Under the Radar

Under the Radar 45: Ads ★★☆☆☆


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started so today we

00:00:12   wanted to talk again about the App Store

00:00:15   and about how at the App Store is

00:00:17   changing over time and especially around

00:00:20   this time when iOS 10 is coming out and

00:00:22   things are changing and especially this

00:00:24   year where it seems like for the first

00:00:26   time we're having all this change and I

00:00:29   don't like tumult in the App Store where

00:00:31   we're getting subscription of my model

00:00:33   of changing their search ads coming

00:00:35   they're purging old ad apps from the App

00:00:38   Store they're changing app review review

00:00:40   timing all kinds of things are changing

00:00:41   in the App Store and all that change

00:00:44   recently made me take a look back and do

00:00:48   what I like I love doing most which is

00:00:50   making a chart of course any time I kind

00:00:53   of feel nostalgic or curious

00:00:55   I'll try and make it to make a chart out

00:00:57   of that and so what happened I did and

00:00:58   this is a lot of we're gonna start

00:01:00   talking about it's an article I wrote

00:01:01   called evolving apps for business models

00:01:03   which I'll have the link to in the show

00:01:05   notes a lot of these things I feel are

00:01:07   so easy to get stuck on like the way you

00:01:10   feel now and these slow gradual changes

00:01:14   are hard to really pin down for like

00:01:16   what's actually been happening in the

00:01:17   App Store because you know it's been

00:01:19   quite a while since I've been it I

00:01:21   submitted my first app I think my first

00:01:23   app I submitted almost eight years ago

00:01:25   and a lots changed since then

00:01:28   and the interesting thing that I found

00:01:30   is when I went back to my all like my

00:01:32   app store sales data as far back as I

00:01:34   had kept it and honestly I really wish I

00:01:36   had my data all the way back to eight

00:01:39   years ago but I just don't like I

00:01:41   consolidated into a new like reporting

00:01:44   system only like three or four years ago

00:01:46   and certainly have dated back to then

00:01:47   but then nevertheless you should release

00:01:49   that oh it's awful it is it is one of

00:01:53   those classic projects which I'm sure

00:01:54   any developer can appreciate where it is

00:01:56   it is designed to work for nobody but me

00:01:58   like it like I do weird things it's a it

00:02:03   makes no sense to anybody but me but for

00:02:05   me it's perfect and like I have to run

00:02:07   like these six scripts to get all the

00:02:09   data in and the way I like it but it

00:02:11   works for me so I would not recommend

00:02:13   if you'd looking if you're looking for a

00:02:15   sales and reporting system I'm sure

00:02:17   there are many great hosted providers to

00:02:19   do what you want to do don't roll your

00:02:21   own I can tell you it's terrible but if

00:02:25   you have this data you can go back and

00:02:27   look at it

00:02:28   the most striking chart and I think the

00:02:30   thing that is most strongly drawn

00:02:32   attention to this article was I did a

00:02:34   chart of the percent of my revenue from

00:02:37   three different sources from an I

00:02:38   purchase from paid sales and from

00:02:40   advertising and the truly remarkable

00:02:43   thing from that graph is the way that

00:02:46   advertising has just been steadily

00:02:49   clawing away at paid sales over the last

00:02:52   four years to such a in such a linear

00:02:55   and clear way that when I first saw it I

00:02:58   was like wow like my date is broken like

00:02:59   there's no way there's this linear of a

00:03:01   progression like I'm doing something

00:03:02   wrong in my analysis but turns out check

00:03:05   the data this is what it is like I went

00:03:07   from a period in the beginning of 2012

00:03:09   where only about 10% of my revenue

00:03:12   kimkim advertising and now it's getting

00:03:15   close to about 80% now my revenue comes

00:03:17   from advertising and interestingly over

