I have been a fan of refreshing things since a long time. The moment anything starts to get consistent, it loses my interest. Technology especially has always grabbed my eyeballs. I was a big fan of mobile phones since I was a child. The first mobile I used was a monochromatic Siemens cell phone. Post that I moved on to a Samsung E 250 – a multimedia phone and a Nokia X5 (many of you might not have even heard of it). It was until that I used my first smartphone Samsung Galaxy Fit that I realized how this breed of phones were so different from normal phones. My first smart phone operating system was Android. I used BlackBerry, Phone and finally settled on a Windows phone – a Nokia Lumia 620.
Having used most of them, the one thing that was distinctly different in each of the smartphones that I used was the ‘app market’ section. Windows being a new born baby in comparison to iTunes & Google Playstore does not have so many apps currently but is catching up pretty fast. These respective app markets have really witnessed different trends over the past few years especially when smartphones have become available at really affordable prices. A couple of years ago, paid mobile apps were so ON! People made money even if there apps were paid because there was weren’t many options available. And then suddenly a storm of free apps took center stage. Search for any kind of apps and you would get a dozen of apps and that too FREE! But then the opportunity to make money took a beating. App makers had to come up with something that could help them not merely survive in the market but thrive!
Here is what gave birth to Freemium (Free + Premum) model of app monetization. I got to know of this model when I downloaded a cricket game last evening but it had only the 5 over format available for playing. For the other options like a 20 or 30 or 50 over game, you got to buy the full version of the game. I thought of giving the game just ONE try because I was sure I won’t be purchasing the game after all. But the game experience turned out to be so addictive that I ended up buying the full version of the app. The first app I bought in 6 years since I started using a smartphone.
And then I just started digging into such model of app monetization. They let us taste the blood (app) and based on the experience that they provide you, they kind of lure you into buying the full version of the app. Of course the app has to be BLOODY good!
But it helps users like us get a feel of the app before we purchase it. many a times a paid app has amazing screenshots but when you purchase the app, it turns out to be a big disappointment. So the Freemium model at least lets you take a sneak peek into the app and then decide for yourself whether you need it or not.
This model is being followed my a majority of app makers because unless you listen to the consumer, you will always find yourself on the wrong side!