marco for creating with Instapaper a useful and one of my favorite tools out there. This is a great blog post about an experiment he started last fall.

Last fall, I conducted an experiment: I quietly removed Instapaper Free from the App Store for three days, leaving only the full, $4.99 Instapaper app. Not only did sales increase incrementally, but nobody seemed to notice.

On March 12, knowing I was heading into very strong sales from the iPad 2’s launch, I pulled Free again, this time for a month. Again, nobody noticed, and sales increased (although it’s hard to say which portion of the increase, if any, is attributable to Free’s absence, since most of it is from the iPad 2’s launch).

This break went so well that I pushed the return date back by another month. I may keep it out indefinitely, effectively discontinuing Instapaper Free.

Here’s why: …read full blog post (recommended)

A couple of his insights

Customer reviews: Instapaper Free always had worse reviews in iTunes than the paid app. Part of this is that the paid app was better, of course, but a lot of the Free reviews were completely unreasonable…

Product design: If you have a free version of your app, that will be the only version many people will ever see. So, for the Free users, that app — that extremely limited app that lacks almost all of Instapaper’s best features — is what they think Instapaper is.…

Demand: Maybe you think there aren’t enough people willing to pay $5 for an app with no free version. I used to think that, too. But I was wrong.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers

%d bloggers like this: