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Ep. 88 Is the App World Shifting from Ads to Subscriptions?

Today’s guest saw the frustration app companies were having with in-app purchases and decided to create a solution. In today’s episode, he shares what that solution is as well as why we’re seeing a trend in app companies moving from advertising models to subscriptions, particularly for publisher-focused apps.

Jean-François is the co-founder of Purchasely, a company based in Paris that helps apps grow their revenues by streamlining In-App Purchase integration. He is also the CEO and founder of 2 App à Z, a consulting firm specialized on mobile technologies. Jean-François was one of the first 500 developers of the iPhone developer beta program. He’s helped many companies build their first apps, and in 2020 was awarded the worldwide App of the Year.

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Questions Jean-François Answers In This Episode

  • Is there a product that you’re most proud of having played a role in developing?
  • What does Purchasely do and why did you start the company?
  • As a developer, when you’re trying to build out the in-app purchases that are involved with an app, how much time does that process take up?
  • Is this a problem that most startups see or does this solve problems for apps of any size?
  • Are you seeing more apps shift to subscriptions? And if so, what kind of apps are you seeing make this move?
  • How does that impact the overall app economy if everything shifts to subscriptions? What might be the limit to how many apps consumers would be willing to subscribe to?


  • 2:57 Jean-François’s background
  • 6:07 What is Purchasely and why was it created
  • 8:12 Why in-app purchases are a pain in the apps
  • 10:42 The movement from advertising to subscriptions
  • 15:44 Who is shifting to subscriptions and why
  • 19:42 Is there a consumer threshold for subscriptions vs ads


(10:42-10:57) “The world is moving very fast on subscription. Two years ago, the advertising was so high, very few people were considering subscriptions. But, as you’ve seen, there is a drop in the volume and value of advertising. There is also the ATT that is coming in. So, the world of advertising is in trouble right now.”

(17:25-17:38) “We had a lot of apps that were ads-oriented and that were playing on the frustration of the users to get money. But the game of subscription is very different. The game of subscription is more a seduction than a frustration.”