00:03:20   that period in our purchased in revenue

00:03:22   has remained almost they almost constant

00:03:25   like not quite it's certainly gone up

00:03:26   and down but roughly it's been hovering

00:03:29   around 15 to 20 percent of my revenue

00:03:31   and that's kind of fascinating to me

00:03:34   because it shows how in sort of stark

00:03:37   numbers how the App Store has been

00:03:39   changing in a way that I kind of feel

00:03:42   that this has been changing you know

00:03:43   it's kind of the old thing we've talked

00:03:45   about for so long about the race to the

00:03:47   bottom about lack of trials or the death

00:03:52   of a paid model or repeat the devaluing

00:03:54   of software like all these things that

00:03:55   you could kind of the things that we

00:03:57   talked about a software developers I

00:03:58   always find it reassuring where rather

00:04:00   than just kind of like wishy-washy

00:04:01   talking about things to actually look at

00:04:03   the numbers and say like is that

00:04:04   actually true and yeah like as somebody

00:04:07   who has been doing this full-time who's

00:04:09   been doing it with a lot of apps who's

00:04:10   been doing it probably more more

00:04:12   importantly who's tried about every

00:04:15   business model you can think of the ones

00:04:17   that have worked over time has changed

00:04:19   and the business model now that seems

00:04:22   most reliable for me is advertising and

00:04:24   paid sales are now

00:04:26   vanishingly small percentage of my SAP

00:04:28   and even more crazies when I look at the

00:04:30   chart you can see part of what makes a

00:04:31   paid sales so terrible because there's

00:04:35   these massive spikes where I launched a

00:04:36   new out big spike in paid sales and then

00:04:38   it just falls off again and that more

00:04:41   than anything else the thing that I you

00:04:42   know really don't like about paid sales

00:04:44   and how just volatile that is when

00:04:46   you're trying to make a living from it

00:04:47   yeah I mean we've all I mean anybody

00:04:49   who's ever had a paid app in the store

00:04:51   has seen this exact same pattern before

00:04:54   of like you know if you're lucky you

00:04:56   have the launch where you have a decent

00:04:58   spike and then no matter what no matter

00:05:00   how lucky you were at launch it just

00:05:02   drops off after a few days probably at

00:05:05   most and starts to level off into you

00:05:08   know basically a slowly declining

00:05:10   plateau after the Hat of sadness and and

00:05:14   uncertainty and what I found is that

00:05:17   every time you know if I have a paid app

00:05:19   suppose suppose I do like a 2.0 or 3.0

00:05:21   like a major update even if they get a

00:05:24   lot of press I might get spikes on that

00:05:27   day but it's never as high as the

00:05:29   initial launch spike and you know and

00:05:32   like every every spike you have

00:05:34   subsequent to an app's launch is usually

00:05:36   smaller than the one before it

00:05:38   to the point where now like even makes

00:05:40   your holidays don't really impact me at

00:05:41   all like used to be like Christmas used

00:05:43   to be a major sales day and and now like

00:05:45   paid apps don't even do that well it's

00:05:47   it's it's kind of sad really but I guess

00:05:50   it does you know as you're saying here

00:05:52   it really does reflect the the reality

00:05:54   of what people are doing a regardless of

00:05:55   how we think things should be or how we

00:05:58   wish things would be this shows you know

00:06:01   what people are actually doing how

00:06:03   people are choosing to spend money or

00:06:05   not spend money in the App Store I think

00:06:06   is very clear here yeah and I think it

00:06:09   speaks to you also how I look at this

00:06:12   graph and I think to myself how I glad I

00:06:14   am that I've been willing to experiment

00:06:17   a lot because the thing that I I think

00:06:21   is most dangerous in the App Store is

00:06:23   not being flexible and not trying new

00:06:26   things and try not moving around because

