Apple is trying to create a competitive environment in which the developers tools will be able to consistently earn.
In April 2017, more than 30 developers have gathered to a closed meeting with representatives of Apple in an elite institution in new York. The purpose of the meeting was kept secret from the invited until the last moment. During the meeting Apple employees explained that you see the basic principle of earnings in the App Store not the way it think the majority of developers.
Over 10 years of experience in the Apple store realized that the most successful apps rely on a long-term perspective and cannot generate a steady income due to one-off payment.
What to do with a simple application
Any application can be made in one of two categories — network and the utility. The first type includes multiplayer games, social networks, instant messaging clients, multimedia services and other applications with which people interact with each other and/or consume content. Utilities include tools for specific tasks — image editors, text, code, etc. Often these programmes are in the same section “Utilities”.
The developers tools are originally in a flawed position, because they can’t make the user after your first purchase. A few years later after running from the author of the application, no incentive to release updates and maintain the servers that provide the program.
In 2016, Apple updated your subscriptions, through which developers can earn income years after the client first began to use the application.
On the “secret meeting” in April 2017 Apple recommended to developers as quickly as possible to move to a system of paid subscriptions, describing the main advantages and the results of marketing research.
As usual, the rich get richer
Sorry indie developers, in the current environment, the biggest winners in the market are a large company. Revenue from subscriptions receive well-known brands such as Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, etc.
One of the main reasons for the success of the big players — they often bring to market unique services available outside iOS. Users typically pay 5-10 dollars a month not so much for app support, as for the access to unique content. For example, we can hardly praise the programmers behind the success of HBO, which has released the “Game of thrones” and several other successful series.
Another reason is that large companies have access to a large number of experienced programmers. Here’s what the founder of the Ulysses wrote about the transition to the new system of subscriptions:
To add subscriptions in Ulysses only took seven months, one man-year of development and half a man-year of effort. 22 thousands of lines of production code.
Adding subscription to Ulysses took us 7 months, with 1 man-year engineering, 1.5 man-years of total effort. It’s 22k lines of production code.
— Max Seelemann (@macguru17) August 14, 2017
If the same product to the market withdrawal of Google, the search giant would finish the job for a month, with several groups of specialists would be engaged in the promotion and selection of the optimal price of the subscription.
The result is that Apple is trying to help the applications-utilities and indie developers, also paves the way to large companies with network applications.