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Home / Tips and Tricks / What are & # 39; Freemium & # 39; apps and how do they work?

What are & # 39; Freemium & # 39; apps and how do they work?



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Many apps that we use follow a "freemium" model. The combination of the words "free" and "premium" means that you can download these apps for free, but you have to pay to get the premium features. This is why many developers use this approach to make money with their software.

Freemium apps are not new

Freemium software is a form of income that withholds certain functions behind a payment wall, whether it is a subscription or a one-off payment. Although the use of this term only recently became widespread, this business model has existed as a way to make money with digital goods for a long time.

  Adobe Photoshop CS3.

The practice of charging for additional functions can be traced back to the emergence of shareware and its variations. Trialware applications, such as old versions of Adobe Photoshop or Internet Download Manager, only worked for 30 days without a paid license.

There were also crippleware applications that severely limited what you could do unless you paid. Video editing tools often block complete tool sets, set time limits or add large watermarks to your videos.

With the rise of mobile applications, freemium apps have become more common than ever. In fact, these are perhaps the most common apps on your smartphone.

Freemium Apps Are Everywhere

A developer can earn money with a mobile app in a number of ways. The first option is to charge a fee in advance. With the amount of competition in the Play and App Stores, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince someone to buy an app that they cannot try first.

Ads are another way to make money with an app, but it annoys most people. They are also not the most reliable way to make a profit.

That's why many developers choose the third option: a freemium pricing strategy. Almost every type of application, from productivity tools and weather widgets to dating apps, has a built-in freemium model. Even some photography apps, such as the popular camera app VSCO for iPhone, charge a fee if you want access to special filters and styles.

 The subscription options on Spotify.

Spotify also has free and premium layers. With the free version you get basic advertising-supported music streaming. If you pay the monthly costs, you get things like offline music download, ad-free listening and high quality streaming.

Most cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, also follow the freemium model. You get a basic amount of free storage that you can supplement with extra paid space.

The freemium model is not limited to consumer software – prominent business services such as Slack, SurveyMonkey and Asana also use it.

The emergence of in-app purchases and free play

Much of the increase in freemium apps can be attributed to in-app purchases. Every mobile app in the Play and App Stores has the option to sell additional functions. Most apps that use advertisements have an in-app purchase that allows you to completely remove advertisements.

Because they are linked to your Google or Apple account, you can complete an in-app purchase by tapping a button. That is why many developers do something that has a & # 39; dark pattern & # 39; is used to ask you to spend money. This strategy includes pop-ups asking you to unlock additional features the first time you open an app or incredibly (and intentionally) intrusive ads.

In-app purchases are especially common in "free to play" video games, which often follow the most brutal practices when it comes to generating revenue. Unlike apps that block specific functions behind a payment wall, games usually have micro transactions. These try to ensure that you repeatedly spend money on certain items, characters or in-game currencies.

There have been several incidents in the news in which parents discovered that their child has spent an insane amount of money on in-game items. Some mobile games even limit the number of times you can play within a certain time frame unless you pay.

The Future of Freemium

It is unlikely that the freemium model will soon be finished. It gives developers access to a much wider audience for their apps and reduces the frequency of piracy. And some people are perfectly satisfied with the use of ad-supported versions of freemium apps. Others like that they get a free trial version of some apps before they purchase additional features.

Anyway, to be a demanding consumer, it is important that you know where your software comes from and how the developers make money. [19659025]! function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s)
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