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Setapp for iOS – all you need to know, as a user or a developer

MacPaw’s app subscription service has proven extremely popular for Mac, and the company is now investing more in the iOS platform to bring the same benefits to iPhone and iPad.

Users pay a single monthly subscription for full access to the pro versions of a wide range of apps. No ads, no in-app purchases, no update fees – just one low monthly payment. That’s an appealing offer for them, and if you’re an iOS and/or macOS developer with great apps of your own, Setapp offers you a whole new market …

Setapp for Mac launched back in 2017, with iOS apps added in 2020. The company is now specifically welcoming developers who offer cross-platform apps, to further boost the reach of the service – and the number of developers who can benefit from it.

A win-win for users and developers alike

The service was designed to be a win-win for users and developers alike. Subscribers get a range of apps that would cost them literally thousands of dollars if they paid separately for each. Developers get a simple shortcut to a large user-base, and a sustainable additional revenue stream.

Applications invited from macOS and iOS developers

The apps offered through Setapp for iOS are carefully curated to offer popular apps which perform useful tasks, and provide a great user experience.

New applications from apps which meet these criteria are always welcome. The great thing for a developer is that Setapp does all the work needed to generate recurring income, while you still get to sell your app through the App Store exactly as you do today. That includes handling payments, updates, content marketing, support, and much more. You maintain your own individual app sales, while Setapp creates a parallel income stream for you.

  • Access to tens of thousands of app users
  • Predictable monthly revenue, with commission as low as 10%
  • A simple, no-effort way to add a subscription model into the mix
  • You get paid even if users only open your app once each month
  • Simple app review process, with 24-hour turnaround
  • More opportunities likely as antitrust action reduces Apple’s app sale dominance

Some developers report that they make as much money from Setapp as they do from their own sales.

What do developers love about Setapp?

No matter how great your app may be, nobody will know about it unless you’re able to get it seen by its intended audience. But while developers love creating and refining their apps, many hate all the work, pain, and drudgery involved in marketing them.

Once your app is accepted, the Setapp team takes care of the marketing, payments, account management, update mechanism, support, and much more – so you can focus on the work you love.

But you don’t have to take Setapp’s word for it: just ask developers who have signed-up.

“Setapp seems to have pools of productivity and business users. Session is a productivity app. So we are a perfect match for each other! Setapp also sent me their statistics, and that was a lot of people.”
Philip Young, Session

“Setapp provides not only a platform, but also user acquisition – it’s a win-win collaboration.”
Alexander Makhtin, Uplife

“Setapp is a revenue stream for us. We launch the app and if it solves a problem, users start using it. We don’t do any additional marketing moves. Setapp does it for us.”
Ihor Stefurak, LofiGarden

Young also highlighted another benefit to bringing a lot of new users on board very quickly:

“Setapp has a lot of subscribers. That means I get tons of responses if parts of the apps missing, buggy, or confusing. If there’s an issue, I fixed it, send a new version to Setapp (which is always approved swiftly), and then wait for new responses: a tight feedback loop. Do this for a few months / over the year, and you’ll get less and less feedback, getting your product closer and closer to perfection.”

How much do developers get paid?

Developers get 70% of the revenue. Additionally, if you bring subscribers to Setapp, you get an additional 20% cut for those users – meaning 90% in total.

How does the split between apps work?

Traditional subscription models give you either a flat share, or a scale payment depending on the time spent by users within each app.

But that’s not fair to apps which provide a really useful function, but are used only briefly or infrequently. For that reason, we record each app used by each user each month, then split the revenue equally between those developers.

How do I apply?

There are no fees, no complicated procedures. Visit this webpage for more information, then click the Get in touch button to apply.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


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