Setapp — curated apps bundle subscription

Over 200 macOS apps for a $10/month subscription. Not sure how it works financially for developers, but they promote the idea of ‘boosting sales’ or ‘instant recurring revenue’.

They have some hilarious ads:

This made me think of equivalents for the web, which could be ‘a turnkey system to display ethical ads and remove them for paying subscribers’, which might solve discovery + monetization at the same time. I wonder how important it is to curate for ‘quality’ apps. Seems like there is a counterintuitive thing at the moment of edge apps mostly being ‘free’. What would it mean to include traditional SaaS apps in this kind of bundle?

I thought for sure we had talked about Setapp here before, but that may have been a chat thread :slight_smile:

Code Fund did open source ads recently Fighting for Open Source Sustainability: Introducing Code Sponsor | by Eric Berry | CodeFund | Medium

Although developer advertising rather than end user.

I’m not a fan of advertising based models. What interests you about this idea @rosano?

I’m not really a fan either but it seems like an ‘easy button’ that people understand, which doesn’t necessarily compromise long-term sustainability. Some scattered thoughts:

  • Perhaps it should be more to diversify income as opposed to a primary business model. I recently saw a YouTuber with plenty of Patreon money highlight how easy it is for passive consumers to support them: “By simply watching this video, you help us…”. This relates to my reflex of making apps as accessible as articles and shareable content on the web: people pass things around, the more the merrier…
  • There is a part of me (maybe from when I was younger and appreciated the creativity in some TV commercials, or from finding actually something relevant from the odd banner) that wants to believe there’s something inherently useful in the concept of advertising, and it has just recently been tainted by tracking.
  • If one doesn’t charge upfront for the thing, asking for direct donations/contributions becomes extra work and might favour people like me who have the space and energy to do that. I wouldn’t want to expect most developers to have the same flexibility.

OSS developers get paid for their work, sponsors get a message to a hard-to-reach audience, and Code Sponsor can exist as a stable business, paying developers to improve the Code Sponsor product and experience for both sponsors and maintainers.

Why not?

Thank you for articulating that! Very useful context.

Code Sponsor wasn’t able to charge enough margin to pay for the infrastructure.

A co-op or DAO model where everyone who uses it shares in it might work.

It’s sustainability all the way down!

I forgot to mention: there really needs to be some collective thing that smaller developers do to pool together. A webring is one way, but so far many seem to resist having an external thing on their site. Maybe if they make money it would be worth the trouble? Maybe a DAO/co-op for the ideologically motivated? I like the idea that it all adds up (pardon the pun).