Rob Fahrni

Rob Fahrni

Making Stream Profitable

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can make Stream a more profitable application.

I need to go beyond Stream’s Tip Jar and my Ko-fi page.

Ads 💵

As much as I don’t like ads, they may be one way to add a little profit. I think I’d do this with the Mac version since it would be a brand new product. Ads would be woven into the timeline, marked in some obvious way, and would not show too frequently.

I have no idea what ad service I’d use but I wouldn’t want a crummy one that does all kinds of tracking. That makes for garbage apps and I don’t want anything to do with them. That makes it really difficult to include them because I’d bet most, if not all, do some sort of tracking.

Roll Your Own 🌯

I’d I had a popular app I could roll my own ads, like my favorite podcast player, Castro, does.

This would be my preference but I don’t have a big enough user base to pull off something like that. I’d need to do my own ad service to sell and serve up ads.

I do love this idea.

Ads with Upgrade 💵

If I go with the ads route I should offer a one time payment to turn them off.

I don’t know what that payment would be, but it would apply to the current major version. So, you’d pay $X for version 1.0, then you’d pay $X when 2.0 shipped. Everything between 1.0 and 2.0 would be included as part of the price.

Subscription 🔥

This is a fairly popular option with many of the apps I use. The first that comes to mind is, you guessed it, Castro. They charge a very reasonable price of $18.99 per year to upgrade to Castro Plus.

Now, I would not charge anywhere near that for Stream. I’m currently thinking $4.99 per year.

This model is kind of my favorite but it means I absolutely need to provide a constant stream of updates. It makes the idea of version numbers moot, which I really like.

A Better Stream 🏞

I really think I have a chicken and egg problem. When I shipped Stream 1.0 I deemed it good enough. Since then I’ve managed a few small updates, including adding support for iPad. But, my new feature production has been almost non-existent. That would absolutely have to change in the subscription model.

I feel like a better Stream might get me more downloads, maybe some press, which would allow me to make some of these choices.

As it is I know Stream is lacking features. I have a nice list of stuff to do, including completion of a Mac version.

Adding new service support, adding additional view options like a traditional Feed Readers, and adding a more Newspaper like view.

Closing Thoughts 🧠

I have a very small user base so my number one job needs to be bringing in additional users. This is a really tough challenge for a fella that wouldn’t know marketing from a hole in the ground.

While I know I haven’t been updating Stream as often as folks might like, I do think about it daily. It is definitely a labor of love.

More to come. 🧡