KoboldTouch has been on sale for exactly 5 months (released: Nov 1st, 2012). Time for a “numbers post”.
Let’s start with new user signup rates and popular pricing plans before I get to reveal actual and projected revenues.
New User Signup Rate
With a build-up of anticipation, the first month is always noticably on the positive side. If you ignore that first month, you’ll notice that signup rate has been very steady from December through February when it suddenly doubled in March.
This chart shows the number of new users who signed up to any of the pricing plans, with refunds already deducted:
The actual “new user” numbers (not including refunds) for each month are:
- Nov 12: 44
- Dec 12: 15
- Jan 13: 15
- Feb 13: 16
- Mar 13: 33
I believe the reason for the influx of new users in March is two-fold: first I introduced the 1-Month billing plan in Mid-February. And around the same time frame I started hosting the KoboldTouch documentation and KoboldTouch Sales Pitch on www.koboldtouch.com.
Before that I think it was simply harder to sell KoboldTouch to interested developers. And I’m hoping that maturity and consistently frequent releases have also instilled confidence that KoboldTouch is here to stay and grow.
Total Users, Refunds and Affiliates
Overall there were 132 users who signed up, and 9 customers called for a refund. On average this makes 1,8 refunds per month, or one in 15 customers.
Since I’m selling via Clickbank, anyone can become an affiliate vendor for KoboldTouch. You don’t have to be signed up to KT to support it! As an affiliate you get a 30% commission for every sale made through your affiliate link (including rebills, should I offer recurring plans again in the future).
So far only a disappointing 5 sales were made through an affiliate link. That’s less than 4%. I’m hoping this number will go up as KT becomes more popular with developers.
Pricing Plan Popularity
Since Mid-February I offer 1-Month for $19.95, 3-Months for $39.95 and 12-Months for $119.95. All of these plans are non-recurring.
Before that you could also sign up to a quarterly (3-Months) recurring billing plan for $39.95 if you proved to be a Learn Cocos2D 2 book owner. The same recurring plan was also available at $44.95 for those who didn’t own my book – but there was only one sale in that category, so I ditched it.
Due to the change in pricing plans you can’t really compare the numbers. This cake is a pie … chart.
In concrete numbers it looks like this:
- 1-Month: 32 signed up, 1 refund, revenue: $533.25
- 3-Months: 31 signed up, 2 refunds, revenue: $1,069.08
- 12-Months: 5 signed up, 1 refund, revenue: $438.33
- 3-Months recurring: 64 signed up, 5 refunds, revenue: $3,701.69
Here’s the interesting bit: the recurring billing plan revenue includes the first quarterly rebills! Out of the 59 customers on the recurring plan (refunds already deducted) 45 have already been rebilled once. The remaining 14 customers either have not been rebilled yet or cancelled the plan.
You can see the effect of the quarterly rebilling in the February column below. Compare it to the new user signup rate chart at the top. Note the spike in February.
I’ll continue to watch how sales develop over the coming weeks/months – because I’m tempted to reintroduce recurring billing plans either as an option or maybe even exclusively. Unfortunately Clickbank only allows up to quarterly rebills (ie no annual rebills) which makes it that much more difficult to come up with a recurring billing pricing structure that makes sense and is well balanced.
It’s always interesting to play with how the numbers might develop over time. I noticed that the average monthly revenue of the two months in 2012 went up by 12% from $1.073 to $1.199 in the first quarter of 2013.
Merely projecting the average of the past 5 months ($1.148) out to 12 months I’m looking at a total revenue of close to $13.800. That however is a very pessimistic assumption assuming no growth at all.
More realistic is the assumption that KoboldTouch revenue will continue to grow. Assuming a small, fixed 10% growth over each previous quarter I calculated the revenue for 2013 to be around $16.700. While assuming that revenue for each quarter continues to grow at an ever increasing rate (from 12% to 16%, 20% and 24%) the 2013 revenue would be closer to $19.000. This is what the bars say:
Although an annual revenue of $20.000 at most doesn’t sound like much, I’m fortunate enough that KoboldTouch is not my only revenue stream. The royalties from the Learn Cocos2D books, the sales of my Line-Drawing Kit, and the affiliate products I get commission for should amount to around $10.000 to $15.000 this year. And most of my spendings are tax deductible, which helps a lot! I don’t pay VAT for many items, and my income tax is minimal because business expenses reduce my taxable income by over a third, which also reduces the necessary payments for programs like health care.
I’m still amazed to see how big a difference this makes, at least here in germany. If you’re an information worker thinking of self-employment, don’t make the false assumption (like I did) that you’ll have to exceed the net income of your current job. It may be a lot less depending on your line of work, what you can declare as business expenses, and how much you can save by not having to commute, not going out to lunch every day, not buying things on impulse due to the environment (most common causes: over-excited coworkers and boring-meeting days).
Outlook into 2014
More interesting, and really exciting, is how the numbers for KoboldTouch might develop over the course of 2014. Assuming the growth rate continues to be an unrealistically steady 10% quarter over quarter, KoboldTouch would generate a reasonable revenue of $24.500 in 2014. Not too exciting but certainly pays the bills.
Now what if … KoboldTouch continues to grow at an ever increasing, yet still small percentage quarter over quarter? Then the yearly revenue for 2014 could be over $40.000, perhaps even double that! My pension fund would love this.
And there will still be lots of room to grow considering that $40.000 yearly revenue means to attract “only” one-thousand-plus-x developers! Considering the tens of thousands of developers using much higher-priced frameworks, and even considering KT staying in a small niche and my feeble attempts at marketing, this sounds absolutely achievable.
Regardless of revenue, so long as KoboldTouch and my other products pay for my bills, I’ll keep working on KoboldTouch! Because it’s fun, I love it, I can be my own boss while listening and serving the users (aka the “real” boss). And there’s so many awesome things yet to do!
PS: Development of KoboldTouch v6.2 has just begun – the users clearly voted for the development of the physics-based train demolition game. The other contenders where R.U.B.E. (Box2D editor) support and isometric tilemaps – I do hope to be able do at least one of them this year.
The train game will include documentation and all development artifacts, full source code and assets, overall improvements to KoboldTouch from actual game development needs, and completing the Objective-C physics wrapper for Box2D.
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