Are Freemium Apps the Future?

A few apps lately have become hugely successful and are paid apps, like those angry birds or candies that want to be crushed.
However, if we look at the trends, we can’t ignore that many of the top apps are free.
This is an interesting move in a world where developers are great at innovative designs, but often lacking on business and monetization skills.

Developers are moving towards using in-app purchases as their main mode of monetization,
where users can pay small amounts here and there as they become more addicted to the game or app. This has resulted in a lot more downloads.
Lets look at the numbers published from App Annie Intelligence, in the past few years freemium apps have 400% more revenue than before, while premium apps have basically stayed flat.


A good example of this success is Plants Vs Zombies 2. When the app launched, it had more downloads in two weeks than Plant Vs Zombies 1 had in its whole lifetime.

It’s not all good

The idea of freemium apps has its drawbacks as well.
Many users don’t like having to make in-app purchases, they say it destroys gameplay.
Developers fire back by saying that they are constantly updating and adding new features to the game.
In-app purchases allow developers to spend the time and money to make improvements to the app which will result in a better experience for the user.

The second argument is that although it provides revenue, many users aren’t willing to make any in-app purchase.
This especially comes into play if an app can quickly get boring and isn’t interesting enough to hold a user’s attention for long.

The final reason is that many who do not want to purchase in-app content are stuck.
They have to dedicate more time and frustration to beating the game.
This makes the game seem unfair as others can progress faster just for spending more money.

A solution

A way developers are trying to stifle the criticism is by developing apps that treat the users as investments and let them know they should invest in the app from the beginning.
This is similar to the model that huge consul games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty use.
Players know going into the game that there will be expansion packs that will cost money and they have to accept that as they purchase the game.


Are Freemium Apps the Future? | Polltopay