Pricing Model Grief?

I wonder how much grief you folks get from other developers about your pricing model. I occasionally tell other developers they should adopt your model and I wonder if they get back to you, either complaining or asking about how you implement it.


I do the same thing! Agenda has THE sanest solution to pricing apps!

The subscriptions are awfully exploitative and really get my :shamrock: up!

I saw one photo app recently that I had placed in Things as I might be interested. I note the price with other info. A couple of days ago, I opened the link and since I had last been there the developers were charging $1 more per month more than the flat rate they use to have (not long ago). Just outrageous!

How is that NOT ripping off their customers? Not a nice way to treat people who are nice enough to buy your app!


We haven’t really got any kickback from developers. We are just one app, and most use a subscription or other approach.

One downside of our approach is that it is not easy to put in place. So even if other developers wanted to do it, it is probably too much trouble, and apple don’t provide the solution out of the box.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Likewise. I’ve held up the Agenda model as one to follow. The current trend for many other apps is one of:

  1. Developer sells an app at price X
  2. App becomes successful
  3. Developer switches to subscription model
  4. Features previously paid for now subscription

This is dreadful practice and frankly I’m surprised Apple allow it.

The Agenda model is honest and clear from the get-go.

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Fair warning; I’m trying to get Duet to adopt your model. Does anyone know of any other app that uses what I call the Agenda model?

The popular graphics app Sketch uses a similar model: you pay each year for updates. If you stop paying, you get to keep what you already have. So their approach is on updates, and ours is on premium features.

We don’t have a real name for it, but you can find all the details in this blogpost from Drew

Tinderbox is a pretty niche app that has the same year-of-updates model as Agenda. They’ve been around for quite a while now.

Fantastical :grimacing:

To their credit, existing customers were grandfathered in.

It is very interesting. I think it aligns customer and company values, continued investment for continued improvement. It also gives customers an opportunity to vote with our pocket books. I’m not inclined to pay for the next year of updates “just because.” I keep an eye out on the new features, and if I want them, I’m happy to pay. But if the current product focus is in a direction I just don’t care about, then I’ll wait patiently until they start to work on areas I do care about before paying again.

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Looks like Tinderbox is like other bought Mac apps. Pay larger fee ($249) and get free updates for a year. Pay at a discount for upgrades ($89) whenever. No iOS app/no integration?

My point is affordable entry cost and then keep what you bought, upgrade for same modest cost when you want. And Agenda is offering to keep you compatible, as they keep upgrading the free base product, while others don’t.

Oops, yes, for example. :wink: As you say, they did look after their old customers but their new price ($70 pa [AUS]) is a bit OTT for a calendar app, I think.

I quite agree with your statement about the Agenda model.

A desktop-only app for Macs called Hook does this:

I think Drew’s point is important, and perhaps the sweet spot. Free basic, buy premium features and keep and use “forever”, pay again when premium features seem worthwhile.

The “Lifetime Deal” model has become very popular in may apps and services I use. I like the “Agenda” model much better.

I guess the best that can be done is for Agenda to “lead by example” and point others to it.

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Patfinder has switched to a similar license model

For the sake of clarification, though Hook and Path Finder both offer non-subscription models, they vary from the Agenda model, perhaps even in ways that folks might like better. The prices here aren’t relevant by themselves as they aren’t comparable products, but both are interesting.


  • Base is free,
  • Premium is $34.99 for Mac and iOS, 14.99 for just iOS
  • 12 months of upgrades included
  • Use “forever”
  • Upgrade premium when you want; $34.99 for Mac and iOS, 14.99 for just iOS

Hook (no iOS; very similar to Agrenda)

  • Base is free,
  • Essentials is $14.99, Pro is 24.99
  • 12 months of upgrades included
  • Use “forever”
  • Upgrade anytime for 40% discount
  • Note: Mac only and purchased directly, not through app store, I assume making pricing options easier.

Path Finder (this is what I call a traditional model, what I saw in the past for professional software)

  • 30 day trial
  • $36 includes all upgrades until the next major release.
  • They say yearly major upgrades (could be a few months or a year later, depending on their cycle)
  • You can use the new upgrade for however many months you have left, but then you’ll be prompted to pay the upgrade fee.
  • Use “forever” as is or…
  • Upgrade (can’t find the discount; l can’t tell if the discount expires after a year)
  • Note: Mac only and purchased directly, not through app store, I assume making pricing options easier. Their model more thoroughly explained here.

My Bottom Line: I think it would help to establish a more universal, clear and consistent pricing model that offers “lifetime” use for what you bought and an upgrade price that lets you upgrade when you are ready. “Lifetime” I assume is a bit tricky, but if you offer a “free” base, like our favorite Agenda, then probably not as hard. It would be nice if Apple put all this in place for the sake of simplicity, but I fear Apple is interested in promoting the subscription model because it serves their interest.