Browsers, Toolbars, Extensions: As We Monetized Their Product Through The Installation Of Third-party Programs

Marketing Manager of the company VSDC Nina Gorbunova experience in the use of Adware — war with Google, the dissatisfaction of the users and the media, the development of the market. If you downloaded free FOR at least a few times in my life, you know what additional installation. This is the case when, for example, along with Avast on your PC appears a new browser, screensaver or obscure the toolbar.

This kind of “uninvited” products are generally, two types of reactions. Some, knowing what happened, simply delete the unnecessary program, and the second — and most of all — I get very frustrated and start cursing the company-developer, accusing them of distributing spyware and software viruses. One of these (often cursed) developers for several years we were.

Adware in this context are third — party programs that are installed together with free software on your computer. Typically, its harmless browsers, toolbars, antivirus, extensions, and even themes for your desktop.

So, until recently, looked the setup screen mentioned above Avast. Together with antivirus offers to install Dropbox (or, for example, Google Chrome). According to the rules, the user is given the opportunity to refuse additional software, uncheck the box during installation or by running a custom installation of the product.

However, for anybody not a secret that in the text at this stage, users rarely read carefully, and “surprise” is found much later. The difference between Adware and Malware do not understand everything, and, of course, for many the program, from nowhere appeared on the computer might be virus or spy. If you look from the perspective of a novice developer Adware is one of the most simple and obvious monetization models.

First, you can position your product as free, which, naturally, attracts the attention of users and have a positive impact on the results. Secondly, it is a simple and automated way to make a profit, do not require active participation from the company. Choosing such a scheme, you get a percentage for each installation of third-party software with your application — thats the whole monetization.

This model is on the market for about ten years, and in different time periods used (or still used) known for the free products as mentioned above, Avast, Trillian, Joxi, some versions of uTorrent, Winamp (versions prior to 5.6.6), Daemon Tools, Nero Burning ROM and many others. To make it clear what the model draws Adware application owners, it should be noted that at the dawn of its existence, it looked more than successful.

Almost alone installations of the Yahoo Toolbar developer Divx have received more than $15 million and 250 million downloads after the first nine months of 2008. In our case, when the project VSDC only began six years ago, the team consisted of two developers without any experience in marketing. At that time we had no resources, no global plans to conquer the market or inflated expectations.

Monetization free video editor via installing third party apps seemed the most obvious and correct decision. Naturally, we did not communicate directly with all developers of browsers, toolbars and other products, which were “attached” to our editor — there are intermediary companies, the so-called “bundlers”.

According to last years research, the developers of embedded software pay the mediator $0.10 to 1.5 for the installation. Among the most well-known companies-bundlers — SweetLabs (formerly OpenCandy), Amonetize and InstallMonetizer. We have worked with OpenCandy advertising module about three years. The task of the developers of OpenCandy, among other things, was to prevent the adware is any really harmful for the PC program.

Together with the video editor VSDC users typically offered Microsoft products, AVG Antivirus, Ping. However, in this scheme of work we did not always have full control over what programs are included with our ON — maybe that was the key problem, which entailed all the rest. Users are periodically publicly complain about VSDC for in-app products, Google began to include a serious preventive measures.

For example, when you try to download VSDC Google Chrome from time to time showed a large red banner with the message that our product is dangerous. In addition, many antivirus software began to detect OpenCandy as malicious element. This means that when installing any products containing this advertising module, the users PC sounded the alarm, and the users themselves, of course, too.

Not to say that monetization Adware is definitely a foolish choice. Based on our experience, Yes. But there are many companies that still use this model, and the existence of the project is not contrary. Of course, a lot depends on who you choose as a partner and what kind of installation “recommend” users.

We have received very many letters from unhappy people who received even threats and curses — but it was also a lot of appropriate users, who realized that a completely free program does not happen. Despite the dubiousness of the distribution and negative on the Internet, our program is not reduced and the traffic to the site was steady in the area several thousand.

Thats only a prolonged stability for this kind of project is not what we would like the developer. Despite regular donations from users and the Commission of the installation we realized that Adware pushes the project to a standstill. Further development was hampered by three factors:

As a result, in the beginning of last year we decided to abandon the Adware installations that are built into our product. A new monetization model became Pro-version VSDC functionality demanded by professionals video editing.

After we refused Adware, the key task has been to work to fix negative brand reputation. We talked with all the publications are either refused, or big red letters wrote that VSDC contains malicious components. We went through all the comments from frustrated users, and made sure that the distributions VSDC updated in all possible directories of programs.

On this “restore” took about three months, but during this period, organic traffic increased two and half times and the number of installations — and a half. Moreover, it turns out that people are really more inclined to pay for additional functionality than to install a free program with unsolicited products.

In the first three months the income from the Pro version on par with what we received as a Commission from the plants, and, judging by the trends, get ahead of it not less than two times. If you are a developer and planned to choose this method of monetization — dont worry. According to our observations, this market is not disappearing, but rather evolyutsioniruet now with reference to devices, not to.

As an example consider the already mentioned company SweetLabs developer OpenCandy advertising module. In 2014, she released the Pokki app store, which first started to preinstall on their laptops, then HP, Acer, Toshiba, and soon the manufacturers of Android smartphones. The idea of Pokki like the idea of the former OpenCandy advertising module, and in that and in other case, end user is strongly recommended for programs whose developers have paid SweetLabs for the opportunity to be recommended.

However, in the case of app store Sweetlabs Pokki mission looks much more interesting. As you know, laptops, and smartphones come to market with a set of software titles. In the English language for him, even invented a separate term — bloatware or crapware rated (“bloated” software).

Most often the attitude of the pre-installed programs is not the most friendly — as well as to any settings that the user did not initiate. The developers of Pokki manufacturers offer laptops to stop to fill up your device “uninvited” programs, and instead to preinstall Pokki, which will recommend to the user the most relevant applications. According to SweetLabs, in this scheme everyone wins.

Of course, SweetLabs is not the only company that does this kind of “pimping”. We have also repeatedly received the proposal to incorporate the recommendation of our product, say, Asus or HP. This preset would have cost us $0,6 per device in North America.

The rate depends on the sales region and the solvency of the population, that is, to incorporate recommendations for its products in devices sold in China, it would be much cheaper. In our case it is not very profitable because of the video editor VSDC free in the basic version, but for other developers, probably this could work.

For example, in early 2015 SweetLabs announced that their affiliate network of more than 300 companies, including Amazon, Kabam, and Baidu. Less than a year, the Pokki store has passed the figure of a billion advertising plants around the world. Send a private cases, in which you managed to improve (or, conversely, worsen) the performance of the project, [email protected] Interesting experiments are sure to get the heading “Cases”.

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