Buyer's Guide: The Nuts & Bolts of Apps & Ebooks
Container apps are the second strategy, which publishers like Atavist and Comixology have pursued. "Container" or "shell" apps deliver multiple pieces of content to the reader and are typically publisher-branded. Cavnar thinks this type of app motivates more app engagement. The added value of new and updated content can also push users to make in-app purchases.
Despite some app successes, generating significant revenue from apps is still a hurdle for publishers. McGurk chalks this up to the abundance of apps out there, the majority of which can be downloaded for free. "People aren't willing to pay more than $1.99, maybe $4.99 if you're lucky. Price sensitivity is a big factor where apps are concerned."
Although a less tangible benefit, McGurk thinks that engaging an audience, even through a free app, is worthwhile, building awareness for a range of titles and leading to more purchases.
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