Re: Mr unlimited free speech strikes again
Err no it doesn't.
The overhead on slinging ads is higher now than it has ever been because of all the shit they have to do to moderate where the ads pop up etc to appease the advertisers. I'd imagine the profit on ads is pretty damned thin. It generates huge revenue, but not a lot of profit. At least 50% of that revenue goes to content creators and based on figures I've seen for ad revenue at various customers, it's not a lot of money. Most businesses treat ad revenue as a way to cover the costs of running something to ensure that whatever other revenue streams they have are higher profit...ad revenue in itself is never seen as a profit making exercise.
We're probably reaching a point now where the demands of advertisers are pretty close to making it not worth the effort for the likes of Google etc...which will either result in a smaller share of the revenue going to devs / creators or they will just serve fewer ads to fewer people with any real value...probably the latter.
I have a couple of ad supported apps myself...and I make more revenue from the "ad" version of my app than the "paid no ad" version. Weirdly, my actual paying customers are worth far less than the freetards. I'd need to charge 5-10x more for the ad free version of my apps for those customers to be worth as much as the free loaders. An ad based user is worth about £5-£20 a year to me...but a paying customer is worth £1.99 forever because people that buy your app generally won't spend £30 a year...it's why loot boxes and shit exist...because people want something every time they spend something...paying £2 for a loot box with some random shit in it, weirdly to a customer, seems like better value than simply spending £2 a month to keep an app running.
The other weird irony is the "paying customers" that chuck in the £1.99 are the ones that complain the loudest if they find a bug or something...somehow thinking that because they paid, they are more valuable...a more premium customer....couldn't be further from the truth.
The only reason I have a "paid for" version of my apps is that it separates out the reviews and comments. Those that are more valuable, will find the more level headed comments and reviews on the free app whilst the whiners will be isolated to their own feed of reviews and comments that I can moderate without anyone on the free app knowing that I'm "cleaning" up the feed.
For ever £1 you charge for your app, you're essentially losing a star in rating...which sucks, because I don't actually want to serve ads, I'd much rather charge a subscription...but unfortunately people put a very low price on their data for which advertisers will pay a premium and Google will give me a generous share.
If people knew the value of their data, they may be more inclined to pay properly for apps to avoid themselves being tracked. The average price for a reasonable user profile is around $50-$75...that's not t say that your user details are sold directly by an app developer, they aren't, but the data is gathered via the ad banners you see...the dev doesn't have any control over this...they just get a kick back for serving the ads / trackers.
To make it worth the developers while to avoid serving you ads, you'd need to meet or exceed that price per app per year...so if you wanted a dev to 100% never serve you ads / marketing you'd need to pay them $50-$75 a year ($5-6 a month) at least to use their app...which may or may not be worth it to you depending on how regularly you use the app.
I personally, would much rather earn $75k a year from 1000 users and never have to sling ads than to try and bring in 10's of 000's of users to earn less than half that...way less pressure, much better money, it would result in a better app.
Consumers have the collective power to make this real, but because they don't understand economics, they aren't aware of the power they have...until they do, devs like me have to take money from corporate giants...I'm not complaining, it's all the same to me...whether I build an app that is well funded by consumers or I get paid £150k a time to build a crappy VM test harness for a massive corporate...I get the money all the same...but I'd rather be working for you, than some soulless, faceless corporation...unfortunately I can't do it for free though.