2018年09月12日

among other things

  Ulysses is one of the most popular apps for writers. It lets you write, edit, organize, sync and export all your writing in a single, unified interface. That’s why it’s interesting to

see that it is switching to a subscription-only business model.

 I’ve already written about Ulysses a few times. It’s a rock-solid, well-designed writing app for iOS and macOS. It relies on Markdown formatting and lets your export your writing to

Wordpress and Medium — among other things.


  Ulysses is the exact same app on iOS and macOS, proving that you can make professional apps for the iphone and the ipad. The company behind it won an Apple Design Award at WWDC. It used to

cost $45 on the Mac and $25 on iOS.


  While the company released a free macOS trial on its website, there was no easy way to let you try the app on your iphone or ipad. Additionally, it was a bit confusing that you had to buy

the same app twice so that you could use it on all your devices. But if you were a serious writer and you were willing to spend $60 on two apps, Ulysses could become your writing studio.

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  Yesterday, the company announced that it would drop upfront purchases altogether. If you want to use Ulysses, you can now download the app on iOS and macOS to start a 14-day free trial.

After that, you have to pay $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. There’s a $10 discount on the annual subscription if you were a previous Ulysses user, and students are also eligible to a special

subscription of $11.99 per six months.


  And it turns out that people care a lot about subscriptions. While hundreds of millions of people pay a subscription to access Spotify, Netflix and other content services, making people

pay for apps is still unpopular.


  Max Seelemann wrote a detailed explanation of the reasoning behind subscription pricing. As a customer, I’m more than happy to see that subscriptions are going to make Ulysses more

sustainable.

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  According to Ulysses’ website, there are a dozen people working on Ulysses. I looked back at my purchasing history. I was an early Ulysses buyer so I ended up paying less than the full

price for both apps. I paid $20 for the Mac app 4 years and a half ago and $20 for the iOS app 18 months ago.


  There’s no way you can build a successful business with customers that pay $40 over the course of four years and a half. Your local coffee shop probably has a higher customer lifetime

value while hiring fewer people.

  
タグ :things


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