00:06:28   they've definitely been times as I've

00:06:30   gone through this we're like oh my god I

00:06:33   really want to do that do I not want to

00:06:34   do that dwell and it's interesting to

00:06:38   see so clearly that if I had

00:06:39   and if I'd been stuck on one model if

00:06:41   I'd said like no this is how I'm gonna

00:06:43   do sell my software you know it just

00:06:45   wouldn't have worked like if my revenue

00:06:46   was just my paid sales number for

00:06:49   example like if that's what I'd stuck to

00:06:51   and committed to you know I would be

00:06:53   consulted at this point almost certainly

00:06:55   I would or I'd be working you know a

00:06:57   nine-to-five job somewhere like there

00:06:59   just is there it would I would not be

00:07:00   able to live on that near diminishing Li

00:07:03   small part of the pie now and so by

00:07:07   being a little bit flexible on that it's

00:07:10   you know reassuring that like that was

00:07:12   the right choice because at the end what

00:07:14   I wanted was to be an independent to be

00:07:16   able to make you know make that software

00:07:17   I want to make and then make a living

00:07:19   from it and to do that it's like this is

00:07:22   this is what this is what that takes and

00:07:24   this is what that looks like now I

00:07:25   suppose yeah I mean you know if you look

00:07:28   at your graph the one that's not like a

00:07:30   hundred percent graph but the one that's

00:07:32   just like a pure spiky graph it's it's

00:07:34   interesting to note that like you

00:07:35   basically are making a pretty similar

00:07:38   salary steadily since about 2013 and if

00:07:42   you subtract the advertising from that

00:07:44   you see what I think most developers

00:07:46   have seen since 2013 which is a slowly

00:07:48   declining curve and and a lot of sadness

00:07:52   as things decline and seemingly can't

00:07:53   get back up so really which were you

00:07:57   know I think which we're gonna talk a

00:07:58   little more about it seems like

00:08:00   advertising is kind of not maybe not

00:08:02   saved you but certainly has been a

00:08:05   massive part of your success over the

00:08:07   last few years and it seems like that is

00:08:10   the kind of the missing part that a lot

00:08:12   of us Indies have not had over the last

00:08:14   few years to keep it steady you know

00:08:16   instead we only have those paid sale and

00:08:19   maybe if we're lucky in our purchase

00:08:20   sales like what you have but they have

00:08:23   about the same shape that your graph has

00:08:24   which is everything's getting harder and

00:08:26   harder and harder and money's just

00:08:28   getting lower and lower over time and

00:08:32   the willingness to experiment is

00:08:34   literally what's making your business

00:08:36   now because you know you can experiment

00:08:38   with different apps but if everyone

00:08:40   experiments with different apps but only

00:08:42   one or two payment models you're missing

00:08:45   out and part of the experimentation like

00:08:47   you know in this in your case

00:08:48   experimenting with ads and various and I

00:08:51   purchase schemes has really helped you

00:08:53   a bit over anybody who just tried to

00:08:55   sell an app for a few bucks and hope

00:08:56   that it works because that can work but

00:08:59   it's certainly a lot harder to make that

00:09:01   work and I think over time it's working

00:09:02   less yeah I think it speaks to also

00:09:05   something that I've found that's like an

00:09:08   unintended benefit of advertising for me

00:09:10   is the reliability of the income that it

00:09:14   gives and that's certainly not to say

00:09:15   that it's always been this like it's not

00:09:17   the same day-to-day and advertising is

00:09:19   notorious for especially the first day

00:09:22   of a new financial quarter and

00:09:24   especially the first day of a new year

00:09:25   falling off cliffs because everyone's ad

00:09:29   budgets kind of a big a you know they

00:09:31   spend them up and then you get to the

00:09:32   end of the month day and if a quarter

00:09:34   and they're like oh no we got all this

00:09:35   money let's just spend it and your rates

00:09:36   go up nicely and then the first you know

00:09:38   like you get you hit that January

00:09:40   February March and then all of a sudden

00:09:42   like if they just falls off so it's not

00:09:44   like it's completely reliable and once

00:09:45   you've been through one of those crazy

00:09:46   cliffs once or twice you kind of know

00:09:48   what you're looking for looking at but I

00:09:50   find fascinating is on a day to day

00:09:52   basis these my sales income from paid

00:09:55   things where I'm relying on somebody to

00:09:57   open their wallet and hand me and me $2

00:10:00   the variability I found between that is

00:10:03   is it always been way higher than from

00:10:06   advertising base and I think it's

00:10:07   largely because advertising is

00:10:09   functionally a measure it's like this

00:10:11   rough measure of the engagement of users

00:10:15   in my application you know how many

00:10:16   times they're opening it how long

00:10:17   they're opening it like it's that

00:10:19   overall usage number and the that number

00:10:24   is very stable to a certain point that

00:10:27   you know you hope you had your app has a

00:10:30   I guess it brings on more users than it

00:10:34   loses as you go you know suit that you

00:10:38   want you need those downloads at the

00:10:39   beginning and then you have some kind of

00:10:40   retention over time that you know some

00:10:42   people will stop using your app and then

00:10:44   they're replaced hopefully by new people

00:10:46   and if that number is gradually working

00:10:48   its way up in order for your income to

00:10:50   go down like obviously the rates can

00:10:52   drop which sometimes happens but usually

00:10:54   they're fairly stable and so as a result

00:10:55   your income just becomes fairly flat

00:10:59   because it's only increasing or

00:11:02   decreasing by the very slow adjustments

00:11:05   from the amount of new users you get

00:11:07   in the numbered users that you're losing

00:11:09   and so if you have a big spike in new

00:11:12   users it's like yay that won't actually

00:11:14   make a big difference to your revenue

00:11:16   that day though it's like it that read

00:11:18   that ripped that spike gets averaged out

00:11:20   over the next you know a few months as

00:11:22   your daily active sessions or whatever

00:11:26   the right measure would be slowly works

00:11:28   its way up and you know say you make a

00:11:30   change and people don't like it and they

00:11:32   leave the app it's like that'll likely

00:11:34   I'll be offset and the same thing like

00:11:36   that that it's a gradual decline and

00:11:39   that as a develop as an independent as

00:11:41   somebody who makes you like who pays my

00:11:43   mortgage with my app revenue that is so

00:11:47   reassuring that if this feeling that I

00:11:49   don't have to check my sales report

00:11:51   every day and worry that you know it's

00:11:54   like it is has this been a good weekend

00:11:56   has this like for a while had apps that

00:11:58   would do really well on Sundays and you

00:12:01   know I'd have a sometimes I'd have a

00:12:02   Sunday where it's something like my

00:12:04   sales just wouldn't be what they were

00:12:05   and it's like whoa like there goes 15%

00:12:08   of my weekly revenue because it was a

00:12:11   holiday or because there was an issue on

00:12:14   the app store and payments weren't

00:12:15   processing for a few hours which is

00:12:17   something that's happened before and you

00:12:19   look at those whoa this is really scary

00:12:21   at least with advertising and that kind

00:12:23   of a model and you'd say in some ways

00:12:25   subscriptions have a similar kind of

00:12:26   feel to them but it's lovely to have the

00:12:29   sense of these slow and slow increases

00:12:32   and slow decreases over time rather than

00:12:34   these huge spikes that are up and down

00:12:36   which are just so stressful our sponsor

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00:14:49   supporting this show all right so we've

00:14:51   been talking about ads and your

00:14:54   transition to a diversified income

00:14:56   stream that includes ads in your apps

00:14:58   and this got me thinking a while back

00:15:02   you know maybe I should try ads in

00:15:05   overcast because the problem I was

00:15:08   facing so I wrote this big blog post

00:15:11   kind of explaining all this in more

00:15:12   detail but overcast has had you know

00:15:16   three business models now though the

00:15:18   first year roughly it was you know I

00:15:21   always wanted to be free upfront because

00:15:23   I have a lot of reasons why I want this

00:15:26   why basically market share is more

00:15:28   important to me than total revenue for

00:15:30   this app I really want max

00:15:32   market share and I'll try to get enough

00:15:34   revenue somehow once I have that so I

00:15:36   have the very first year I have you know

00:15:39   free upfront and you get some of the

00:15:41   features but you don't really get the

00:15:43   best features things like smart speed

00:15:45   and voice boost and like full playlists

00:15:47   and everything like it was pretty

00:15:48   limited and it was really annoying with

00:15:50   with like how much in the app it was

00:15:51   limited it basically it was not a very

00:15:54   good app in this limited state and yet

00:15:57   the vast majority of my users were using

00:15:59   it in that state because most people

00:16:01   didn't buy the one-time $5 an app

00:16:03   purchase to unlock the cool stuff so

00:16:07   trying to combat that problem about a

00:16:09   year ago I switched to every feature was

00:16:12   free and you just pay me what you want

00:16:15   basically I did a monthly subscription a

00:16:19   dollar a month and you could buy it

00:16:20   ahead as long as you wanted it was not

00:16:22   renewing it was the you know the old

00:16:23   kind of solution where it doesn't auto

00:16:25   renew so you basically just you know buy

00:16:27   it for five years if you wanted to give

00:16:28   me a bunch of money or just buy it for

00:16:29   three months if you wanted to try it out

00:16:31   but you didn't get anything for that and

00:16:33   I was kind of banking on people's

00:16:35   goodwill and it did work just not enough

00:16:38   it it did work enough to get me a little

00:16:42   over like I think just about one and a

00:16:45   half percent or so or two percent

00:16:47   roughly of of users to actually pay and

00:16:51   subscribe but that was not really enough

00:16:54   to really bring in meaningful revenue

00:16:56   over time so instead I switched about

00:17:00   six months ago I added a couple of

00:17:03   features that had been very highly

00:17:04   requested the main main one of which was

00:17:06   dark mode a whole dark theme of the app

00:17:09   i out of that too the app a that six

00:17:11   months ago and that I added it only for

00:17:13   people who were paying the voluntary

00:17:15   patronage and that was weird for a

00:17:17   number of reasons I mean first of all

00:17:19   now it's still called patronage but now

00:17:22   you get perks and so that's a little bit

00:17:24   odd a lot of people have ejected to the

00:17:26   terminology there and I understand why

00:17:29   and then a lot of people are mad because

00:17:32   people who had bought the original

00:17:34   five-dollar unlock everything purchased

00:17:36   the year earlier were very mad that here

00:17:38   was a new feature that they did not get

00:17:40   they were extremely mad and I heard from

00:17:42   them constantly even literally for the

00:17:44   last six months like it never stopped I

00:17:45   kept here

00:17:46   from them and so I don't want to make my

00:17:47   early customers so mad and then and then

00:17:51   the final problem was even that while it

00:17:53   did provide a nice bump to the number of

00:17:55   people who were paying it didn't provide

00:17:57   enough of a bump to make it really a

00:17:59   sustainable good income so I could

00:18:02   sustain the service on that just barely

00:18:03   but but I really need more to to both do

00:18:08   what I want to do with it and to justify

00:18:10   pouring a lot a lot of my time into it

00:18:12   rather than having to start exploring

00:18:13   new projects so I decided ads were worth

00:18:18   a try because as you said like ads make

00:18:21   a lot of sense now you know there's a

00:18:23   reason why so much that we that we

00:18:26   consume and use in today's technology

00:18:28   world is ad funded there's a big reason

00:18:31   for that and that is that you know you

00:18:34   basically anybody can use everything

00:18:36   they want for free you just have to

00:18:38   tolerate these ads and most people don't

00:18:41   mind ads you know I don't know anybody

00:18:43   who loves ads but most people don't mind

00:18:45   like they know people will give will

00:18:48   take that trade off if the trade off is

