In what seems like a logical result of economic pricing strategies, iPhone app developers who put their apps on sale see an average increase in revenue of 41% on the first day, and total increases of 22% after 15 days. App store analytics provider Distimo shared the findings in a new research report.
When a developer decides to put an application on sale, there’s a delicate balance that has to be achieved. The sale price has to be low enough to encourage more downloads, obviously, but it also needs to be low enough that it encourages enough download volume to make up for the lost revenue.
To examine what happens during when apps go on sale, Distimo examined the 100 top grossing apps in the iPhone App Atore, iPad App Store and Android Market. On the first day of the sale, the average revenue increase by +41% in the iPhone App Store, and by 15 days in, was up by +22%. On the iPad App Store, the day one effect was even greater: up +52% on day one and up +19% by day 15.
All this is well and good, but not all developers see such impressive results. 44% of iPhone apps lose revenue during the sale, with 23% of devs seeing a drop in revenue of more than 20%. In general, offering a small discount from $7.99 to $6.99 doesn't increase revenue as much as a larger drop from $7.99 to $4.99.
The full report from Distimo goes into much greater detail, with additional details about average app pricing and more information about the impact of different price cuts on revenue.
Top Rated Comments
The biggest problem when you play this game us the perceived value of your app.
If you launch at $4.99 and then drop to $1.99 on sale, what happens when you go back to $4.99? If your app is desirable enough, it keeps selling, but new customers may feel like they overpaid, and are not happy customers at all.
We have also released an app for a low introductory price, missing some planned features, then increased the price when the full feature set was in place. This rewarded early adopters and enabled us to get more real world feedback for the updated version.
Having special sales events - well publicized with clear end dates - can also stimulate impulse buys, but you had better understand your real costs before you sell several thousand copies of your app at a net loss.
If they do that, they had better NOT do what Amazon got caught doing, giving away developers' (non-free) apps for free as Free App of the Day without their permission, netting the developer $0. That's a way to lose trust with your devs really fast.