Boinx Software's early push on the Mac App Store

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|01.27.11

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Boinx Software's early push on the Mac App Store
Here at Macworld in San Francisco, CA, we had a chance yesterday to sit down with Boinx Software CEO Oliver Breidenbach, both to hear about the new BoinxTV Home, and also to chat about how the company is doing two weeks into the Mac App Store. The company has been quite aggressive with Mac App Store releases, with everything from the $17 utility Mousepose, going all the way up to the $500 full version of iStopMotion Pro. Breidenbach says that App Store sales are going "great" -- while Apple's review process is taking significantly longer than the iOS store (though he suspects that's simply because it's so much newer), what he's seeing is that App Store revenue "looks as if it's on top of existing channels." That is, customers on the Mac App Store aren't the same customers buying Boinx Software through the company's website or other partners, which means that Mac App Store sales, right now, are brand new income.

"But," Breidenbach continues, "I don't think it's going to stay that way."
He believes that there's a lot of customer confusion around the difference between buying software on and off the Mac App Store. Right now, customers are using familiar channels (retail or download) for software, but in the future, Breidenbach thinks most customers will head to the App Store first. BoinxTV Home, for example, is being released exclusively on the App Store, and Breidenbach says yes, that's a test to see what kind of revenue the company can get just from being discovered rather than marketing and selling through more traditional channels.

Overall, Breidenbach believes that Apple is pushing to make even its third-party software more like its hardware -- a commodity, bought through an easy experience at a relatively lower price, rather than a huge lifetime decision. Looking at what Apple has done with the iOS store, Breidenbach says he sees software sales on the Mac becoming more like music sales -- either you have a huge top-seller, or you make a bunch of little products that find their own specific audiences. But the two App Stores aren't completely the same; while Boinx software on the Mac App Store has had zero marketing from the company (and has sold almost completely due to Apple's features on the gateway), software on the iOS App Store was exactly the opposite. Boinx's You Gotta See This! app got zero coverage from Apple, and yet "on our own we managed to bring it to the charts," Breidenbach says.

He couldn't comment on actual sales numbers, but says that the Mac App Store is likely seeing "a fraction" of the numbers in the iOS store -- not a surprise, given how new it is and how customers are still learning the ins and outs of the platform. Boinx isn't necessarily planning on coming up with a way for customers who purchased apps outside of the Mac App Store to transfer over, but Breidenbach says what will probably happen is that the company will just release new, updated versions of the current software sometime in the future. Then, customers who want the upgrades will come onto the Mac App Store to get them. He also says he's awaiting in-app purchases for Mac apps -- while Boinx has so far just released multiple versions of their products on the Mac App Store with various feature sets, he'd rather have it so that an in-app purchase can unlock a certain set of features, leaving just one listing for each product in the App Store itself.

Boinx has jumped out to a lot of early success on the new Mac App Store platform, and it will be interesting to see how switching over to Apple's new "walled garden" affects their sales and revenue in the future. Stay tuned -- we'll have even more from Boinx on during our livestream later today.
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