5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ditch Mac App Store

In the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing stream of indie developers leaving the Mac App Store for reasons like this, or like this.

I  believe that developers are able to make good extra revenue on the Mac App Store, as opposed to distributing apps via the web site alone.

After eight long years of being a mobile only (iOS only to be precise), we made a move towards Mac and launched PDF Expert for Mac last November. This detailed post tells a lot about the development, marketing and how PDF Expert became #1 app on the Mac App Store, selling over 1000 copies per day.

Unfortunately, that didn’t continue since our promo channels produced short time gains, and Apple’s Editorial Choice  did not last long.

Last week, we’ve launched PDF Expert 2. This app allows advanced PDF text/ image/ link editing and many more features. The Apple team once again featured our app which helped us  climb to the Top 5 Grossing Apps on the App Store.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 12.13.28

Why you should consider selling your app on the Mac App Store:

1. The Mac App Store is not tiny.

Although Mac software today is not as hot as mobile, I personally know companies that make tens of millions of dollars a year, selling Mac software. Based on the numbers we’ve seen with PDF Expert 2: if you manage to get to #5 To Grossing spot,your app will be making $10K a day.

Some people think that it is $3.6 million a year, but the in reality it’s hard to stay at the top of the charts when the featuring is gone and the hype dies down. Moreover, to create a great product you can easily spend $300-500K. You don’t need a calculator to compute this!.

2. The Mac Store is an extra channel of exposure.

I think of the Mac App Store as an extra channel for marketing that you can use to your advantage. I’ll bet that there are some people who would never see your product otherwise. 

If you make a good product, the chances of being featured by Apple are pretty high.  That leads to more eyes on your app. Make sure you nail the ASO (metadata, app name, keywords, screenshots).

3. Apple aims to improve the Mac Store.

It is rumored that Phil Schiller, who is  known to be in charge of the App Stores, will give much more love to the Mac App Store. I honestly hope this will happen sooner than later, since we’ve already witnessed some improvements of the iOS store.

I’d love to see the analytics of the product page to measure the effectiveness of the name, screenshots and the metadata. iOS App Store has it now and I can’t wait to see on its Mac counterpart.

4. The Mac Store has less competition.

Since it’s more difficult to create a great Mac app, and the trend has been to abandon the Mac App Store, there’s less competition there! If you manage to create a great product that you know people will love, you can be a stand out there.

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 23.04.18

The entry barrier to be in the top charts is much lower too (compared to the iOS App Store) – 500 copies per day will most likely grant you a top position there. Take advantage of it!

5. Users Trust the Apple brand.

We see a lot of people downloading a free trial from pdfexpert.com and then buying it from the Mac App Store. People trust Apple and their infrastructure. Don’t lose those cautious people who for some reason don’t want to install your apps from the website. 

I hope that Mac App Store use will increase and become cool once again. Developers create great products and Apple can provide great discoverability tools  In the end, users will benefit and rejoice in downloading high-quality software.


2 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ditch Mac App Store

  1. My workflow when getting a new app:
    – Find it on the Mac App Store
    – Then try to find it from the developer directly, because the non- AppStore app is almost always more functional. ( Avoid all these expired certificate issues, more features etc)

  2. My workflow when buying a new app is ALWAYS to buy it from the Mac App Store if at all possible, especially if it’s a pricey app. Why? When I get a new Mac or go to work, I don’t need a whole other set of tools…I just download what I need. I also don’t use apps like PDF Expert every day. I bought it to endorse a batch of contracts and return them. Haven’t used it again since. If I download from some random web site, I just can’t be bothered trying to keep track of licenses or, worse, buying the same app again. I stopped using Adobe products because they aren’t on the Mac App Store. Parallels and a bunch of open source stuff are the only things on my Mac that aren’t from the Mac App Store. Of course, I’m a software engineer so…not an average customer.

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