Digital Marketing and Free iPhone Apps

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Marketing 

First introduced in early 2007, Apple’s iPhone has since sold over 30 million units. Populating these 30 million iPhones are well over 200,000 apps available in Apple’s app store. While discourse continues over the ability of developers to get rich off of even a very successful app, there is a constant stream of free applications flooding the app store. What would motivate a developer to spend time and money on a title only to give it away for free? Well, in some cases these apps are developed as a sort of exercise. Developers may want to test certain technologies or simply get their feet wet on the development and publishing process. However, most of the time these free apps have costly development cycles that must generate at least some return on the investment. In order to remain free to all who wish to download them, and still have a chance at becoming profitable, these apps become what are known as ‘ad supported,’ where small ads are steadily featured on screen while the app is being run. These ads provide revenue to the developer and have quickly become a billion dollar business. In terms of Internet Marketing, or Online Marketing in general, ads offer a reliable way to balance the costs of delivering content without directly charging the consumer – and this methodology has carried over to the realm of iPhone apps. In this article we will examine an advantage of making ad supported iPhone apps and discuss why this may be a wise choice for many developers.

Availability – Even with over 30 million units sold and 200,000 available apps, the simple fact still remains that many users will never purchase an iPhone app. These users are interested in apps and use them often, but find enough functionality in the available free offerings. Even those who purchase many apps are still always on the lookout for the next great free application. Simply put, anybody who uses apps has their eye on the freebies. This reluctance to make a purchase is absolutely something that can and should be leveraged. Let’s say you are a small development company, and you have made an application that reminds people of certain events with a personally chosen sound clip. The application is well made, easy to use and has done very well in focus group testing. Still, the developer has a legitimate fear that the app will be skipped over for a free offering if they decide to charge. Instead of risking not being seen, they decide to make their app ad supported.

Choosing to go free immediately offers several advantages, most of which revolve around increased availability. First off, it will be much easier to get your app in the hands of app reviewers if you make it free. There can sometimes be issues with getting the app into the hands of reviewers due to promo codes expiring, gift codes not working properly and other logistical issues. If the app is free, any reviewer in the world can grab and, review it, and help move units.

Beyond reviewers, the general public will be much more likely to acquire your app if it is free. As mentioned, there is a large subset of iPhone users who never make the leap into purchasing an app, but download many free offerings. Getting the app onto as many iPhone’s is the ultimate goal with any developer, and with ad supported apps this becomes much easier to achieve. In the end, it will be up to the developer to decide which approach makes the most sense for them. However, when faced with the option of selling several thousand apps at one to three dollars each, or several hundred thousand apps for free with constant ad revenues coming in, the choice becomes an easier one to make.

Domenic Carlson writes on behalf of inSegment, Boston’s leader in Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, and the home of Boston SEO.

Article Source:

http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Domenic_Carlson

Domenic Carlson - EzineArticles Expert Author

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Prev Post:
Next Post: