Transitioning to iPhone Development

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January 2009 Mobile Portland Presentation

Night & Day team members will share their experience developing and marketing iPhone apps, focusing in particular on Peekaboo Barn. They will detail the process of app submission and approval; setting prices; getting attention from iPhone app reviewers, VIPs, and other earned media; internet advertising; dynamics of the iTunes store (ratings vs. units sold, targetting categories); and creating the even more popular (and free) Peekaboo Barn Lite.

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Transitioning to iPhone Development

  1. 1. NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS transitioning to iphone development mobile portland january 26, 2009
  2. 2. night & day studios media production house NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  3. 3. peekaboo barn • #9 Kidʼs Game on iTunes App Store [how did we do it?] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  4. 4. our background museum work the life & times of woody guthrie for the smithsonian institution NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  5. 5. our background museum work • different types of clients [large institutions vs. mass markets] • different timescales, budgets, expenses [four-year, million-dollar projects vs. six-week, $50k app development] • different marketing [networking with clients vs. advertising & earned media] • different skill set of staff [long-term intensive media production, research, and writing vs. simple graphics, outsourced arts, and programming] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  6. 6. the transition iphone apps • the business problem [sustaining a lifestyle company of highly-skilled professionals with health insurance and stability] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  7. 7. the transition iphone apps • strategy [aggressive growth: rapid development of many mid-level apps in the $1.99 - $3.99 price range; building franchises and cumulative marketing through repeat contacts and name recognition] • cash flow challenge [long lead-times before revenue is realized, let alone profit] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  8. 8. the transition iphone apps • rule of thumb: one $0.99 app at 1 sale/day average = $20 / month • example: selling 50/day of a $1.99 app = $2,000 / month NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  9. 9. NDS apps production process • design docs [vital: practice, practice, practice] • finding illustrators [develop contracting process] • doing sound in house [easily underestimated] • educational / use theory [advantageous] • user-testing [required but expensive] • submitting to the App Store [variable results] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  10. 10. NDS apps Rimshot Pro NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  11. 11. NDS apps Audience Pro NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  12. 12. NDS apps Big Fat Lies [link to iTunes app store] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  13. 13. NDS apps Peekaboo Barn [link to iTunes app store] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  14. 14. NDS apps Peekaboo Barn • User-testing • Spanish localization NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  15. 15. NDS apps Peekaboo Barn Lite NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  16. 16. marketing earned media • review sites [hidden work: 20 hours research & emailing] • family vs. tech sites [we tried both; family sites possibly more effective] • VIPs [cheap & relatively easy to contact; use free codes] • articles & blogs [longer cycle, more marketing effort to contact & build] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  17. 17. marketing paid media • paid review sites [unfortunately, very worthwhile] • advertising [learn about CPMs (cost per thousand impressions); hard to evaluate] [hidden work: 10 hours research, 10 hours emailing, 10-15 hours production] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  18. 18. marketing iTunes app store • sales chart positions; top 20 lists; featured app • pricing [$0.99 pricing not worth it; we should all stop!] • customer reviews, star ratings; responses to customers; Appleʼs “incompatible” warnings • updates [valuable way to communicate with customers, improve rankings & visibility, but high associated staff costs] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  19. 19. sales raw weeklies Big Fat Lies Peekaboo Barn 1,000 750 500 250 0 12/01/08 12/08/08 12/15/08 12/22/08 12/29/08 1/05/09 1/12/09 1/19/09 NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  20. 20. sales weekly events NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  21. 21. sales tools [appsales.app] NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  22. 22. sales conclusions—challenges • problems with exposure • problems with overhead • problems with partnering • problems with payment • opportunities with partnering • opportunities in this economy • opportunities in Portland NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS
  23. 23. thank you to our fellow Portland developers Night & Day Studios http://www.nightanddaystudios.com/ Nat Sims, principal: nat@nightanddaystudios.com Chris Higgins, developer: chris@nightanddaystudios.com Erin Rackelman, marketing: rackelman@nightanddaystudios.com 1917 SE 7th Ave Portland, OR 97214 503-235-2700 NIGHT & DAY STUDIOS

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