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Unlike app store payments: all you can eat with developer income depending on popularity

asked 2014-02-20 01:34:09 +0300

Artem gravatar image

updated 2014-07-18 16:22:54 +0300

jiit gravatar image

An idea for unlike store payments, that would guarantee permanent Jolla income, low friction when deciding whether to pay.

Let the user pay a subscription price (country dependent, something like 5-10 eur a month for EU), have all apps available "for free", distribute payments based on apps popularity (downloads/like a month, or better based on how many times/seconds app is actually used)

Certainly to avoid music industry plague (almost all musicians are poor, good not super popular ones are poor, few are very rich stars) you could distribute payments not in linear dependence, but e.g. as a square root of popularity


  • Simple, all you can eat
  • Helps supporting real useful apps of shy authors who would otherwise give apps out for free
  • Image of Jolla as a fair platform where developers get exactly what their apps are worth
  • Unlike, might fail as everything risky, but might succeed heavily


  • Developers can't claim themselves that their app is worth a lot. E.g. you cannot sell MegaSoft Office to very few people, but for $100 each copy. Will it be still attractive for developers?
  • How fair is "popularity" score and what "fair score" is will always be questionable. If you use real complex office suite once a week should it really earn way less than simple funny cats browser you use three times a day?
  • What do you do if users do not want to pay something every month?
    • Shall they see no apps at all? Shall some apps be really free and some - subscription free? Shall apps be able to limit feature set when user isn't subscribed?

What do you think?

Inspired by Spotify business model and Free Software Foundation - I've heard about square root idea from Richard Stallmann, he wanted to reward popular musicians, but not that much and support talented not so popular ones

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I think Jolla needs to provide an app store payments, since I think there are several high quality apps that are already waiting. For my N9 I bought few apps only, a scheme of 5-10 euros per month becomes really expensive.

pmelas ( 2014-02-20 02:05:41 +0300 )edit

Personally I hate the idea. Hell, I still buy music rather than rent it. This seems not to be compatible with a traditional business model, so I don't like it one bit.

orjans ( 2014-02-20 02:28:50 +0300 )edit

Didn't want to downvote, but I don't like this idea.

chappi ( 2014-02-20 11:15:07 +0300 )edit

I did want to downvote as this sounds very like German GEMA to me where 70% of the income gets to <1% of the artists.

chemist ( 2014-02-20 11:28:52 +0300 )edit

In addition to the things already mentioned: I'm not happy about a system that monitors how often I use apps on the phone. How often I install / uninstall an app is fine.

tingo ( 2014-02-21 16:05:50 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2014-02-20 10:41:16 +0300

2Ti gravatar image

updated 2014-02-20 12:45:02 +0300

I think this is an awful idea that encourages bottom feeding copy cat style app development. Flood the market with shit, and watch the cash roll in.

I'd much rather there think of a way to address the "rich get richer" model where the most popular apps are prominently displayed making them ever more popular. Everyone knows what the most popular apps are, they don't need to be displayed. Fundamentally it is quite difficult to address the problem you mention. How is it justified that say your MegaSoft office suite who've spent 10000 man hours on the software, invested on servers on three continents etc. etc. get next to nothing from the sales of their software, where as the guy who makes flappy birds in one afternoon gets rich off the back of the rest of the community.

The music industry is also quite different to software development. The work required to make one song, compared to another song is relatively constant, the main thing your selling is appearances, at least when it comes to top popstars. the difference in Justin Bieber and the next guy is the name. When your selling software you are selling peoples hard work in making the damn thing not crash, have the right features that work the right way and feel right.

You shouldn't take money away from people for doing that. Think of the message that sends. I suppose you could have a pool of apps that operates in this manner. Developers can sign their apps into that pool should they feel like it. But that is a whole lot different to your suggestion.

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answered 2014-02-20 07:50:14 +0300

teun gravatar image

this is an almost exaxt copy of my answer to yoyr previous question here:


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answered 2017-11-22 20:49:09 +0300

Hangman gravatar image

I really like it, this is a great idea, I had the exact same with a little different implementation.

First of all this is great because of two things:

  • It's not one-time-payment. One-time-payment is a bad idea in the software world - it's not like a music cd or a knife, which will stay forever like you bought it. Software needs regular updates and so developers need a regular income, ... . Only a continious growing market could satisfy this with one-time-payments (which is no problem if one have 1.4 billion users). For the same reason sailfishX is'nt a one-time-payment. Only because everybody do it wrong, we should'nt too. Think about it, 2 years 50ct per month or one-time- payment 5€ ?
  • Like Jolla said, it's the freedom of choise. I can choose who I want to pay and how much, after all we want FOSS and this contains this freedom.

Second, I think it would be nice to let the user choose which amount per month he want to pay. We should be able to select what apps get how much of our money. The phone could also offer some sort of service running in the background and collecting statistic about app usage (this should never leave the phone), so I can see what apps I use and set some preferences for my money distribution. At last this ist for the user, so it would matter what apps he like and which get his money.

(For example: I have 100€ on my Jolla account, every month the Jolla Store on my phone give me a reminder, I get a page with a summary about app usage and amount of money I will spent together with the option to change it and if done the phone update this on my user account. Jolla will take the money montly from my account to pay the developers according to my setting: Browser 3€, Music 3€, Calendar 2€, Camera 2€. If my Jolla account get empty they send a mail to remind me to deposit some money again. (my e-mail provider do it like this, I deposit 50€ and they take monthly what they want))

Something about your disadvantages:

  • If you never use an app, it's not worth 100$. If the app has many useres which like the app, the dev will get also many $.
  • The scoring system should be per user. The user should choose which app get how much of his attention. So if you think the funny cat browser is more valueable for you, it's your decision.
  • What do you do if users do not want to pay something every month? - It's an interesting question, just leave them. Let them use all the apps, maybe they have a reason not to pay (make a reminder in the Jolla Store for everyone: users pay average 1,23€ per month for this app). We all wan't free and open source software, so the payment should be the free decision too. Otherwise people are encouraged to implement DRM and copy protection, the users will download thoose things from other websites, they won't get security patches and so on ... .

P.S. I have no problem paying 10€/month for apps (including Jolla Apps, they are great but some really need updates), but only if I don't need to pay manual 20 different developers 50ct each. This will be quick more than I have ever paid for Google apps ... .

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Asked: 2014-02-20 01:34:09 +0300

Seen: 645 times

Last updated: Nov 22 '17