App Pricing

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Posted on November 13, 2015

Anyone who's even a little familiar with game theory is undoubtedly familiar with The Prisoner's Dilemma. It's a classic thought experiment that illustrates how people can make rational choices that seem to be in their own best interest, even when another choice would result in a better outcome for themselves and for the group. In the classic formulation of the Prisoner's Dilemma, the prisoner in question is faced with a choice. The prisoner ...

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Premium Pricing and Back Seat Driving

Posted on October 27, 2015

A friend of mine, Curtis Herbert, has been writing a series of articles (1, 2, 3) he calls Slopes Diaries about the development and pricing of version 2 of his app Slopes. Although I've found Slopes Diaries to be interesting, and while I agree with a lot of what he's written, a few things that he wrote in his most recent installment of the series struck me as wrong. Curtis begins Slopes Diaries #3 by quoting himself from Slopes Diaries #1, ...

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Taylor Swift and App Development

Posted on June 21, 2015

If you had asked me yesterday which Swift would be the topic of conversation among iOS and Mac developers today, I would have put money on it being the programming language and not the music star. And I would have been wrong, because Taylor Swift set the world of Apple watchers abuzz today by airing complaints about Apple's new Apple Music service on her blog. In her post she lays out a well-reasoned argument that Apple Music's payment policy is ...

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Simulating Upgrade Pricing with App Bundles

Posted on June 9, 2014

At last week's Worldwide Developer Conference (universally referred to as WWDC), Apple gave independent developers a lot to be thankful for. In fact, Apple gave us many of the things we've been requesting for a long time – things like app bundles, preview videos in the App Store, better options for beta testing, and App Store analytics. One thing that Apple didn't give us, though, is upgrade pricing, or the ability to charge owners of our ...

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Optimizing the Price of Your App

Posted on October 4, 2013

There's been a lot of talk recently about pricing apps on the App Store. Marco Arment thinks that mass market paid apps are dead. Joe Cieplinski, my co-host on Release Notes, thinks there's still plenty of room for paid apps in the right markets. And Matt Gemmell thinks you should raise your price by a dollar, and then measure the effect it has. With all of this seemingly conflicting advice, what's an app developer to do? We all want our apps to ...

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Sustainable Pricing in the App Store

Posted on October 22, 2012

The subject of App Store pricing has popped up on my radar a lot recently, and I'm a bit surprised since I thought that debate had been long-since settled. After all, prices quickly dropped after the launch of the iPhone App Store, and it's been downhill ever since. Today, anything above 99¢ is regarded by many to be a "premium price," as so-called "freemium" pricing is becoming the norm in many categories. I started ...

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