AppBlock: Changing the one-time payments to subscription

How did we change the pricing of AppBlock? And why?


In the times of Covid, we decided to concentrate on our own internal projects in MobileSoft such as the AppBlock app. These projects tend to be extra fun to work on as we are not limited by client requirements and we can try a lot of new things. This way we can later offer our clients much higher added value in the form of our own hands-on experience gained from these projects. Last year however we were worried about the fact that the income from AppBlock remained constant despite the increasing number of active users. We first tried to hike up the price, but a drop in sales followed. We contemplated and in the end decided to make the switch from one-time payments to subscriptions.

The pricing scheme had always been a one-time payment. You were able to pay once $1.99 to have the ads removed, be able to block an unlimited number of apps or websites or more. Alternatively, an all-in-one pack was available for $5.99. Still, this pricing model does have its disadvantages. Actual profit from single payments is smaller because of the percentage taken by the Store. There is also lower predictability. Having increased the price and switched to subscription-based pricing, we hope for new opportunities to hire new developers and deliver plenty of new features to our users in the future.

What about the users who have already purchased their all-in-one pack you ask? They will simply hold onto their lifetime premium accounts without the need to pay for subscription.

Since September 2020, you can purchase AppBlock premium only as a subscription – for $19.99 per year of $2.99 a month. There is no unblocking of individual premium features. We considered multiple reasons for this change. We wanted to offer users AppBlock trial, so they could test the full version of AppBlock, which is ad-free and unlimited. The new scheme also brings new, interesting sales options. You can have a sale for the first period – for example 50% off your first year. Another reason is that we added a lot of new features which make AppBlock an even better tool to encourage you to use your phone the healthy way.

What we expected:

    • Prompt decrease of rating.
    • Drop of income.
    • Possibly having to switch back to one-time payments.

What actually happened:

  • The Rating has increased – see the solid line on the graph below. This is also thanks to the fact we added the trial option. Users are able try the full version of AppBlock with all features and ad-free without the need to pay anything.
  • There was no drop in income. In the graph below you can see the switch-over from one-time payments (blue) to subscriptions (orange).
The income from one-time payments and subscriptions
The income from one-time payments and subscriptions

Has the subscription model been a success? The blue line represents the increasing number of subscribers since last September, the orange one shows new subscribers and the pink one is canceled subscriptions.

The number of active subscribers
The progress of the number of active subscribers

So wish us luck! :)