Targeting and pricing your app

There are a few ways that users can discover your app: the BlackBerry World storefront, which is installed on every BlackBerry 10 device, the BlackBerry World webstore, websites and social media, and talking to friends and family. Your first step to earning money is to prepare your app for BlackBerry World. To learn more, see Preparing your app.

Targeting your app

BlackBerry World offers a few ways to help you classify your app and find your users. First, when you submit an app to BlackBerry World, you must provide the following information to describe and categorize the app:

  • Name
  • Short and long description
  • Category (lifestyle, business, productivity, games, and so on)
  • Rating (mature, adult, and so on)
  • Keywords used for search
  • Feature image, screen shots, and icon
  • Supported devices
  • Facebook page and Twitter account
  • Support email and URL information
  • SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)

You should set these properties to clearly identify your app, so that users can discover it and understand what it offers. Using confusing names or mismatched categories make your app harder to find. To learn about how to name your app, see Naming your apps.

It's also worthwhile to spend the time creating a feature image and screen shots that are vibrant and interesting to help differentiate your app. To read about best practices for visual assets, see Adding icons, screen shots, and other images. Your app is a brand and making these properties interesting and consistent in BlackBerry World is key to establishing recognition and presence among your users.

You can choose a SKU strategy that suits your needs. Since BlackBerry World offers apps that run on multiple platforms, it's important to know which types of platforms you are targeting. The following table illustrates common SKU strategies.

Platform strategy One SKU for all platforms Separate SKU for BlackBerry 10
You want the same product name for all platforms X
You want the feature image, screen shots, and description to be unique for each platform X X
You want user ratings and reviews to be separated across all platforms X X
You want to improve social discovery across all platforms within a single app X
You want to charge a different price for tablet apps over smartphone apps X
You want users to be able to transition your app, for a single price, from their current BlackBerry device to a BlackBerry 10 device using My World in BlackBerry World X

For more strategies to get your app to the right users, see Helping customers find your app.

Choosing a pricing strategy

BlackBerry World offers a number of pricing and billing strategies that support different business models for apps. In BlackBerry World, the type of pricing that you choose is called a license type. There are two key business models: premium and freemium. In the premium model, users must purchase your app at an initial cost. This strategy corresponds to a license type of paid. In the freemium model, users download the app for free and you decide what premium costs are charged later for additional content or features. This strategy corresponds to a license type of free.

There are also variations on these two key business models:


Your app is free in BlackBerry World and is there to draw users to your other apps, which may be using another model. Free apps cannot be changed to any other business model. In marketing, this strategy uses a “loss leader” or “leader”, which is used to stimulate sales of more profitable apps. Offering a free app is a good way to get users to download your app and try it with no obligation.

Free with Ads

The app is free in BlackBerry World but it includes advertising to generate revenue.


Your app must be purchased in BlackBerry World and costs money because it's a value-added, popular, money-making app with an established user base. The idea is that this app is perceived as worth it and users are attracted to the fact that it costs money because they are expecting a high-quality game. In marketing, this strategy uses the concept of a “luxury good”.


Your app must be purchased in BlackBerry World and offers upgrades within the app for new levels, new powers, and new functionality that adds value. This strategy takes the “luxury good” one step further with in-app upgrades and bonuses.


Your app is free in BlackBerry World but the user can spend money on enhancements to your app to get new functionality. The basic freemium application gives away its core functionality for free and offers upgrades to the premium version. This strategy is like combining the "light" version of an app with the premium version, which can be unlocked with an in-app purchase. You can also allow users to use the app for an unlimited amount of time with limited features and provide digital goods that unlock additional features. This strategy is known as "free to play".

The advantage of freemium pricing is that it attracts more users to download, try, and talk about the app. There is no maximum limit on the amount that users can spend within the app, assuming the digital goods support it. The disadvantages of freemium pricing are that it can take some time for revenue to start coming in and there's a risk that users don't purchase anything at all. This risk depends on whether the user perceives value in the additional content and whether the free features are already "good enough". Even at no cost, the free features should provide a great experience and entice the user to pay for upgrades.

You can also use freemium pricing to guide your development effort. For example, developing a game that has 30 levels at launch may be unrealistic, especially if you don't know whether the game will be a success or not. With freemium pricing, you can launch the game with five levels provided free, five more available for purchase, and then continue to develop and release levels as sales grow. If sales are good, you can keep releasing updates, if sales are low, you can move on to another app. This approach helps you choose where to spend your valuable development time.

If you decide to use freemium pricing, here are some tips to think about:

  • Know your upgrade plan from the beginning: Ensure that your app is designed with at least one useful upgrade in mind, so users have a compelling reason to spend money.
  • Don't start charging for free items: Once the user community is accustomed to seeing an app or features for free, there's a risk of alienating them if those features start costing money.
  • Make upgrades easy. The interface and process for upgrading an app should be quick and simple, otherwise a user might decide to skip the purchase.
  • Keep improving the free product: In addition to useful paid upgrades, the free parts of your app should continue to evolve, to keep users interested and not feeling like your app has become obsolete.

Last modified: 2015-03-31

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