00:18:50   I would rather not pay but I'll take ads

00:18:53   or you can pay and then you won't see

00:18:56   ads most people will choose the the add

00:18:58   option there because they don't want to

00:19:00   pay and that's fine it seemed to make a

00:19:02   lot of sense the the the main risk to

00:19:05   this was of course that here I had this

00:19:08   app that is very well regarded by a lot

00:19:11   of people very it's used by a lot of

00:19:13   people many of whom were very strongly

00:19:14   opinionated and it looks you know had a

00:19:17   good design you know has it has a good

00:19:19   design it looks nice and a lot of people

00:19:22   were going to see me triads and I've had

00:19:24   various opinions of ads over the years

00:19:26   and again I I don't love them either but

00:19:29   I consider them kind of the the

00:19:30   acceptable trade-off for what we're

00:19:32   doing here so I was very very scared to

00:19:36   release this this was this was the most

00:19:38   nervous I've ever been about really seen

00:19:40   anything since I've done a 1.0 and I

00:19:42   released it and overall the the reaction

00:19:46   was better than I expected it was it's

00:19:49   not great I wouldn't say it's a great

00:19:51   reaction but I would say it's a lot less

00:19:54   horrible than I was predicting and that

00:19:56   I was prepared for my star rating is in

00:19:59   the crapper

00:20:00   this was the this is the first time

00:20:02   overcast has ever had a star rating

00:20:04   below four-and-a-half I believe now I'm

00:20:06   at two and a half something like that

00:20:08   so my ratings destroyed and that's gonna

00:20:10   hurt me a lot I hope that's only

00:20:12   temporary we will find out I'm getting a

00:20:14   lot of angry emails and tweets and lots

00:20:17   of them lots of people who are not very

00:20:20   kind about about this change but on the

00:20:23   other hand I've gotten a whole lot of

00:20:24   people who are totally ok with it and

00:20:27   like that there's no longer this weird

00:20:29   difference between like special features

00:20:32   that patrons get and you know and this

00:20:35   weird terminology of patron eggs that

00:20:38   even though it is also including special

00:20:40   features so now I simplified things so

00:20:44   now you have these ads and if you don't

00:20:46   want to see ads and then down the road I

00:20:48   might add a few little things here but

00:20:49   if you don't want to see ads you can buy

00:20:51   the annual subscription which is a new

00:20:53   Auto renewing kind and it's just called

00:20:55   overcast premium so no more like patron

00:20:57   eggs wording like you know no more

00:20:59   messing with ideas of you know goodwill

00:21:02   or charity over in that area because

00:21:05   that was as I said problematic for a lot

00:21:06   of people now it's just called premium

00:21:09   you pay ten bucks a year you get ads

00:21:10   this is a simplification even from the

00:21:13   previous subscriptions they were a

00:21:15   dollar a month so it was twelve dollars

00:21:17   a year if you paid annually this is even

00:21:19   cheaper ten ten dollars a year because

00:21:21   it's nice and simple you know and I even

00:21:24   adjusted on all the different currencies

00:21:25   around the world so that like a lot of

00:21:26   the Euro based ones we're gonna be like

00:21:28   ten fifty euro and I said now just you

00:21:31   know $9.99 is fine or 10 even whatever

00:21:33   it is so made it very simple much

00:21:36   clearer wording and a much honestly

00:21:38   simpler business model there's ads in

00:21:40   the app if you want to get rid of them

00:21:41   you pay me ten bucks a year the the

00:21:44   amazing thing about this is that I get

00:21:46   recurring revenue from anybody who's

00:21:48   actually using the app so I'm getting it

00:21:50   somewhere whether it's the ad or whether

00:21:52   it's subscriptions I'm getting recurring

00:21:53   revenue from usage and it's exactly what

00:21:55   you said earlier David it's like you

00:21:57   know I'm incentivized to keep people

00:22:00   using the app and to make the app good

00:22:02   enough the people keep coming back and

00:22:04   using it I don't I know longer have an

00:22:06   incentive of like what am I gonna do to

00:22:08   push people over the over like the next

00:22:10   big version or what kind of crazy

00:22:12   features can I come up with that'll make

00:22:14   pay and you know anger everybody else

00:22:16   like I really have to make the app

00:22:18   better now and as long as I do that I

00:22:20   make money from everybody who uses it

00:22:23   and it's not like a massive amount more

00:22:25   money but it is more and and the ads you

00:22:29   know it's a little early to say how well

00:22:30   the ads are working because it's only

00:22:31   been a few days since I've had them in

