“Profits from Setapp are currently matching our direct sales without having to lift a finger.”
– Neil Сasini, Mosaic founder
Mosaic is a professional windows manager made by Light Pillar Software. The app serves those who work with a bunch of apps all the time and need them accessible faster. When you read more about it, it seems like this app is for almost everyone and is incredibly useful. Yet the team knows how hard it is to show the value to the diverse community of Mac users.
We know that everyone who uses Mosaic loves it — they write in and tell us! — it's just a question of breaking out of the niche market and reaching a wider audience. We don't have any marketing expertise or muscle at our disposal so it's a tough nut to crack.
That’s why Mosaic developers know it’s pointless trying to sell it for $5 and just expect to float on user count. When the app solves a problem people don’t even know can be solved, you can’t expect them to search for it. It’s also a challenge to create marketing materials and hope for popularity when it’s not that easy to explain how the app works.
Mosaic wasn’t the kind of app that we could sell at a low price point and make up the shortfall with sheer volume.
So they tried switching to subscription model on their own because it seemed logical: you set a small monthly fee and allow a steady recurring revenue to keep you working on the product and rolling out updates. From then on you can rely on that revenue, even if you user base grows slowly. However, subscription backfired in a way they hardly expected it to.
Our own subscription model was instantly rejected by nearly everyone and much to our surprise, it generated a lot of anger.
As Mosaic devs quickly learned, their users were more than unwilling to pay a price for a single app multiple times. One of the creators, Neil Сasini told us it was one of the reasons they didn’t think long about joining Setapp: they needed recurring revenue but users cannot afford paying $3/month for every app they use, it will quickly rise up to hundreds of dollars. So they saw a clear benefit for their business model and got on board.
MacPaw have clearly identified all the issues with selling direct, the MAS and the subscription models and created a platform that solves everything in a way that works for everyone.
In their view Setapp provides a solution that works for both the developer and the customer. The subscription model provides the developer with the steady income they need to create a sustainable business and the catalogue of ‘top tier’ apps goes a long way in offsetting the ill feeling customers may have about renting software.
Neil says that Setapp has quickly exceeded their expectations in terms of both user engagement and revenue.
As it turned out, we were more than pleasantly surprised as the usage figures for Mosaic were strong.
Mosaic team enjoyed working with Setapp and highlights the fact that their goals and aspirations are understood. It’s entirely different from the usual developer-platform interaction where the receiving end is an emotionless answering machine.
We had a real person on the other end of the submission process who opened a dialogue with us. A far cry from the ‘submit and hope for the best’ we are all used to on the MAS. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Neil sums up Setapp experience as excellent, fast, and personal, mentioning the ongoing transparency on every step of the process. He says it’s refreshing to feel that the Setapp team works together with them to create something special rather than keeping all the ideas behind locked doors.
They really want to know what developers want and value their opinions. It feels like a collaboration which it truly unique.