Was Bumble's Big Price Squeeze Worth It?
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #114 - Lots of Turbulence Ahead. Check out the full article for more insights.
Bumble has been one of the highest earning apps in the US for a very long. While it isn't earning as much as swipe-master Tinder, it's the only one that gets close.
Not only that, thanks to lockdowns and a world that quickly became digital, Bumble's revenue was growing pretty nicely in the last couple of years. But Bumble wanted more and had a "simple" to earn it – By increasing prices and offering fewer features for free.
Did it work?
I don't think so.
Bumble's revenue was growing steadily. According to our estimates, net revenue in the US rose 33%, from $12 million in January to $16 million in December.
In August of 2021, Bumble increased its monthly price from $32.99 to $39.99. I don't know the economics of Bumble, but to me, both of those look pretty high. The increase, along with the steady growth overall, helped Bumble's monthly net revenue to hit a new high in October with $27 million of net revenue in October, according to our estimates.
But this wasn't a trend... In November, revenue decreased, and in December, it increased but not by much.
But the story isn't over. In December, Bumble took away free features and required a paid subscription, which angered a lot of users who took to the App Store and Google Play to leave a negative review.
Back to why this matters - Although revenue grew in January, I think it grew "despite" Bumble's squeeze and not thanks to it. Why? because it declined right after and has only slowly increased since.
If you look at the trend back in the early part of 2021, it's pretty obvious that trend was hindered by something.
Price experiments are always challenging but have a massive upside when done right. Higher prices and fewer features just isn't right. If you're considering changing the price of your app or game, make sure you don't do that.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.