Walking the Talk: Subscription Model
Selling software by subscription is rapidly gaining traction but it’s still hard to pull off for most developers. This year we added a couple of questions to figure out what the hype is all about. We asked those who switched to subscription about how it was and those who didn’t what stopped them.
General Market Division
Did you try to switch to subscription model whith your app?
Some 20% of the devs we surveyed have switched (or tried to switch) to subscription model. While it doesn’t look like much, considering how complicated the process is, it’s a pretty substantial number.
Do you think subscription model had a positive impact on your business?
When asked if subscription model worked for them, most devs split between “yes” and “ask me again later.” Out of the whole sample, only 13% think subscription is not a good idea after all.
Switching to Subscription
Please specify what’s good about subscription model
Those who are happy with their subscription model seem to be equally happy with every aspect. Revenue increase is still the major factor for most, but the rest of improvements, like a bigger user base and better relationships with customers follow closely.
Please specify what’s wrong with subscription model
Developers who tried and refused subscription saw the main problem in growing the user base. Interestingly, customer relationships are among the key benefits for those who like subscription, while their unsatisfied counterparts call it a problem.
Sticking to The Old Plan
Why did you decide not to try subscription model?
Since the majority didn’t try subscription model despite the hype and recurring revenues, we asked why. The results show the devs are either pretty happy where they are or just don’t see their app fit for subscription. Or subscription fir for their app, whichever you prefer.
The hardships of building a New Life
What kind of challenges did you face when implementing a subscription model? (if any)
Everyone knows (or senses) that switching to subscription model from a one-off purchase is no easy business. The main challenge lies in persuading users who are generally pretty sore about another monthly payment on their budget. Which is also why the second challenge is deciding how big that payment is supposed to be.
Word of mouth of the development world
Would you recommend subscription model to other developers like yourself?
The absolute majority of those who use subscription model would recommend others switching to it, that much is clear.
But what’s interesting is that among those who didn’t like it, 20% would still recommend it.
Would you consider trying subscription model in the future?
And a half of those who never tried are determined to do so in the future. Which gives us a pretty clear picture of what software distribution might look like very soon.