Sunday, 21 October 2012

29 - Selling for free

One day we'll need to make money off this thing. It'll be a nice problem to solve when Story has ten million users.

Here are the options we'll have:

1. Paid version without any ads.
2. Free version with banner ads.
3. Sponsored content.
4. Sell in-app extras.
5. Sell access to premium stories.
6. Subscription fee.

I think that's it. Let's start from the top:

1. A paid version with no ads: This would be great, yeah let's do that. Oh wait, we can't because it's a social app. If we were making a game, or any other type of app, we could sell it for 99p. But making a social app? It has to be free. Which is kinda annoying because it means we have to consider stuff like:

2. Free version with banner ads: No way. Cheap and horrible.

3. Sponsored content: This is better than having banner ads, and it's the most realistic income for us. It would be great if we could get companies to pay for sponsored content and take advantage of it in a cool way. Like, say, Coke made a story about the history of their company. That would be cool. I'd read that. But how often do advertising people do stuff interesting? (My old house mate, during an ad break, he'd scream at the TV "STOP LYING TO ME") Anyway, sponsored content is the most realistic option for an app like ours and hopefully we can make it interesting. I like the idea of making companies think a bit about it, like, "Look guys, this is a mini version of your entire brand. Like a mini website for you. Be honest with it. Do something good." We'll see.

4. Selling in-app extras: We could sell extras like being able to choose fonts for your stories or changing colours. I don't really like this. I like the idea of a product being a complete product. No hidden extras or costs. A lot of apps do it successfully but it just doesn't feel clean.

5. Sell premium stories: I could rant about the failing magazine industry again but basically, people do not want to pay to read something.

6. Subscription fee: This is like selling the app for a price but more complicated, "Yeah no, it costs 99p but 99p every month... if you want to cancel your subscription simply-" This wouldn't saturate.

Paul has his own opinions. Like I said, when we have ten million users and have to solve this problem, it'll be nice.