by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 3rd 2011 8:07pm
by Leigh Beadon
Thu, Jun 20th 2013 1:30am
from the many-ways-to-make-a-buck dept
As part of our sponsorship program with the Application Developers Alliance, we're highlighting some of the content on DevsBuild.It, their new resource website, that we think will be most interesting to Techdirt readers.
In the sidebar widget featuring DevsBuild.It content, many of the most-read links have been those dealing with business models for apps, such as the developer who explained how their first game made $28,623 (the most popular post over the past month). For those of you following these kinds of stories, we're highlighting a few new additions to DevsBuild.It that aim to help developers with the task of monetizing an app.
First, there's a comparison tool that helps sort through all the different ad networks and other monetization platforms, filtering them by various criteria to help developers put together a smart business model:
To accompany the tool, there's also a free white paper on app monetization [pdf link] which compares different app stores (including the less-mainstream ones) and breaks the core monetization models down into categories.
Finally, an early announcement: the Application Developers Alliance is hosting a series of events on app monetization, in San Francisco on August 2nd, New York on September 26th and LA on October 18th. More details are on the way.
(In related news: our readers may be interested in checking out the ADA's amicus brief in the Google/Oracle appeal, which urges the court to uphold the ruling that APIs are not copyrightable.)
This post is sponsored by the Application Developers Alliance. Find more info on patents and other issues that affect developers at DevsBuild.It
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 30th 2010 12:57pm
from the reading-between-the-lines dept
In the ideal world, we would absolutely love and want nothing more but to be able to get every popular show out there that users love, and acquire the legal rights to stream them across every fancy device imaginable at the price that everybody wants. Unfortunately, due to stringent contract agreements on how content can be shared through certain devices, we are not able to have all of the content that everyone wants at this time.Of course, this all comes back to the same thing we've said before. Hulu's in such a difficult place because the company needs to keep other companies so happy that it can't disrupt the businesses it needs to disrupt. You simply don't disrupt legacy businesses by working within their guidelines.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 4th 2010 1:45pm
from the after-connecting-with-fans-for-so-long dept
What comes through in both pieces is how utterly nice and decent Ebert seems to be. After the Leitch piece ran, Ebert tweeted to Leitch that "all is forgiven." For decades, tons of people have connected with Ebert through his old television show, and through his movie reviews, blogs and columns. More recently, he's been connecting in a big way via Twitter as well.
And now he's trying something different. He's giving his fans a reason to buy. While we often talk about the whole CwF+RtB business model in the context of replacing traditional models -- such as for music, books and movies, it can clearly work in other areas as well. Our own curiosity led us to try setting up our own CwF+RtB offering -- which was a fantastic success (and, yes, we know we need to replenish and offer more -- hold on, it's coming).
So we're always glad to see others jumping on the bandwagon and trying similar ideas as well. In Ebert's case, it's The Ebert Club, which is a yearly subscription that grants you additional access and benefits for a mere $5. A lot of what you get is available for free, but there are some good scarcities in there -- including private discussion threads and early access to special Ebertfest events including a special meet-and-greet with Ebert himself.
It sounds like they're looking to do more as well, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it. There aren't any tiers -- it's one price fits all -- though I could see room for a tiered offering down the road as well with additional benefits (private film screenings with just club members?). But what it's really showing is that this whole concept of connecting with fans and giving them a real (scarce) reason to buy goes beyond what you might expect -- and opens up all sorts of new possibilities elsewhere as well. And, considering that Leitch's "falling out" with Ebert was over Ebert being the king of "old media," this sort of venture seems very, very new media.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 2nd 2009 3:35am
from the true-fans dept
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 25th 2009 11:11am
from the sorta-maybe-possibly dept
It is, as always, great to see new experiments in terms of music business models -- but, again, this one seems to get the business model backwards. Effectively, Apple and the band (or, rather, its label) are asking Depeche Mode fans to pay $9 extra for some vague promises of future benefits that aren't at all defined. And, all of it seems to be focused around the digital content (the stuff that people are a lot less interested in paying for, and which can be used -- for free -- to promote more scarce parts of a business model). Also, the "pass" isn't much of a subscription, since it only lasts for a few months. I'm sure some diehard fans will pony up, but it's not exactly a compelling reason to buy at all.
To design a good subscription plan, you could simply let anyone get the pure music for free, but offer tiered yearly plans that provide extra benefits: earlier access to the content (get the latest single before your friends!), access to a private chat room that the band actually hangs out in, opportunities to buy tickets to shows before anyone else, a chance to win backstage passes to meet the band, and (my personal favorite) an opportunity to win a private show or a "backyard" concert. Then, the more the music is out there and enjoyed, the more worthwhile it is for fans to sign up to this program. Will there be free riders? Absolutely. Will there be more free riders than members? Probably. Does it matter? Not at all. Because you'll have a situation where everyone is happy. The band is making more money than before, the band has more fans than before with more people listening to their music, and the band's true fans are more closely connected to the band. And, oh yeah, no one's suing anyone or demanding payment. It's really not that difficult.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 18th 2008 1:37pm
from the keep-an-eye-on-this dept
While I have no idea if this particular offering will catch on, it is a step in the right direction. Selling software as software is increasingly an unsustainable business model for all the usual reasons (infinite goods, and the like). Different companies have taken different approaches to dealing with this. IBM has shifted its business significantly over to services, and even has become a big proponent of free and open source software. Similarly, Red Hat focuses mainly on services. Google (and many other "web" software providers) focus mainly on ad-supported models for software. Microsoft, due to its tremendous legacy user base lock-in and inertia has been able keep selling software directly, and will continue to be able to so for a while. But, eventually, that business model is unsustainable -- and this new "Albany" subscription offering is a step towards moving away from it.
While it may seem like a subscription service is really just the same thing as straight software sales, it isn't necessarily. It really depends on how Microsoft treats this. If it treats it as just a way to break up the sales price of software, then it will fail. But if it rethinks it's overall approach, and realizes that the subscription fee should be for an ongoing service that provides additional benefits, then it could work quite well. From an economics standpoint, the subscription should be paying for additional ongoing services and benefits, rather than the cost of the software, which has no marginal cost to reproduce. Those ongoing benefits can be scarce goods, whereas the software itself is an infinite good. Effectively, you should be paying for future and ongoing benefits rather than the completed software. That is, there needs to be additional ongoing value to paying for the service. That means not just access to the software, but additional convenience, perhaps online storage, remote access, collaboration features, continual upgrades, service and support and the like. Make it more into a real service, rather than just a piece of software with monthly payments.
That's not to say that Microsoft will get this right. It's business model is so tied up in direct software sales, it likely will be very difficult for the company to really embrace a full software-as-a-service model. However, as things go, even experimenting with such a model is definitely a move in the right direction, and a recognition that Microsoft (even with its continued dominance in direct software sales) needs to adapt to the changing market.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 1st 2008 12:48pm