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What do you think about an iPhone app? 
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Post What do you think about an iPhone app?
Hey, I was just wondering if you've ever given any thought to a reelviews iphone app. Where do you guys stand on the matter? Would you use it? Would you pay for it? Does anyone care except for me?
I guess that it seemed to me like a quick easy way to get ahead of the curve, but I have no idea what kind of issues it might cause. I've heard you need a subscription to apple's developer program first...


Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:14 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
I don't see how a an iphone app would service Reelviews. It's not James updates on a daily basis for there to be much use.


Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:18 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
True; I guess I was asking more out of self-interest than anything else. I use an iphone for most of my internet browsing, and right now I have reelviews bookmarked in my browser, which works fine, I guess. I only get to use an real computer about twice a week, and thought maybe some others might be in the same boat. I was actually in the process of updating apps on my phone when I thought of this, and I figured that it could be a way to expand readership too.

Just a thought.


Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:26 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
I guess the bigger question is, who would pay for the development and how would james make money.

In fact the NYT is anguishing over another angle of this question for the iPad
Rob


Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:36 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
I guess my original thought was one of two ideas:

1.) People who use reelviews might pay for an app ( I know I would pay, but that's just me).

Or,

2.) With a free app, the revenue from ads might take care of the costs, as well as bring in new readers. The reason I think this might work better for reelviews than, say, the NYT, is because reelviews has a much more limited exposure. Less people know about it, but who doesn't know of the NYT?

Then again, I have no idea how the ad policy works, or what kinds of costs are involved.


Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:49 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
I'm not even sure how many Reelviews readers own an iPhone. I doubt that it's enough to make money off of.


Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:07 pm
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
I have the iPhone
but would not "buy" an app for a film review site
I just don't use the iphone as a browser of tool to read reviews
the iPad will be different
Rob


Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:26 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
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Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
Robert Holloway wrote:
I have the iPhone
but would not "buy" an app for a film review site
I just don't use the iphone as a browser of tool to read reviews
the iPad will be different
Rob


My understanding is that it would cost me between $2000 and $5000 to get the app developed. Then I would own it and could distribute it for free. That's probably the only way it would get done since the site doesn't generate the kind of high volume traffic that would encourage someone else to develop it for commercial reasons.

I have an iPhone and have only used it a few times for ReelViews, and then mainly to make sure the reviews were at least readable.

I suspect that with the iPad, an app won't be necessary. The reviews should be perfectly readable on the iPad's browser. (They look about as good as one could expect on the Kindle, which is text based.)


Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:37 pm
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Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
Hi James

Don't see the iPhone app as a web site. Rotten Tomatoes have an app that is awesome! I'd see it as a link with a theater that attaches your star rating and 3 line summary with a small image of the poster.

That said...

I doubt the economics would play

If I look at your demos and traffic I'd be surprised if more than 5% have an iPhone - we should do a survey

The numbers just don't work unless you charge

I also remember 12 months ago floating a subscription idea for the main site and judging by the vitriolic reaction to that one (including a moderator) it's a no go. Many people think everything on line should be free.

FYI - I recently switched one of my on line businesses to a pay to read version and have been surprised by the conversion rates. It's a whole new barrel of monkeys learning about direct marketing on line but the rewards can be quite interesting :-)

Here's where I see stuff heading

There will be free sites that give you access to certain stuff. But the things you really want will become pay based. It's just a matter of time.

There's a reason why this has to be true.

Whilst people surfing away love free stuff, others can't afford to develop it and eat while it remains free. the on line advertising model is not quite broken, but it's getting there as CPM's fall and advertisers wake up the grim truth that nobody clicks through, or at least not more than 0.1% . The affiliate model rev stream is equally struggling and we see companies reducing their rev share in this economic situation.

Interesting time
Rob


Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:41 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3111
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
Robert Holloway wrote:
If I look at your demos and traffic I'd be surprised if more than 5% have an iPhone - we should do a survey


Tough to say for sure, but I'd guess you're in the ballpark. According to Google Analytics, 14% of my readers use Safari, which is the iPhone's browser. Although I can't fathom why anyone would use Safari as the browser of choice on either a Mac or a PC (given that it's inferior to Firefox, Chrome, and even IE), I realize there's a significant percentage of Mac user and a small minority of PC users who go that way. So I'd assume between 1/2 and 2/3 of the Safari users are coming from a Mac or a PC, that would put the iPhone percentage at 4-7%.

When I referenced developing an app, I didn't mean it would be a webpage. It would be like any other app - but I don't see that happening. As you mention, the business case for it simply isn't there. And I don't think the iPad is going to change things. My expectation is that the iPad will not be a breakthrough device. It will probably develop a small, loyal following but won't generate the kind of widespread enthusiasm that the iPhone and Kindle have generated. (People who see iPad as a Kindle rival are conveniently ignoring the embedded base. How many people who own Kindles are going to spend another $500 on a different product that accomplishes many of the same things?) I love gadgets but I don't plan to buy an iPad. So I don't see the advent of the iPad as being the kind of game-changer that would alter the economics enough to make paying to have an iPhone app developed worthwhile.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:17 pm
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Post Re: What do you think about an iPhone app?
James Berardinelli wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
If I look at your demos and traffic I'd be surprised if more than 5% have an iPhone - we should do a survey


Tough to say for sure, but I'd guess you're in the ballpark. According to Google Analytics, 14% of my readers use Safari, which is the iPhone's browser. Although I can't fathom why anyone would use Safari as the browser of choice on either a Mac or a PC (given that it's inferior to Firefox, Chrome, and even IE), I realize there's a significant percentage of Mac user and a small minority of PC users who go that way. So I'd assume between 1/2 and 2/3 of the Safari users are coming from a Mac or a PC, that would put the iPhone percentage at 4-7%.

When I referenced developing an app, I didn't mean it would be a webpage. It would be like any other app - but I don't see that happening. As you mention, the business case for it simply isn't there. And I don't think the iPad is going to change things. My expectation is that the iPad will not be a breakthrough device. It will probably develop a small, loyal following but won't generate the kind of widespread enthusiasm that the iPhone and Kindle have generated. (People who see iPad as a Kindle rival are conveniently ignoring the embedded base. How many people who own Kindles are going to spend another $500 on a different product that accomplishes many of the same things?) I love gadgets but I don't plan to buy an iPad. So I don't see the advent of the iPad as being the kind of game-changer that would alter the economics enough to make paying to have an iPhone app developed worthwhile.



Yeah, Mac penetration is probably somewhere between 7-10%. I don't think all Mac users work with Safari, but we're a rabid bunch :-) Chrome is buggy for web development and IE is a non starter.

On the iPad, I wouldn't judge it on what you see today. I think that once there's 25,000 specific iPad apps it will be different. Like you, I won't be buying one in 2010, but who knows about after that. It's certainly not a game changer today.

On the Kindle, I'm very suspicious. Amazon won't release numbers. That tells me something. But for sure, the Kindle group are not iPad buyers in 2010.

I wonder if anyone on the forum has developed an iPhone app?
Rob


Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:56 pm
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