A couple months ago, we shifted the business model for our video-speed-control iPhone app Slow Fast Slow from a paid model to a “free with ads” model, in which the ad is for our own product, the Glif. You can read more about why we made the change here.
So, how is it going so far?
In short, pretty good! We had a great launch, and were featured in the “Best New Apps” section of the App Store front page. Slow Fast Slow was also featured in both the “Best New Apps” and “Make Great Videos” sections of the Photo & Video category, where it has remained, inexplicably, to this day (thanks Apple!). We also got some great press, namely from Daring Fireball and Product Hunt.
We stated in the aforementioned post that “if we can generate only one sale of a Glif (or any of our products, really) per day as a result of this ad, it will be worth it.” It is too early to know if the app will continue to drive traffic to studioneat.com once it is no longer featured in the App Store. But, as you can see from the graph below, revenue clearly saw an uptick when we switched to the free model and started directing traffic to studioneat.com.
A couple things to note. One, this isn’t a super fair comparison, because it’s comparing the long tail of version 1.0 with the spike of a new release of version 2.0. It will be interesting to see where this graph eventually settles. Secondly, we are only able to track traffic coming directly from clicks through the app. So, who knows how many people see the ad, but decide they would rather visit the site or buy the Glif at a later date, perhaps wanting to use a desktop computer to enter their credit card information.
Slow Fast Slow was a paid download ($1.99) for 379 days, at which point we switched to the free model. During that span, it was downloaded 6,760 times, for about $9,464 in revenue.
In the roughly two months that Slow Fast Slow has been free, it has been downloaded roughly 430,000 times. During this time, 63,800 unique users visited studioneat.com from the app, which constituted about 20% of our overall traffic to studioneat.com.
All in all, we are happy with the results, and already have a couple ideas for some new apps utilizing this same business model. And on top of that, it’s just plain cool that an app we made has been downloaded almost half a million times.
Apple Pay Integration
We had a real head-slapping moment a few weeks ago: why didn’t we use Apple Pay?! It seemed like the perfect use-case, so indeed, we have done just that in version 2.2, available today in the App Store. If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you can now purchase a Glif directly in the app using your fingerprint. The future is now.
Integrating Apple Pay into the app wasn’t too difficult, but it wasn’t trivial, either. In a future post we will dive into the nuts and bolts of how we implemented Apple Pay. As far as we know, we are the first “indie” company to utilize it in an app.
We are excited to see how this integration affects sales. In theory, it is now much easier to purchase a Glif, so hopefully sales will trend upward, even as traffic to our site moves downward. We are also offering free shipping on the Glif, if purchased with Apple Pay; to grease the wheels, as it were. If you want to check out the redesigned ad with Apple Pay integration, simply tap the S/N logo on the home screen of Slow Fast Slow. If you are on a device that doesn’t support Apple Pay, the buy button is replaced with a button to studioneat.com.
In addition to Apple Pay integration, version 2.2 adds a couple small but useful features. Adjacent points on the timeline now snap to the same vertical position, which makes it easier to have sections of your timeline at a flat, consistent speed. Also, when you move any point on the timeline, an overlay appears, showing the speed at that point, as well as overall duration of the video. This is useful if you are anal (like me) about hitting a specific framerate, or if you need to get the clip under 15 seconds for sharing on Instagram.
Version 2.2 is now live in the App Store. Check it out!