Are Android users cheapskates?
Android users are less willing to pay for premium applications, according to one developer
Android users, according to one developer, are less willing to pay for premium applications compared to their iOS-using counterparts.
Case in point comes via The Verge, citing a blog post by Papermill developer Ryan Bateman, which claims that the average Android user is less willing to pay for premium apps than iOS users in general.
Papermill is an Instapaper client for Android. Similar to Readability the Papermill application, in the words of its creator, is a ‘simple, minimal Android application’ and is priced at £2.59.
And while reviews of the application on Google Play have been positive – it’s got a four out of five rating – download numbers have not, and Bateman has accepted that it’ll never make a profit.
‘As of Friday March 30th,’ says Bateman, ‘Papermill has been on sale for 3 weeks and has sold 411 units at $4.00 USD on Google Play, resulting in $1630.12 gross sales. The net revenue after market fees is $1140.00. 79 orders have been cancelled or refunded.’
Bateman reckons he’s clocked up around $300,000 worth of work creating the application. To recoup this cost based on current download rates it would take five years. So what’s a developer to do?
Creating a freemium ad-based version, according to Bateman, would almost certainly increase the profitability of the application. The downside? It would decrease the quality of experience that the app offers, and Bateman isn’t prepared to do this.
In conclusion, Bateman surmises the situation as follows:
‘I think this unhappy end-scenario - of applications that either compromise on quality or have not had the necessary time invested in their design - is as a result of Android users not being willing to pay for an apps whose focus is quality and whose price reflects this.’
He added: ‘Instead, these users opt for a free but less refined experience. This has led to a race to the bottom, with independent developers creating applications are de-facto free instead and relying on ads for profit.’