Charging for a beta?

Is charging for access to a beta app viable (will it benefit me in the long run)? I do plan on eventually providing a free/lite version, though most of the features in the paid-for-beta will only be available to Pro users.

I’m building an Android-only app, though the answers could apply to any beta software.

By beta I mean:

  • Something usable (that people want to use)
  • Expected to have minor issues
  • Expected to change based on user feedback (maybe heavily)

The beta will:

  • Cost significantly less ($0.99 vs $5.95)
  • Take me 6+ months to complete without charging
  • Automatically converted to Pro for free

I’m thinking of charging for beta because:

  • It would (probably) help me gauge the actual usefulness
  • It would limit the pool of people using it to those who actually need it vs casual/accidental users
  • I feel it would be technically easier to just auto-upgrade all beta users than to take features away once I leave beta

I know virtually nothing about mobile or apps, but the little I have read says that it is very difficult to make money off of any app.

I believe it is more common to make money either through ad revenue related to your app, or through things like subscriptions where people pay for content or services.

This is not to discourage you by any means, though.

If this was in the traditional PC realm, I would say, “Yes, of course” But even with a perfect mobile app, I think the world is saturated with them at this point, and why would people want to pay even $0.99 when they already have 100 on their smart phone that they don’t use.

But what do I know?! LOL

Thanks! I ended up canceling the project because it was too much in the gray area to make it worth the effort.

It was an app that overlayed over other apps. Specifically, it was a Poker tracker that showed you live feedback over a specific for-money Poker App by reading the cards you have and showing you probabilities etc.

You’re definitely right though, by the time I made any real money free (probably better) alternatives would have surfaced.

Don’t lose faith - like anything in life, if you do things the right way, there is usually a reward waiting!!

I think there is tons of $$$ to be made with mobile, but it is a both a new area and an area that is quickly becoming saturated.

Remember, one key to success in the business world is finding a problem, and then clearly articulating a solution to said problem.

Don’t spend time following trends as much as figuring out how you can solve unsolved problems in mobile or elsewhere.

That is how you succeed.

Hope that helps some.

Good luck and keep us informed on your progress! :thumbsup:


Those were very kind words @mikey_w, thanks!

You are very welcome!

Do keep us up-to-date with your future endeavors in this area. (I for one am very interested in this area and what you are trying to do, because I know virtually nothing about it. Maybe you can teach the rest of us something?!)

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