00:22:32   but even in these few days I've gotten a

00:22:35   ton of more of more subscriptions it's

00:22:39   not you know I haven't like doubled or

00:22:41   anything and but that might happen who

00:22:43   knows I haven't doubled yet but I

00:22:45   certainly have a lot more subscribe or

00:22:47   subscribers these are also now all in

00:22:50   the new apple autumn renewing system so

00:22:51   that means a year from now if they still

00:22:53   subscribe I will get 85 percent instead

00:22:55   of 70 percent from them which is a big

00:22:57   deal

00:22:57   and the ads are kind of making up the

00:23:00   difference of you know trying to give me

00:23:03   some money for everyone who's not a

00:23:05   subscriber and you know right now the

00:23:07   amount of money the ads are making is

00:23:08   fairly modest but you know it's still

00:23:10   very early and I still could experiment

00:23:12   with different placements of the ad

00:23:14   different formats of ads things like

00:23:16   that and I think it's ended up working

00:23:20   out the I mean I'm going to have to

00:23:22   figure out how the heck to make

00:23:23   everybody happy enough to stop giving me

00:23:24   1 star reviews and sending me nasty

00:23:26   emails because my star rating is as I

00:23:28   mentioned down from four and a half to

00:23:30   two and a half with a very large volume

00:23:34   so I don't know about that but the rest

00:23:36   of it seems to be working ok sure and

00:23:39   the reality is - it's the awkward thing

00:23:41   of so much of this is coming I think

00:23:43   from the change in business model like

00:23:47   if this was if the app that you just

00:23:49   released were overcast 1.0 I doubt you

00:23:53   would have that same negativity because

00:23:55   that's just the nature of these things

00:23:57   where people are like oh I had this

00:23:59   thing it's like you were giving me this

00:24:00   great app for free with nothing in with

00:24:02   no impingement at all upon me now it's a

00:24:05   free app that is impinging on me

00:24:07   slightly by showing me you know ads at

00:24:09   the tops of some of the lists and so

00:24:12   that change it's like it feels like

00:24:13   you've taken something from me which

00:24:15   we've done really but you know that's

00:24:17   the way it feels I imagine and so you

00:24:19   know over time I suppose in some ways

00:24:20   it's one of the nice things where well

00:24:22   one day I would love for the App Store

00:24:24   to do like a rolling average of reviews

00:24:25   the next time you do an update your

00:24:27   review

00:24:28   we'll reset again and you can hopefully

00:24:30   put a lot of these one stars behind you

00:24:32   you know and just sort of go from there

00:24:35   yeah I think that's really you know what

00:24:38   I'm doing here I mean and a lot of

00:24:41   people have asked why I why I didn't

00:24:43   release this as part of a bigger 3.0

00:24:45   update and I think the results speak for

00:24:47   themselves if I have leased this as part

00:24:50   of a whole bunch of other features and

00:24:51   changes and a big push similar to

00:24:54   Apple's headphone jack thing the story

00:24:56   would have been all about the ads and

00:24:59   the star ratings would have been all

00:25:01   about the ads and the reviews would be

00:25:02   all about the ads and I feel like that I

00:25:05   I'm better off making this transition to

00:25:07   ad based now while I'm still in the

00:25:10   two-point X series and then when I do a

00:25:12   big 3.0 release down the road hopefully

00:25:14   not too far down the road but when I do

00:25:16   it down the road this story will already

00:25:19   include like people who write about

00:25:20   overcast people who review or guys

00:25:22   people who use overcast will all already

00:25:24   know okay this happens I had driven so

00:25:26   that that'll be old news you know just

00:25:27   like the headphone jack thing and the

00:25:29   iPhone this week you know we all knew

00:25:30   about it months ago so now it's old news

00:25:32   I'm real kind of accepting it and moving

00:25:34   on and just evaluating the iPhone on its

00:25:35   other merits that's how this is gonna be

00:25:37   I think with overcast 3.0 that you know

00:25:39   I'm going to be able to now do things

00:25:42   freely and and make the app great on its

00:25:45   own merits and the story won't won't be

00:25:48   just about the ads when I finally launch

00:25:50   it and perhaps even more over it seems

00:25:52   like imagine no not to speak for you but

00:25:55   there's a slightly better incentive for

00:25:56   you to really put that work into 3.0

00:25:59   because if it if it feels more

00:26:02   sustainable and viable it's not like

00:26:04   doesn't feel like you're just putting

00:26:05   more time after something that kind of

00:26:07   is slowly decaying over time that you're

