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Timing is a very sophisticated time tracking app made by German developer Daniel Alm. As an independent Mac dev, Daniel is always looking for ways to expand his user base. When you don’t have tens of thousands of disposable income to spend on display ads and paid promotions, there’s hardly any way your app is going to get noticed.

– Daniel Alm, Timing founder

Before Setapp

Setapp's large audience is a big upside, as it lets me reach many customers who would otherwise have never heard of my app or at least not paid for it by itself.

And even when you do get users, it’s challenging to tell which acquisition channels work best. Daniel says the lack of transparency in terms of his own marketing efforts has definitely influenced his decision to join Setapp. You don’t need to analyze performance, you can focus on perfecting the app.

Where do my customers come from? Which acquisition channels bring customers and are cost-effective? It takes a long time between doing marketing and seeing results (if I see results at all).

Turning Point

Daniel wasn’t really hesitating to join Setapp because the benefits were clear, but he had a few concerns. Specifically about the matter of business commitment. He says he wanted to make sure he’s not giving up his direct sales and not taking on extra workload. However, he was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was to get started.

Very easy — just plug in the SDK and disable my own licensing-related code. Done.

Setapp Experience

Since he joined, his experience has been overwhelmingly positive. When we asked Daniel if there was anything he liked specifically, he couldn’t single out any one moment, saying that the team, the review process, the integration, and revenue collection have been equally well-executed.

The experience is also very personal. The exact opposite of App Store reviews. Also, I appreciate that Sandboxing and other silly rules are not required.

For example, for technical reasons he cannot remove the Sparkle update library from his Setapp binary. He offered to disable it instead, and the Setapp team was happy with that solution. This would have played out much differently on the Mac App Store.

Once the system was up and running, Daniel realized that having an additional revenue stream makes a big difference for his business. He says it’s a huge change to know you can count on a steady flow of income every month. When you work on your own, revenue is hardly predictable. So even though Setapp is currently growing its user base, there is already a specific amount you can expect, even when direct sales take a temporary dip.

The revenue from Setapp tends to be very stable and reliable. Now I’m sure I can can keep working on Timing long-term.

On Having a New User Base

His new users also seem to be pretty happy to discover the app. Daniel says, they are surprisingly more “professional” than the general public, and are getting really engaged with Timing. From the support requests he received it has become clear that Setapp users really care about the app and take advantage of its full potential. Daniel says this makes him happy as a developer as well.

Also, the experience for users is great as well: they just download and use the app, getting the latest version, and never have to worry about upgrades. Similarly, I don’t need to explain how e.g. the process of buying a paid upgrade works.

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