Alright folks, the numbers for February are in, so let’s discuss. As I explained in my last post February was the month where I increased the price of my apps from €3.99 to €4.99.
Now there has been a downward trend in AppStore sales for a lot of developers. Some of the blogposts are quite depressing to read and the goldmine seems to be further and further away. Still, there were couple of reasons why I decided to increase my prices instead of joining the race to the bottom.
First of all I bumped into a similar-ish competing app which was free to start with, but then required a €7.99 purchase per year to keep going. That’s a good price I reckon, but I don’t know how much the developers make at those prices. I’ve never seen that app in the top-20 of grossing apps, so my guess is not a lot. Still, €7.99 per year is a big difference compared to a one-time price of €3.99 so I decided to make that difference a bit smaller.
Second reason is that buying the network in paper-map form is still a lot more expensive. The network in Belgium covers 5 provinces and there’s about 5 maps needed to cover one province. Keep in mind that a user will need to buy new maps as the network changes. A single map is about €5.99 so you do the math. My app should be nearer to €20 compared to paper prices, but maybe that’s a bit too optimistic.
Another reason to do the price increase was some AppStore psychology. There’s so many free apps and 99 cents apps out there that maybe -just maybe- now is a good time to stop playing that game and increase the price. There’s always buyers who are tired of low-quality, low-priced apps and who want to spend a bit more on something they’ll enjoy for years to come.
Finally I did some math and a price move from €3.99 to €4.99 means I can lose about 20% in sales volume and still end up at similar numbers.
So far the price bump has been fine. I haven’t seen a drop in volume. Sales are still very dependent on weather, but during the good weekends I’m getting similar sales, I’m just making a bit more money.
As you can see in the image above, there’s no pinpointing where the price went up. I’ll tell you though: it went up on February 17th, just before the best weekend of the month.
The image above shows the top-20 of the Navigation category in the Dutch App Store. 12 apps are priced €3.99 or higher. 9 apps are priced €4.99 or higher.
I’ve been checking this top-20 from time to time and those numbers have been consistent. The Belgian AppStore shows similar numbers, so for now €4.99 seems like a good place to be.
So, the numbers then.
I beat last year’s February by quite some margin, but I just fell short of 2015’s February month. To be fair, 2015 was an awesome year. It would have been nice to have another record month, but to land just short of my best February month ever … yeah, I’ll take that.
My plan for the coming months is to spend some money on Facebook advertising. I’ve got a couple of campaigns set up. The amount of filtering and targeting you can do is amazing. Only thing left to do is enter credit card details and start it up. More on that soon.
I don’t expect to break any records during the next months. From March onwards sales of my apps really exploded in 2014 and it would be crazy to beat those numbers, or even come close to them.
Still, I haven’t done any work on the apps -apart from network updates- so as long as they’re selling reasonably well (read: better than last year) without needing much attention they are a nice, passive income.
In today’s AppStore economics, that’s a good place to be.