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Microsoft Phone 7: App with Trial is 70xMore Downloaded than App Without

March 16, 2011

This is an interesting bit of insight into the buying habbits of Windows Phone 7 users:

Paid apps with built-in trials are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps without that feature, according to a blogpost this week by Microsoft’s senior director of Windows Phone product management Todd Brix.

“Trials result in higher sales,” he added. “Nearly one out of 10 trial apps downloaded convert to a purchase and generate 10 times more revenue, on average, than paid apps that don’t include trial functionality.”

Note, Brix is talking about apps, but games are the app category most likely to be making use of Microsoft’s trial API. It’s not a new idea for the games industry, of course. Sites such as RealArcade used to thrive on offering one-hour trials of casual games before asking players to stump up to continue playing.

Brix says that Windows Phone 7 users are making their minds up quickly whether an app or game is worth paying for, based on trials. “More than half of trial downloads that convert to a sale do so within one day, and most of those within two hours,” he writes, while warning that apps do better or worse depending on their “quality and nature”.

Just to clarify – this is where a game has a free trial and after completing that the user decides whether or not to buy the full game.  Interesting the article cites the opposite behaviour of iPhone users, where some evidence suggests they prefer a clear line between the demo and the paid app.  Not sure why this should be?  Article suggests cultural differences between users of both platforms.  Might be – might be demographics, might be there is less games choice on Windows Phone 7 so users are buying more then those on iPhone who can browse more free stuff?

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