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Micro-payment subscriptions including try-before-you-buy for App Store

asked 2014-01-19 22:47:07 +0300

Artem gravatar image

updated 2014-01-31 00:33:09 +0300

ssahla gravatar image

Short Version
Let's enable subscription-based micro-payments for normal offline apps in the app store. Imagine how developers will be motivated to constant improvements if you pay 3 cents a week instead of $0.95 once and that's it. Sure, Jolla will need to bundle many such transactions

Could this work for Jolla? Can it make the app store dynamics and users-developers relationship uniquely positive in the Jolla universe? What do you think?

More Details
Okay, there are no paid apps in app store yet, but why not to think about some creative (even disruptive?) app store models not yet tried by other platforms.

One thing I was always not excited about normal app stores is that the business model doesn't really encourage the developer to work hard on improving the app further. Sure there are indirect motivations (competition, word of mouth promotion to the potential next customers), but the guys who already bought your app and who are loyal.. that's it, you are not doing business with them anymore unless you have some server-based subscription.

So why not change it? Imagine Angry Birds that would cost not $0.89, but $0.03 a week, yet only for the weeks when you actually play it. And first trial week is free. Oh boy, that would encourage constant new levels and quality improvements.

Sure this model to work needs a good app store support as processing real micropayments could easily cost times more than the transaction value. Some thinking also needs to be put into what it means that app was used during a week so that we won't discourage people from using app too much.

What do you think? Could this work for Jolla users and encourage developers to permanent quality improvements? Any obvious weak points?

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Hopefully most programmer here lean towards Open Source and support FOSS principles. Very hard to trust closed code blobs, where you have no idea what they are actually doing and what information from your phone they may be sending back without your knowledge.


richardski ( 2014-01-19 23:05:59 +0300 )edit

Just like free apps with ads work now. Developer gets money if there is lost of downloads and uses. If you won't improve your app --> better app gets the users and the money.

iheilala ( 2014-01-20 12:50:44 +0300 )edit

@richardski, I don't quite get how having the code open is related to payments :/ Could you elaborate? @iheilala, that's exactly the good example, I want to have an alternative for ads that don't work well neither for users, nor devs, nor even brands for now.

Artem ( 2014-01-20 14:42:28 +0300 )edit

As an user of the application; i don't agree to pay monthly payment, even it is $0.03. I want to purchase the app with one single payment (if any). (Maybe i could make another $1 payment after a year. if i really use that application. But not monthly) Or make a voluntary donation...

kimmoli ( 2014-01-20 18:47:41 +0300 )edit

I like the idea as a motivator for devs to keep adding content, but as @kimmoli said, just paying once is better for the consumer.

So, what if an app costs €1 but Jolla holds on to that, only paying the dev €0.02 per week for a year. That way, every purchase is a year long motivation for the dev.

Henque19 ( 2014-01-21 11:32:32 +0300 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2014-02-14 13:30:44 +0300

teun gravatar image

updated 2014-02-14 13:32:36 +0300

as alternative.. users fund jolla store with a prepaid amount of f.i. €20. giving the user download and voting credits. say €0,50 per credit

users download apps and give apps there appreciation by giving thumbs up... devs gain carma and for each carma point they receive payment ..

carma based on downloads, number of apps and upvotes.. just like here on together

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Using bitcoin would be a much better solution though. It's fast and with very low transaction fees and wouldn't require me to deposit any amount into the store.

avdwoude ( 2014-02-14 13:34:43 +0300 )edit

think bitcoin is not a good option. this currency is way to volatile

teun ( 2014-02-14 16:49:06 +0300 )edit

True bitcoin is very volatile, but that doesn't make a lesser option for some people. :-)

avdwoude ( 2014-02-20 01:10:03 +0300 )edit

Or add the possibility to include flattr account that would do the thing for you. On Flattr, you choose a budget, add money to the account and the budget money will be divided between all the content creators you have Flattred that month.

Toxip ( 2014-09-07 13:26:17 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-01-19 22:47:07 +0300

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Last updated: Feb 14 '14