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Ad-supported desktop software?

Posted on 2013-01-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-14
Hi, it seems like lots of cloud apps and mobile device apps are profitable by using in-app advertising.

Is this also possible with a windows desktop application?  I'm wondering if, rather than releasing a "trial" version of software with a nag screen, it would be better to just have in-app advertising, that they can get rid of by purchasing.

I understand that this would require internet connectivity to use the software (at least the trial version) but maybe that's fine.

Is there any precedent for this, or any reason it's not a good idea?
Question by:RonMexico
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

honestman31 earned 500 total points
ID: 38735380
Well , it could be good idea , those kind of software are called ad-ware .
Many antivirus programs will block them .
Some of them will just place ads in thier own window ( example Skype and msn messenger ) .
some ( really bad )  will  control Firefox and IE and place text ads on words on the page you are viewing .
If you want to do it then I suggest you go for the first option , not the 2nd type of ad-ware
LVL 100

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 38735387
I have an iPhone and Windows 7. I reject out of hand the notion that I should have to endure some dimwitted advertising in order to buy my products. I have left behind (neither purchased nor use) software that is too offensive.

I would say that in the last 5 years I would have seen maybe 1, maybe 0 intelligent useful ads.

Lenovo builds ads into their application sofware. I do not install it or use it for that reason alone.

Rule of thumb: If you have to tell me something it good, it is not good. Google will tell me in an instant if a product is worth paying for.

Tread carefully.  .... Thinkpads_User

Assisted Solution

jpgobert earned 500 total points
ID: 38735392
A pretty good example of a legit software package that is widely used by IT pros that's ad supported is Spiceworks.  You can pay a couple hundred per year for their "MyWay" package which turns off the ads and adds your own logos to the system but by default it is a free systems management software supported by ads.

...so yeah I'd definitely say there's some really bad examples and precedents out there but there are also really good ones such as Spiceworks... I wouldn't worry about your app being targeted by security software as mentioned earlier... that's totally on how you write your app and what method of introducing ads you decide to use... if you stay legit then you don't have anything to worry about on that front...
LVL 75

Accepted Solution

käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 38735639
I think I'd have to disagree with thinkpads_user on this, at least partly. I have been doing research the past few months on writing mobile apps for Android. I spend a lot of time looking at popular apps and reading the reviews (mainly to see what other developers are doing right or doing wrong). One thing that seems to be growing with the mobile world is the idea that because the app is simple, it should be free, or it should provide X, Y, and Z for free. I cannot count the number of apps where I have seen comments like, "It's OK, but not really worth $1," or, "This really shouldn't cost XXX dollars." Mind you, many of these apps cost less than a loaf of bread, yet the complaints abound as if the apps were $30 - $40 dollars. The general public does not (and frankly can not) appreciate the amount of work and thought it takes to design a good application.

As to your question I would say that you should do some research into products that use the monetization model that you are contemplating. Do they seem to be popular? I have to admit that for me it's been quite a few years since I've seen any ad-supported desktop software. I honestly thought that trend was over. I certainly could be mistaken, though.

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