Friday, 25 January 2013

The Shift From Paid Apps to Freemium

For the last year then there has been a big shift away from paid apps to Freemium Apps in the App Stores. What does Freemium mean I hear you say! Freemium basically means that the App is free to initially download and use but that you then upgrade using in-app purchase. The best example of this is downloading a Freemium game that has 3 free levels and then you pay within the App to get the other 50. This has the big advantage for users as they are getting quality Apps for free and if the App proves itself to be decent it's only at that point that they part with any cash.

This model seems to really work commercially too as if you look in the Apple App store then most of the top grossing Apps now use this business model. Of the top 20 top grossing Apps today (25th January 2013) then 17 of them are Freemium Apps. That's a whopping 85%!

So if the end user is getting a great deal and only paying for Apps they try before they buy, and the developer is earning more money, then surely everyone wins? Well yes but with one caveat; there are Apps out there where a couple of in-App purchases just aren't enough. The best example of these are the strategy type games where you need to buy power ups to be successful or virtual currency. These things get used up within the game and then you need to buy more. There are cases where children have racked up huge bills on their parents phones on these kind of games by simply buying more and more within the App.

Our advice is to know exactly what you're downloading and if children are involved then make sure your phone settings are set to require a passcode to make any in-App purchase. Instructions on how to do so are below:

To turn off in-app purchasing, do the following:

1. From your home screen, tap on the Settings app
2. Tap on General
3. Scroll about halfway down the page and tap on Restrictions
4. Tap the Enable Restrictions button
5. You'll be asked to Set a Passcode. The Passcode is a password that locks certain functions of the iOS device.
6. Once the passcode is set, scroll down to the Allowed Content section. Slide the In-App Purchases slider to Off. This will prevent anyone who doesn't know your passcode from making in-app purchases.

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