Microsoft has been encouraging developers to contribute apps to the Windows store. Now it has announced details of its price tiers, with a starting price of $1.49, which is higher than the $0.99 of Google Play, Amazon and the iTunes store.
Currently, while Windows 8 is in beta, all apps in the Windows Store are free. However, once it is released to manufacturing, i.e. at Windows 8 RTM, developers who have registered for a company account (at a cost of $99) and living in one of the supported countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States) will be able to offer paid apps with prices ranging from $1.49 to $999.99.
People have already expressed surprise at the lack of a $0.99 price option but perhaps Microsoft feels that it isn't worth its while collecting such small amounts. You need to bear in mind that Microsoft retains 30% of the revenue (until an app reaches $25,000 at which point the fee drops to 20% of the app price) and only pays out once a company has accumulated $200 in earnings.
As well as providing these details the blog post also discuses alternative approaches for monetizing an app. In app purchases and advertising within an app are models that a very familiar, but there is a less well-known option that Microsoft suggests can increase revenue by up to five times - a time-limited trial of a fully functional version of an app. The example discussed, a painting app called Colors has a price of $4.99 but can be used free for 7 days.
The advantages of this type of trial are listed as:
- Analytics to show the conversion process
- A single code base that targets both their trial and full paying customers. This enables customers to seamlessly transition from the trial to the full version, with no need to reenter data, migrate settings or get used to a different app.
- System functionality that stops the trial from being launched after the trial expires
- Access to a set of APIs that allow for prompting for customers purchasing the full version of the app