Monetizing antivirus software: to sell or not to sell?

15.08.16
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Monetizing antivirus software: to sell or not to sell?

Developing business plan for antivirus under your brand you have to decide, which model of software monetizing you will choose. We have prepared short overview of the most common approaches to antivirus monetization that you can find on the market.

  1. Direct sales – charge for your antivirus.

Cyber security market can be characterized as highly competitive. Our experience shows that it is very difficult to start selling your product from the very first day, when you brand is unknown and you do not have enough power on the market. Choosing direct sales, you have to understand that your success will depend on how efficient will your advertisement be in terms of conversion and cost of customers acquisition. Taking into account that you will compete in direct advertising campaigns with market leaders that already have well-known brand name, it is logically to suppose that you will have to pay more per every customer engaged.

If to talk about off-line direct sales, it is even more difficult to start selling directly, because antivirus software is very specific kind of software. Your customers have to be confident that they will at least stay safe with your software.

All doubts about possibility to sell newly created product directly can be dismissed in case if you product will be sold complimentary to your main services. For example, direct sales are beneficial for Internet service providers, who can always make up-sells and offer their subscribers to stay safe while browsing Internet.

As a conclusion, we have to say that direct selling of antivirus solutions to end users is more likely in case if your security product serves as add-value-product to your main services and you have a strong and well-known brand related to IT.

  1. Inn-app advertisement.

Advertisement is the engine of market economy. This fact makes some antivirus software developers to choose free-from-fees model of software expansion and thanks to product popularity and distribution to charge advertisers for pop-ups, included to antivirus software solution.

This model of antivirus monetization can be used in case if you expect to receive millions of installs and ready to invest in product expansion on different markets. Surely, this approach to antivirus monetization is very risky and demands from antivirus vendors to provide solution, which customers will really love. Otherwise, if the product is not the best and you have complaints connected with its functionality, your customers will not forgive you advertisement.

Generally, we do not recommend considering monetization by means of this method as primary.

  1. Bundled software: earn money on third party installs.

One of the most used model of antivirus software monetization. The idea is very simple: a lot of software developers are ready to pay you for installs of their application together with your software. You can offer your customers to install useful additional security utilities, applications for home and office, toolbars etc.

There are a lot of offering on the market from traffic buyers and sellers, who always are in search of new install, so it will not be a problem for you to find attractive proposal. But be careful and check the reputation of bundled software before you make decision to include it to your installer. In case if additional software hurts user, your reputation can be destroyed.

  1. In-app purchases: sell additional features.

It is very difficult to sell security solutions directly, but you can try to do this in smarter way. A bright example of more customized approach is in-app sales model, when you charge customer for additional functionality, which is available in product, but only in the full version.

 When your customer opens antivirus for scanning, he can find your advice also to check his PC for unnecessary files that can be cleaned up with system Optimizer, which is available only in the full version of product or as an extra utility, which can be purchased on your website.

But be very careful and do not overuse this method. Sometimes, such method of monetization can be perceived by customers as cheating.

  1. Affiliate Marketing: build you sales channel from the ground up.

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways of selling products in the Internet of things. The model is very simple and requires a few things from you: highly marginal offering to your partners, well-prepared set of banners and materials for Internet placement, every-day hard work with top market sellers.

The model is very simple. Webmasters have traffic, which they want to monetize by selling goods and services in the Internet. You are making offer for selling your product. Webmasters place your advertisement at their website and look for conversion and fees, gained automatically thanks to affiliate marketplaces, where your offering will be placed.

You will succeed in case if webmaster will see that you banners and advertisement in the whole brings him profits. The most difficult step in this model is the first step, when you are building your affiliate partners channel. It requires high passion from you and deep knowledge of affiliate marketing approaches.

In conclusion, we can say that there are no “best” and “worst” ways of monetization. You have to make deep analysis of market and your customer’s demands, before you make decision about product’s monetization.

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