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Promoting free downloads to increase revenue

Nelson Saba on how freemium is helping his Glo Bible app.

This post is part of the TOC podcast series, which we’ll be featuring here on Radar in the coming months.


In a recent interview with O’Reilly publisher Joe Wikert, Nelson Saba, CEO of Immersion Digital, talked about his company’s Glo Bible app. The app has a free version and a $49.99 upgrade to a premium version. Saba said he was pleasantly surprised at the upgrade conversion success, saying that they experience a 7 to 13% conversion rate, and that the freemium model isn’t as much of a struggle as publishers might think.

When you get very good conversion ratios, all of a sudden you find yourself in the business of promoting free downloads, which is much easier than selling a product … Conversion ratios are a function of platform, country, price point — for each country in a certain platform, by adjusting the price you can get good conversion ratios … you also should have multiple in-app upgrades because different upgrades will resonate more with different platforms. Once you hit a conversion ratio that you like, you can bet that that’s going to stay steady despite the volume of downloads … but it varies a lot from platform to platform. [Discussed at the 6:10 mark.]

For more on the success of the Glo Bible app and how modern technology can be used to enhance even timeless content, you can view the interview below.

TOC Frankfurt 2011 — Being held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, TOC Frankfurt will feature a full day of cutting-edge keynotes and panel discussions by key figures in the worlds of publishing and technology.

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