2019 Year in Review: The Hello Weather Biz Report
Here’s a quick Hello Weather business update for those curious about how much running an app costs (and earns) over time.
In short: 2019 was our best year ever. We launched our Apple Watch app in May, and then Apple kindly featured it in lots of places on the App Store for several months. That was a huge boost for our visibility and business. Thanks, Apple!
We also paired that release with a modest price increase for our annual subscription, from $4.99/year up to $6.99/year.
2019 by the numbers
- 225,000 downloads
- 30,000 monthly active users (estimated based on Apple’s opt-in statistics, since we don’t track this)
- 14,500 active paid subscribers
- $88,000 gross sales
- $65,000 net revenue, after paying App Store fees
- $20,000 in operating expenses
- $10,000 in taxes
- $35,000 profit
Total lifetime stats since 2016
- 400,000 downloads
- $150,000 gross sales
- $100,000 net revenue
About 95% of our customer base is using the iOS app, with the remaining 5% on Android. This is befuddling, because our Android app is equally great!
We think it’s because we’ve never been able to get Google’s attention, so Hello Weather is rather buried and hard to discover on the Play Store. If anyone has an idea for improving that, please contact us right away. 😆
This year we did hardly any marketing, save for a couple of blog posts, a few Twitter ads, and many updates to the app itself—which is an indirect form of marketing, because it keeps the app lively in the App Store.
We did a lot of background work to restructure our little company for the long term. We hired an accountant, converted it to an LLC (formerly it was a C Corp), and renamed it Electric Dream Machine.
Paying some monies
Believe it or not, in the 5 years we’ve been running this thing, we’ve never paid ourselves any actual money. After a banner year, we’ll finally pay out a small bonus for the first time.
Coming up next in 2020…
Climate change activism
We're going to start a donation matching program to help fight climate change. Looking at extreme weather trends every day has become increasingly heartbreaking, and we want to give back to the planet we monitor so closely.
We’re planning to experiment with our pricing model again. We’ll likely add some new one-time payment options for folks who just aren’t into the whole subscription thing. The subscriptions have been really good for us, but we want to support as many people as we can.
And finally, we have a whole swath of improvements in the pipeline for Hello Weather itself!
After that...we might start working on another project.
We’ll keep those electric dreams going and see where they take us next.