I ran across this podcast episode where developers talked about the behind-the-scenes activities that goes into app development. I watched curiously at the backlash of app pricing when it comes to OmniFocus (some say it’s just too expensive) and the trend to in-app subscription. It was fascinating to listen to Max Seelemann talk about the struggles of app developers and what went behind the decision to switch to in-app subscription.
As a customer, we’re always price-sensitive when we get charged for something. Sometimes we get discouraged when we just bought an app 6 months ago and a new version was just released. But we’re just right outside the edge of the free upgrade time window. Another app might be a little too expensive for your taste and you’re pondering about going with a cheaper alternative. Or we’re faced with another app where they’ve switched over to the in-app subscription model.
It’s interesting to hear about the decision for Ulysses to go from the one-time purchase to the in-app subscription model.
We’re still resisting the subscription model for some of our apps. I’m just grateful there’s a nice mix of one-time purchases and subscription models.
It was interesting to listen to this episode and hear why some apps such as DevonThink and OmniFocus are priced high and why others have switched to the subscription model. Listen and judge for yourself when you buy that next app. Yeah, I know the topic of one-time purchase vs. subscription is still controversial and a hard pill to swallow. Adobe, Setapp web sites, and Ulysses are going to the subscription model to sustain itself.
I think there was an interesting comment in the podcast about updating apps. If the developer does a major upgrade (version 1.0 to version 2.0), we’ll have to wait longer while they save up enough changes to warrant a major paid upgrade. However, the subscription model allows the developer to quickly add features and reiterate on a constant basis. I think I’d like to see new features sooner instead of waiting for a new major upgrade every couple of years.