Wondering how our iPhone app sales have gone? We wouldn’t be much of a community site if we didn’t share that info with you, down to the last detail. First, a quick recap.
At the beginning of December we launched the WPCandy WordPress News iPhone and iPod Touch app. It was a very exciting time, particularly because the app itself was in development for about two months. It’s also the first app I have personally put together and released, so that was a fun experience. As part of the launch, we did a reverse deal that involved our app going “on sale” for $5.99, instead of its regular $0.99 price. We ran the reverse deal for two weeks and then made the price $0.99, which is where it has stayed.
In this post I’ll walk you through why we chose to do what we did, how it turned out, and in general how the first month of our iPhone app sales went. Feel free to drop any questions you have in the comments.
Why the reverse launch deal?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the reverse launch deal idea came from. Whenever it came, the idea was exciting primarily because none of us had heard of that sort of thing happening before. In a sense it was bold, the sort of decision that could piss people off as easily as it could interest them. And anyone who knows me will know that those kinds of ideas are very exciting to me. Either way, we knew that whether it worked out or not, it would get people talking, and be a fun experiment.
We also realized that releasing the app in that fashion would give our fans a way to support the site. It was actually the response to the iPhone app that gave us the confidence to employ our new powered by model. I like to put it this way: this community continually proves that it deserves cool things.
Before we launched the app itself, we really had no expectations about how it would turn out. We were prepared to be laughed at for the $5.99 price tag as much as we were to sell a single app. One hope we did have was that the app sales during the reverse launch deal would pay for the costs we absorbed putting together the app, which it very nearly did.
How the reverse launch deal went
Number time. Wait, is that like Hammer Time? Can’t touch this.
The reverse deal ran from December 1st to December 21st. In that time we sold 61 copies of the iPhone app, at $5.99. That was pretty cool. Of course, the week the price went down we sold 65 apps, so there are still those who will wait for a cheaper price.
In total we sold 174 copies of our iPhone app in December, with 61 of those sales on the launch price. So:
|Price of app||Number of apps sold||Apple's commission||Our take|
We ended up with a few hundred dollars in the first month of the app, which we were pretty happy with.
Our approach to WPCandy (and by our I mean GooRoo’s, the parent business behind this site) has been to treat the website itself as the source of content, to keep it all free, but then to create ways of accessing the content to bring it out of the website. So the website is the source, and where everything else leads back to, but we use things like apps to make sure you can get the site anywhere. One example is the iPhone app, with the WPCandy Dashboard Feed plugin being another one.
We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we’re on our way. Do you have ideas about how we can make it easier to get access to the great stuff at WPCandy? Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and pick up the WPCandy WordPress News app if you haven’t already!