Welcome to the Sub Club podcast: a deep dive on building and growing subscription app businesses. Hosts David Barnard and Jacob Eiting will guide you through the ins and outs of subscription apps — sharing insider tips, predictions, and insights from industry experts.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- What to expect from the Sub Club podcast
- How the Apple Developer Platform has evolved since 2008
- The importance of creating user-friendly cancellation experiences
- Why now is an exciting time to be a mobile app developer
Here’s the Outline of Our Conversation:
[00:58] Meet your hosts David Barnard and Jacob Eiting.
[01:25] The Sub Club Podcast mission: helping app developers make more money.
[04:55] What you can expect from Sub Club: interviews with guests who are successful in the industry, trying new things, and are knowledgeable about specific insights that don’t get talked about a lot.
[05:11] Sub Club is the first podcast focused on subscription apps.
[5:39] Industry terminology; Consumer SaaS (CSaaS), Personal SaaS.
[5:56] Investors are becoming interested in this space; growing an app from good to great.
[6:45] Trust and ease of use: purchasing and cancellation in the App Store.
[7:22] Frustrating subscription cancellation experiences.
[10:37] Don’t monetize with subscriptions if it doesn’t make sense for your app.
[12:08] Data on subscription cancellation confusion; cancellation survey data.
[13:45] Apple’s monopoly and their responsibility to make the user experience great.
[14:08] The importance of giving Apple feedback on what is and isn’t working for developers.
[16:50] How to submit feedback and suggestions for the Sub Club podcast.
[18:15] David and Jacob’s early App Store experiences; who launched first? (Edit: Turns out, it was David! Trip Cubby hit the App Store on August 2, 2008 — 9 days before Paddle Ball went live on August 11th, 2008.)
[22:58] How Jacob got started in mobile app development: jailbreaking iPhones, learning how to make Cocoa apps on MacOS, launching AppLoop
(early SDK for analytics); Book: Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
[25:40] Engineering resources: Is it better to hire contractors or learn to code yourself?
[29:28] The democratization of the app development stack.
[31:52] Parallels between the early days of the App Store and the dot-com boom.
[34:12] Why we’re still in the early days of opportunities on App Store platforms.
[37:19] New platforms and form factors; AR.
[38:49] Scale, distribution, and the subscription business model; subscription apps for knitters.
[39:00] The subscription model goes hand-in-hand with creating consumer value (users won’t pay $1/month for a fart app).
[40:49] RevenueCat’s role: providing app developers with tools that would otherwise require massive teams.
[42:25] The complexities of app commerce; Stripe
[44:15] The “AWS-ification” of mobile app development.
[47:00] Despite its downsides, technology makes our lives better; the Covid-19 pandemic.
[48:40] Legislation around app subscriptions and consumer protections (App Store free trials in Quebec do not auto-convert to paid subscriptions).