Trial or freemium ? Which monetization model is best ?


  • Hi,

    I'm about to release a windows Universal app for desktop.

    This app is already running on Android and Apple app stores.

    Because these store don't offer the flexibility of the windows store app, I released 2 apps: 1 "lite" (monetized with ads) and one "full" monetized with purchase price. The lite one is limited in functionality.

    On the windows store I don't want to use this model. Instead I want to release a single app.

    I'm hesitating between 2 models:

    - Long trial (1 month) of limited functionality app (equivalent of "lite" free app) ad supported, then customer must pay to use full version after 1 month, with no ads. I think this would get me best of both worlds: massive usage of trial with ads within 1 month, but can still monetize from paid upgrade. Problem: app might not be listed in "free" section of windows store, and thus get much less exposure.
    - No trial, free lite app with limited functionality but unlimited time use. User can pay anytime he wants to unlock all app features, but is not an obligation to continue using the app. This might better monetize with ads, because fewer user will convert to paid because of the unlimited trial. But it will be in the "free" section of the windows store, thus will have much more exposure and downloads. On android and apple app store, free app gets 50x more downloads than the paid one.

    My questions are:

    1) From your experience, which model is best ? 

    2) Are trial apps (then paid after trial) listed in "free" apps, or "paid" apps on the windows store ?

    • Edited by Brakkar Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:42 PM
    Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:39 PM

All replies

  • Which one is best? What if there was a modification for one of them? Let's look at the options:

    How about if you use the Microsoft Promotional system where your app shows up in the Ad banners, and better, it is a free service! See:


    I think you answered your own question: The Limited Free app that can be upgraded, those will fall into the Free installation.  Trial assumes that these will be paid for.

    Let me know if this answer is correct by marking it as the answer, if indeed it did help out.  Otherwise leave a comment and I will be happy to help you out.

    Sam Stokes

    Thursday, January 7, 2016 1:19 AM