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Author Topic: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on  (Read 3661 times)

lanux128

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My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« on: October 06, 2010, 10:27:39 AM »
one of the better Firefox addons developer out there, Chris Finke recently tried a "freemium" experiment with URL Fixer to see if the users of that popular addon can be enticed to part with some dosh for extra features.

his conclusions from this experiment make an interesting reading..

ChrisFinke_freemium_ver002_thumb.png
http://www.chrisfink...mium-browser-add-on/

phitsc

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 01:57:37 PM »
Yes, interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Bamse

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 02:16:39 PM »
I find it more sad than interesting. There is already a donation feature on Add-on site and how come he can't sell his stuff on his own?

Also he somehow forgot to mention that he now packs url fixer with another add-on, opt-in but still. What happens if set on $$$. People do not like https://addons.mozil.../firefox/addon/2871/

Not like Mozilla do much clean up of add-ons as it is. Mozilla marketplace will be same copycat chaos just not free - and with noisy arguments of who made what, like originally. Mozillas name is useful for a marketplace but they should stay out of it.

Deozaan

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 02:38:02 PM »
I think the word "freemium" is misleading. I would expect it to be a high quality, premium-like, yet free, add-on.


tomos

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 02:48:22 PM »
Quote
Out of the several thousand people that saw this page, 78 participated in the poll. Out of those 78, 29 said they’d pay for a premium version of URL Fixer. That’s 37%! You can imagine the numbers that started going through my head at this point – 37% of 70,000 current users is 26,000 users; multiply that by $1.99, and that’s a quick $50,000. (Never mind the 1.5% poll participation rate.)

my emphasis - that's a big 'never mind' !
37% of 1.5% is 0.555%
He got 0.05% in the end which is still a lot less than 0.555% - but very different to comparing it to 37%

I suspect if there was an add-on store type scenario, more people might get used to the idea and actually buy - for those of us who do like to buy, spending $1.99 seems a bargain :)
Tom

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 06:37:54 PM »
The article really resonate with me, I leave a comment on the blog but it hasn't been moderated for the moment (or the spam filter throw it )

The perceived value of product has to be rather high compared to free stuff, so people are willing to buy. I think this is the issue here.

Blog & Projects : Blog | Qatapult | SwiffOut | FScript

mouser

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 06:55:18 PM »
i think in general the other issue is that the idea of actually paying for anything related to the internet is becoming a completely alien idea to more and more people.

companies are continuing to make money, but it's becoming very indirect now -- people don't expect to have to pay for software -- they expect companies to make revenue in other ways and give the software away for free.  in the aggregate this may not affect the money that large companies make.. but for individuals trying to support themselves by selling the programs they write to end users, it seems like it's getting harder and harder.

steeladept

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 07:32:43 PM »
Hmmm...Another tough question.  What I find interesting here is looking at it from the consumer standpoint, I want my software to work and once I buy it, I don't want to have to buy it over and over and over again.  More so when each "update" is nothing more than a featurepack that I am not interested in and/or a fixpack that should have been fixed when I bought it.  That said, it does take time and effort for a developer to do these things and they do need to live.  I guess what I am saying is I would like to see a scenario where software is reasonably priced for both parties, of high enough quality that critical fixes are rare or non-existant (and when they come they are free), and feature-packs are just that - if you charge extra, it should be an add-on pack that is charged - the core software should stay more or less the same.  Now this gets a little more tricky when new OS's are supported or people are looking to change the hardware and keep the same software.  Should a charge be made for these developments outside the programmer's control?  Probably, but deciding when it should and shouldn't charge can be a tricky and slippery slope.  What about fixes for OS service packs?  Remember XP SP2?  The service pack broke a LOT of people's installs, but not installing SP2 left you very vunerable to the security exploits it was to fix.  Is this within the developers control making it a free update (because they could and should have developed more securely)?  Or is this an OS update outside the developer's control making a charge feasible and understandable?  This is why it isn't cut and dry, even with my idea, but that seems like the fairest way if we can just determine as a whole which situation fits which result.  Of course it was like that once and now we are here. :-\

Enough rambling, I guess I don't have anything of substance to add to this discussion after all.

Bamse

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Re: My experience with developing a freemium browser add-on
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2010, 06:01:12 PM »
These questions will become more relevant with paid extensions, also for for Mozilla since they provide the "OS". The guy with url-fixer has a name to protect and polish so he will not have any interest in dumping support. Other developers you might only know from an email addy could have other motives. If shop must be safe for buyers content can only come from approved elite developers who has an interest in using Mozillas name for own purposes.

Not like Mozilla does not help developers already. Shop is only about $$$, the exciting math - imagine 1$ per Adblock Plus download or 10$ a year per subscriptioin to Filter list! From a commercial view point what are they waiting for?

Mozilla should copy Wordpress/Automattic. They encourage monetizing Wordpress, there are "commercial" advertisements at wordpress.org, but wisely stay out of that loop :) Others can do what they want as long as licensing is not broken. Another issue for Mozilla shop I think. Really difficult to see how Mozilla can avoid getting in trouble. They have no history of being able to make clear politics regarding add-on site so in case of problems they will just go hmmmm for months and months.

ScribeFire made by Finke almost screams for a Pro version. Must be very easy to make a limited free one. Unique extension, not much more than Windows Live Writer as alternative. I don't think he understands marketplace if he believe url fixer is a good product. May be also why attempts to insert ads via Scribefire failed ;) People did not seem to like such monetary tactics - and now some don't like he throws in other extension as free "extra". Just because he is a good developer does not mean he is good at making money - but his problem.