Contributions- a look at some numbers

Nick Nguyen (osunick)


Since the Contributions Pilot launched in July, we’ve been working hard to improve this feature and understand its impact on the community.  Since we launched the Contributions Dashboards in early September, we’ve been able to look at the data and gather our findings.

One of the first questions that developers want to know is whether or not they’ve picked the right contribution for their add-ons.  Let’s take a look at some charts:

Number of transactions per amount

In this chart, you can see a histogram of the total number of successful transactions for each amount paid.  The top 6 amounts are all $5 or under, with the notable exception of the $10 category.  Let’s take a look at the total revenue in each transaction bucket:

Total revenue per transaction amountWhen we look at transactions and sort by total revenue per bucket, the story unfolds in an interesting way.  In this chart, you can see that the $10 contribution generates a majority of revenue for the measured six week period, especially when combined with the $9.99 bucket.  What this suggests is that the optimal price appears to be closer to $10 than $5, and that $10 isn’t a significant barrier for contributions.


It’s also great to know that out of 2,031 individual contributions, while 968 were for the requested amount, 742 contributions exceeded the requested amount, 159 went to add-ons with no requested amount, and only 162 were for less than the requested amount.

Of course, this isn’t a scientifically rigorous study, as the sample size is still too small for any strong conclusions, but it’s good to note that app store pricing doesn’t appear to apply to an ecosystem where all add-ons are free and paid contributions are strictly voluntary.  If a developer creates a great add-on and asks for $10, that double digit price doesn’t appear to be a barrier to donating.  In other words, add-ons users who enjoy using add-ons are also quite generous when they elect to donate contributions to those add-ons.

In future blog posts, we’ll explore the effect of employing the different mechanisms we have for letting users know about contributions.

7 responses

  1. Michael Kaply wrote on ::

    > The top 6 amounts are all under $5, with the notable exception of the $10 category.

    I think you meant $5 or under since the top amount was 5 dollars.

  2. Michael wrote on :

    This is interesting feedback. I think one more plot would make it a lot clearer (to me at least) what is the optimal price… In your number of transactions vs transaction amount there is no way to know if the reason $5 is the highest is b/c more addons request that amount. Would it be possible to see a plot with number of transactions divided by number of addons with that suggested donation vs amount of the suggested donation or something similar to that?

    Thanks for the awesome work you all have been putting into help out us devs.

  3. Vin wrote on ::

    Can you put some data behind which addons are requesting which dollar amounts? An addon that gets downloaded hundreds of thousands of times per week probably has a better shot at a higher volume of contributions than a download with only one hundred downloads a week; regardless of the contribution amount.

    It might be helpful to see: contributions vs downloads percentage per addon, as I assume that will paint a clearer picture of the contribution frequency per requested dollar amount.

  4. seo wales wrote on ::

    @Vin, I disagree. I think a popular addon will not be able to charge as much, if they charge a lot then someone else will just remake the addon, also that people will think this is just a feature that should be there anyway and so won’t believe they should pay a lot.

    The smaller volume addons could be niche and highly desirable and so could net larger donations (but overall of course will still likey take less revenue). FWIW.

  5. Chuck Baker wrote on ::

    I, too, would like to see a graph of suggested donation amount (x-axis) vs average $/download (y-axis). That way I could see, for instance, of all the add-ons that suggest a donation amount of, say, $1.99, those add-ons averaged $0.002 per download.

  6. Vin wrote on ::

    @seo wales, i think you missed the point of my comment. Im not too concerned about “how much” an addon is generating…im after the volume of contributions for the addons in the graph. if one of the most popular addons (lets say AdBlock+) were to request $1, $5, or $25, it would probably have a much higher number of contributions, regardless of the price, based solely on the fact that it is downloaded so many times per week.

  7. Top Glendale wrote on ::

    This is great, now I get to see how much money i donated for the addons! haha. thanks