Sunday, May 8, 2011

Updates to our Live Cams Pro Product

After our launch this weekend we have found that a change to our approach is necessary. Our intention with the latest software release was to get into a "freemium" business model. This allows everyone to see our product and experience it without having to blindly purchase it first. We know that our product quality and features stand out from the crowd and that we simply needed better exposure so that we could continue to sell our software. Unfortunately since we were one of the first apps in the app store we produced our software before in-app purchases were available, forcing us to charge for the app up-front and spend money on advertising to get everyone interested. This is a very restrictive approach. We cannot simply upgrade our existing application because there is no way for us to detect or guarantee that a user has already purchased it. This necessitated the release of a brand new app.

Our recent release of Live Cams Pro was aimed at new business from users who needed advanced features not available in our existing products. After receiving our initial feedback we have found that so many of our customers love our software that many existing users wanted these expanded features but did not like the higher price. In order to continue to run a viable business we cannot simply release the expanded capabilities for free (some users have been using our 99 cent (US)  Live Cams product for over 2.5 years now without any additional costs). Our Live Cams HD product was created before universal apps were common and we felt that we also needed to put out a release which would allow someone to install a single licensed copy on all of their devices.

In both an apology and a compromise we have lowered our private camera purchase in Live Cams Pro to $1.99 US in the hopes that we can get enough volume sales to make up the difference. We also intend to eliminate the "Unlicensed" banner on public cameras and retain the 99 cent (US) fee to eliminate the advertising banners. A new release is being generated and submitted to Apple for review which will implement this approach.

In the coming days we will be communicating with Apple in order to find out how customers can be reimbursed for the difference in price from their initial purchase of private camera licenses. If you wish to ask them for a refund now in order to purchase again later at a lower price, please contact iTunes via the links on your email receipts. 

This change is a recognition that the recent outcry was primarily from existing customers who love our products and are frustrated with a higher cost to update. Live Cams Pro is the product we wanted to create initially 2.5 years ago but the infrastructure and payment mechanisms were not possible at the time. Going forward we will continue to push out regular product updates of Live Cams Pro with enhanced menus and features at no additional cost (Live Cams received over 40 updates in the past 2 years). For many existing customers our Live Cams and Live Cams HD products are sufficient and will continue to give them the features that they need most. In this case there will be no need to upgrade to the new software.