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Business model for freeware app

I have a Windows desktop application which is freeware, has some 2K downloads per month , and I'm looking for a way to monetize it.

I don't want to go shareware or selling  and would like to keep it freeware,so what are my options here?

thanks
Mike_ Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
The only real options are load your installer up with crappy offers and toolbars.  I'm not sure if you can do any of sort of  advertising that appears in Android games on desktop apps. I.E. lots of Android games now force children to watch advert videos in order to bring their game character back to life, or earn bonuses.  I find the whole thing appalling and wonder how the advertisers make any revenue from this.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
A few ideas of the top of my head...

 * In app display of adverts like lots of mobile apps do.

 * Accept donations.

 * White label the application so you can license it to other company's who will re-brand the application as there own.

 * If the application maintains/processes data, you could push the data to the cloud and offer an optional cloud/SaaS type subscriptions which enhances the existing feature set (rather then limit it if user doesn't subscribe). Hard to give any specifics not knowing what your desktop app does.

 * Bundle crapware in the installer, whereby you get payed per install. Obviously not a good suggestion.
maxr Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
offer additional premium app with more features and free basic version.
Damjan Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
Here are some things you can do:

-  If aren't collecting emails, start doing it right now. It's a free app so at least you can get something like an email back.

- Start contacting your users and see if they're using the app.

- Ask for feedback, what features they'd like to see built on the product.

- Add those features in a new PRO version of the product and start charging for it.

The nicest thing about all this is that you already have some traction with 2k downloads per month. Getting some paying customers when you launch the pro version shouldn't be too hard.
Jose Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
Could we just take a step backwards and ask *why* you don't want to sell it (shareware or otherwise)?

Your rationale may help provide some direction.
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
The other thing that would help is some background on what your application does and some characteristics of the target market.
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
What is so bad about charging for software?

http://successfulsoftware.net/2011/08/04/selling-software-vs-selling-eyeballs/

TL;DR:
"In the final analysis if you are creating software I think it makes more sense to create something of value, grow some balls and charge for it. Rather than giving it away and selling eyeballs in the hope that someone else will take their money and throw you some scraps."
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
Incidentally CPMs have probably dropped quite a bit since I wrote that article.
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 
+1 @Andy Brice
Gautam Jain Send private email
Friday, July 03, 2015
 
 
Should you opt for donations, a good place to ask for them is the landing page for upgrade downloads. For this to work, you would have to collect email addresses and/or make your app automatically check for updates. (And issue updates on a regular basis of course.)

Don't overestimate the potential though. My colleague's freeware app has been consistently getting circa 500 downloads per month for quite some time, but the number of version checks suggests that it has about a thousand active users.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Friday, July 03, 2015
 
 
Additionally to the above suggestions, you could offer a complimentary service (paid) or you could add discrete advertising for your own paid applications and services.
koan Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
 
 
> What is so bad about charging for software?

It creates additional expectations from the users, such as support, updates, and so on.  You have to handle potential refunds, questions, track who bought which version, and so on.  Sometimes I wish I didn't sell anything now, mainly because of the guy that left a bad review of my website on Facebook.  It's stressful because he paid.

Freeware = the user can take it or leave it.  It's a lot simpler.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
 
 
Oh, and freeware means no constant worrying about marketing and trying to get sales -- it doesn't matter if nobody knows about your app.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
 
 
> It creates additional expectations from the users, such as
> support, updates, and so on.

This is true but it does depend on how you present the offer on your sales page. It is quite possible to be up front that updates will be minimal and features rarely added.

> Sometimes I wish I didn't sell anything now, mainly because of
> the guy that left a bad review of my website on Facebook.

If you get stressed at one bad review then you should reconsider being in business. Even companies like Ferrari have people complaining, because the products are too expensive or something. Strive for perfection yes but the way I see it is that at least that person cared enough to say something about your product.  Do you know how many people might see that review and say "That guy's problem is totally a non-issue for me, I'm interested in that type of product, what was that website ?"
koan Send private email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
 
 
> If you get stressed at one bad review then you should reconsider being in business

Hehe, I know.  I'm not going to reconsider but I can be stressed all the same.  I intend to make this work.  One of my apps is getting lots of traction lately, thanks to a review on BetaNews.  Lots of other sites are linking to that review.  Just no damn buyers.  :(
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, July 09, 2015
 
 
BTW, the only reason I got stressed by his comments is because it's libel.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, July 09, 2015
 
 
Even Ferrari wouldn't sit back and let people publish lies about how they operate.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, July 09, 2015
 
 
> What is so bad about charging for software?
@PSB136
that is exactly what I'm afraid of;that kind of logistic overhead,maybe because it I have no previous experience on it and as a sole developer seems daunting. That's why I would prefer sticking with freeware and try to find alternative sources of funding, but as it seems there are limited options available
Mike_ Send private email
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
 
 
Mike, don't forget that as the seller, *you* make the rules.  You could simply advertise your product as being a one-off payment to unlock that specific version only, with no official support or future updates included.  It's then up to the user to decide if they're happy with that arrangement.  If they buy under such conditions, great.  That's the end of the deal and they can't expect or demand anything more from you.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
 
 

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