My experience in converting my paid educational apps to a subscription business revenue model.

After experimenting with various apps, I ventured into an educational language-earning app in 2013/14. I developed three apps Mudrakshar for tracing Alphabets, Swarakshar for Pronouncing Alphabets and Chitrakshar for Alphabet Charts with Illustrations and audio pronunciation. All three apps were dedicated to Devanagari Script—mainly Marathi, Sanskrit and Hindi Language. For Chitrakshar, I added the English Language with Latin script.

I am developing my apps for Apple iOS, iPadOS and macOS platforms. Here is my Apple Developer Profile if you want to check it out.

I think the In-App purchase / StoreKit framework was not introduced back then. That’s what I remember. So I used paid app business model to support my app development and time invested.

Maybe because I started sailing my apps with an upfront paid pricing model, I was forcing my users to purchase them without allowing them to try them before they bought. As a result, I had significantly fewer downloads or sales. But over the years, I sold almost 1,000 units of apps or more. I also utilised App Store Connects’s App Bundles feature at that time. App Bundles undoubtedly helped me to sell more apps with discounts.

I tried different price models for my apps. I started with $4.99, then $3.99 somebody advised me for $0.99.

But the higher pricing always fetched more downloads as low pricing gave users an experience that if the app is cheap, it is also sacrificed on quality.

As education is not an expense but an investment in self-improvement.

But over the years, i.e. almost 7 or 8 years, users were using the app forever at the same price without charging them for the following year.

So I was losing a lot of money as there were no repeating users or payments.

In 2021, I stumbled upon a good framework dedicated to the Apple platform. Framework was RevenueCat. RevenueCat was programmed in Swift and Objective-C, i.e. Native to the Apple platform. As a result, RevenueCat simplifies StoreKit implementation hassle with just three lines of code.

So back to my subject.

After converting my apps to Subscriptions, I introduced two payment cycles to my app. One was yearly with a discount, and one was a monthly payment cycle.

I just saw more sales in my Apple App Store Analytics. My users were happy purchasing my apps with a yearly subscription as I was getting more value in supporting my development financially. In addition, users were getting more features as I continued to develop my apps.

I finally chose to price my Mudrakshar app at $1.99 for a month and $21.99 for a year. For Swarakshar and Chitrakshar, I determine only yearly pricing at $2.99.

So now I have sold more apps for the last one and a half years than the previous eight years combined.

So converting paid apps to Subscription Revenue Business model was a success by my standards.

I hope it helps you decide for your apps to choose the perfect business revenue model.

Thanks & Regards
Mandar Apte

Published by Mandar Apte

Mandar is a Mumbai-based multi-disciplinary designer with UX/UI, Logo, Symbol, and Brand Identity design expertise. He currently runs his Mudrkashar Linguistic Apple iPhone, iPad, and Mac app business in the heart of Mumbai city.

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