Years ago I wrote technical analysis software, I first started by giving away the software for free and hoped that the screen asking for “donations if you like it” would allow me to make money, of course I received many more user questions than I received donations. Attempt two was to offer a free version and a paid version, free version had advertising and paid version removed the advertising.
I tried option three which limited the functionality of the free version, you could only track 10 stocks unless you paid, that worked marginally better. Probably would have been more successful if I tried limiting different functionality, such as less indicators etc.
I did not try option three which was to offer a free version and a paid version with additional functionality (today called the freemium method, free version and premium version), I just skipped to option four which was to just sell the software in the back of an industry magazine for technical analysis. This was a long time ago, I then moved on to option five and had to create my own advertising platform to provide ads which jump started my first online startup. Even though I began 10 years ago and started with Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) the same business models apply today with iPhone applications.
- Free with Donations: Offer the application for free and message for donations;
- Paid removes Advertising: Offer the application for free with advertising, and an option to pay and remove advertising;
- Free with limited functionality: Offer the application with limits on the functionality, for example maybe it keeps a list of friends and their social networks but will only save 20 friends, the paid version saves unlimited friends;
- Free with additional functionality: Offer the application for free and offer additional features only available in the paid version;
- Paid Only: offer only a paid version, and
- Free with Ads: Offer the application for free and make your revenue through the ad networs.
Many combinations exist, see the related article “Top 6 iPhone Application Advertising Networks for advertisement swapping, analytics and advertising revenue for your iPhone.