Streaming functionality, audio improvements, support for chapters, a social directory, and more. But the most interesting part of Overcast 2 is the changes to its business model.
Marco Arment, announcing the changes on his weblog:
Overcast 1.0 locked the best features behind an in-app purchase, which about 20% of customers bought. This made enough money, but it had a huge downside:
80% of my customers were using an inferior app. The limited, locked version of Overcast without the purchase sure wasn’t the version I used, it wasn’t a great experience, and it wasn’t my best work.
With Overcast 2.0, I’ve changed that by unlocking everything, for everyone, for free. I’d rather have you using Overcast for free than not using it at all, and I want everyone to be using the good version of Overcast.
If you can pay, I’m trying to make up the revenue difference by offering a simple $1 monthly patronage. It’s completely optional, it doesn’t get you any additional features, and it doesn’t even auto-renew — it’s just a direct way to support Overcast’s ongoing development and hosting without having to make the app terrible for 80% of its users.
I’m very interested to see how this works out for him. Luckily, many of the users who are most likely to know that Overcast exists are also the type of users I’d expect to voluntarily pay money for a great application. I hope the increase in user base from going free results in even more revenue than the paid app could ever produce.