(For an overview of this series, please read this post.)
In an older post I made a case for why you should strong consider writing applications for the Windows Store (i.e. Metro style apps). To quote myself, which sounds a little strange:
In 27 months of being on the market Windows 7 went from 0 to 525,000,000 (yes that’s million) licenses sold. Let me put that into perspective for you. Current estimates, and these are always a little wishy washy depending on the source, peg the current number of Android devices at 247 million, iOS devices at 200 million, Mac OSX devics at 30 million.
Windows 7 is installed on more devices than Android, iOS, and Mac OSX combined! Just think about that for a moment. Knowing what you now know about the install base and adoption rate of Windows 7 you can’t deny that there is a HUGE monetization potential for applications that are in the Windows Store that will be a part of Windows 8, but let’s be a little more specific a set a scenario.
Assume a Windows 8 install base of 525,000,000 (not from day one, but over time). Let’s say your app makes it on to 5% (26,250,000) of those devices. After you have sold approximately 16,779 units at the base price of $1.49 you will have grossed ~$25,000 in sales and netted ~$17,500 after Microsoft takes their 30%. $25,000 in sales is also a trigger point in the store for you to start getting 80% of sales instead of 70%. If we look at sales for the remaining 26,233,221 devices you’ll see an additional net of ~$31,270,000.
What you have is a compelling economic incentive to sell your aps through the Windows Store. So, how can you take advantage of this? As you plan your applications you should consider the following three monetization strategies:
1. Trial, paid, and mixed versions
You can list your Metro style apps in the Windows Store such that your customers must pay for it before they can use it (a full-featured, paid app) or where they can try it for free for a while (a free-trial period). A user can upgrade from a trial version of your app to a full purchase from within the app or through the Windows Store.
The License API provides the interface that allows you to check the app’s license state and the state of purchases made through the app. You can also use it to check the expiration dates of in-app purchases, and let users make new purchases from within the app.
2. In-app sales
In-app sales let you sell content, other apps, or new app functionality, such as unlocking the next level of a game from within the app. You can put buy options anywhere in your app that makes a convenient experience for your customers.
3. In-app advertising
You can sell and include ads in your app. Be careful in designing where you place the ads so that your user experience remains strong. Also, make sure the ads provided by the ad service comply with the Certification requirements for Windows apps before you include them in your app.
(Note – you aren’t limited to only using one of these monetization strategies in your applications. For example, you could create an ad supported version (strategy 3) and a paid version (strategy 1) of the same application.)
Next up, planning the UI.