00:26:09   just kind of you put all this effort

00:26:11   into a 3.0 all these new features all

00:26:13   those big updates and then it's like and

00:26:15   it's not actually gonna make any

00:26:17   difference at the end of the day like

00:26:18   you could just leave the app as it is

00:26:19   now and hope for the best that is

00:26:21   entirely correct I mean I I was really

00:26:23   you know not not in a very good

00:26:25   psychological place about the app before

00:26:26   long stats because revenue was just flat

00:26:29   and and flat at not a particularly great

00:26:32   level and I didn't really know what else

00:26:33   to do it felt hopeless and now I have

00:26:36   this big influx of subscribers and I

00:26:38   have this nice little kind of side money

00:26:39   from the ads

00:26:41   and that is amazing and that has a

00:26:43   little fire under me now you're totally

00:26:45   right it has totally turned around my

00:26:47   motivation I'm not thinking of like Oh

00:26:49   what other apps could I make to make

00:26:50   more money no now I'm just thinking how

00:26:53   do I make this even more amazing and I

00:26:55   have had an amazingly productive few

00:26:57   days since since launching me HAP's

00:26:59   arson selection the ads rather of just

00:27:02   making the app incredibly better like

00:27:05   getting a lot of stuff done on 3.0

00:27:06   working through like some navigation

00:27:08   changes and making some like custom

00:27:09   animations and you know cool stuff like

00:27:11   that that that you that you can kind of

00:27:13   only do if you're making money or if you

00:27:16   if you think you're going to make money

00:27:17   I don't have like investing into it not

00:27:19   just like bullet point features but like

00:27:21   polish and fun new things and rethinking

00:27:25   some of the design aspects and and you

00:27:28   know I'm making I made the watch app a

00:27:30   lot better you know for 3.0 also and now

00:27:32   I can think about adding it today widget

00:27:34   and all this bogus that now just called

00:27:35   widgets all this stuff that I can now do

00:27:37   because there's money coming in and at a

00:27:41   reasonable rate now that I can I can be

00:27:43   relatively assured of its future and and

00:27:46   that's something I couldn't say before

00:27:47   and and that made me you know honestly

00:27:49   quite sad pretty much all all summer as

00:27:52   I watched the sales just kind of

00:27:53   flattened but now things have turned

00:27:55   around and I am kind of on fire now and

00:27:59   I'm like plowed through and doing all

00:28:01   sorts of great stuff and it feels great

00:28:02   and I think in the long run you know

00:28:04   even though right now it is quite

00:28:06   painful to see my rating go goes so far

00:28:08   down the tubes and to get all these

00:28:09   angry messages from people but I think

00:28:11   long term it will be better for my users

00:28:14   overall yeah and I think the thing that

00:28:16   I love so much about this change is like

00:28:18   you answer with are what they are like

00:28:19   you can sometimes I feel like we can

00:28:20   moralize about them and get all like

00:28:22   fancy about it but at the end of the day

00:28:23   they're just a tool for businesses to

00:28:25   make money and what I love though is

00:28:27   that it lets you like with the things

00:28:29   that you're talking about the thing that

00:28:30   I love about that is it's allowing you

00:28:32   to not have to make this big case of

00:28:35   like I always hate the three-point owes

00:28:36   that feel like it's like the kitchen

00:28:38   it's like everything in the kitchen sink

00:28:39   right it's just I have to have these I

00:28:42   have I did all my good features in

00:28:43   version 1 I can made up some other stuff

00:28:45   for version 2 version 3 here's just

00:28:47   everything else I could think of is just

00:28:48   an assault by feature checklist it's

00:28:50   like now you can just say you know I'm

00:28:52   just gonna polish I'm just gonna keep

00:28:54   polishing this and

00:28:55   make it better and better and better

00:28:56   because I'm not trying to upsell you on

00:28:59   a paid upgrade I'm not trying to do

00:29:00   something like that I just want to make

00:29:01   the app as like the absolute best it can

00:29:04   be

00:29:04   and that sounds like an awesome place

00:29:06   for you to be it really man it feels

00:29:08   great I mean you've been here before I'm

00:29:10   sure like it feels great and so I'm I'm

00:29:12   just so happy to finally kind of be like

00:29:14   be back in it again and and to feel good

00:29:16   about its financial future again it's

00:29:19   awesome all right well here's hoping it

00:29:21   goes well and we're out of time this

00:29:23   week thank you everybody for listening

00:29:25   and we will talk to you next week bye