CSE - Journal Apps: To Do or not to Do? - Mobile Business Models


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Short presentation on business models for STM apps from the CSE's "Journal Apps: To Do or Not to Do" webinar in Feb 2011.

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CSE - Journal Apps: To Do or not to Do? - Mobile Business Models

  1. 1. Mobile business models<br />Euan Adie<br />Senior Product Manager, nature.com<br />
  2. 2. Are scientists using mobile devices for work?<br />Source: Nature Publishing Group market survey Jan ‘11<br />Yes<br />
  3. 3. What kind of numbers?<br />Assume 8m scientists & related professionals<br />~ 30% have smartphones<br />~ 1% have tablets<br />Around ~ 20% smartphones run iOS<br />~ 90% tablets run iOS<br />
  4. 4. What is NPG doing?<br />Two part approach:<br />Apps<br />Mobile optimized website<br />Don’t do an app instead of a website; need to complement each other<br />
  5. 5. NPG’s initial offering<br />Stream of news & research<br />Ability to filter stream in return for registration<br />Can read full text on device if you have a personal subscription<br />Sync bookmarks back to nature.com website<br />iOS only<br />
  6. 6. iPhone app<br />http://itunes.com/apps/naturecom<br />Released in Feb 2010<br />
  7. 7. iPad app<br />http://itunes.com/apps/naturecomreader<br />Released in Jan 2011<br />
  8. 8. Monetization<br />Direct<br />Selling the app (one off fee)<br />Renting the app (monthly, annual fee)<br />Advertising & sponsorship<br />Selling subscriptions<br />Selling fixed bundles of content (single articles, single issues, specials…)<br />Indirect<br />Add value to existing subscriptions, site licenses<br />Demographic & preferences data from users<br />
  9. 9. Charging for the app<br />Customer is paying for app functionality and convenience.<br />Variants:<br /><ul><li> Charge early adopters
  10. 10. Charge ongoing fees to access all functionality</li></li></ul><li>Pricing<br />Hand wavy rule of thumb – when app goes from paid to free download increase 7-10x <br />Top grossing apps almost all < $10<br />Lessons from ad hoc experiments by app developers: $.99 vs $1.99 doesn’t matter, just needs to be low enough to be impulse purchase <br />
  11. 11. Demographics<br />Problem with site license access – can’t identify end users on website<br />App proposition is clear: we allow personalization, to do that we need to know who you are<br />Email lists (if user opted-in)<br />Cross platform targeted advertising (later)<br />Business intelligence<br />
  12. 12. Advertising<br />App sponsorship – handy at launch when you don’t have numbers to tell advertisers<br />iAds – disappointing fill rates<br />Own sales team – STM advertisers aren’t necessarily as ready to go mobile<br />Reporting challenges – does your app work offline, if so do your ads? <br />
  13. 13. Subscriptions<br />NPG offers:<br />Site license access<br />Personal subscriptions (print + web + mobile)<br />Mobile subscriptions (no print, no web)<br />Mobile subs are low cost ($8.99 a month,$69.99 a year vs $150 for personal sub)<br />We pitch them as “taster” subscriptions.<br />
  14. 14. Differences<br />Is the market for mobile subs different to personal subs?<br />Cheaper<br />More visible to people who don’t visit the nature.com website frequently<br />For NPG, conversion rate is much higher on mobile. But prices lower.<br />
  15. 15. Issues with mobile subscriptions<br />In-app purchase rules: must sell through in-app purchase, must be same price or cheaper than alternative systems<br />Currency conversion, tax withholding is always handled by Apple<br />Refunds also handled by Apple – they deduct full price from your earnings i.e. they still keep their 30% cut<br />
  16. 16. Single article sales<br />Technical considerations<br />In-app purchase requires every product to be registered with Apple, max ~30k products<br />Rules around “tokens” and generic products a bit fuzzy<br />If users buy an article then may expect to “own” it - be able to save, access it across all platforms<br />
  17. 17. Adding value to existing subs<br />Personal subs at NPG include mobile access <br />Considering how best to approach site license access<br />If they can access it on the website user expect to access it on mobile<br />
  18. 18. Site license access<br />Two routes<br />Shibboleth <br />IP authentication<br />IP authentication could be<br />Through wifi on campus<br />Through a VPN<br />Using ezproxy (configured in the app settings)<br />
  19. 19. COUNTER logging<br />Need to count reads not caches<br />How to account for offline usage?<br />Seems to be some confusion – industry bodies still catching up to differences between web & apps<br />